Summer sale season is here! Whether you are looking to upgrade your wardrobe or just wanting to enjoy window shopping, here are the 5 hottest shopping malls that are popular for young people in Tokyo.
SHIBUYA 109 (Shibuya)
Shibuya is the heart of trends for young people. Among the dozens of shopping centers that Shibuya offers, SHIBUYA 109 is known as the symbol of Shibuya. It contains over 100 stores that are mostly catered towards girls in their teens to mid 20’s. In a separate building, they also have 109 MENS, which are targeted at young men.
SHIBUYA 109 has many brands with different styles that will appeal to a wide variety of fashion tastes. However, it is famous for the “Gyaru (Gal)” style stores. Gyaru is a rebellious Japanese street fashion that originated in the 70’s. It is no longer seen commonly; however, the style has continued in some aspects. Today, Gyaru fashion is characterized by thick make up, bleached hair, tanned skin, and colorful (and often revealing) clothing. These styles can be found in SHIBUYA 109.
Due to its uniqueness, SHIBUYA 109 is a popular tourist destination as well. Many shops have signs in English (or even Chinese & Korean). They may also allow you to get tax exemptions.
It takes less than 5 minutes to walk from Shibuya station. The rising tower and the big “109” sign is hard to miss. If you can, make sure to visit on the weekdays, as it is especially bustling with teenage girls on the weekends.
La Foret Harajuku (Harajuku)
If you are unsure of where to spend your shopping day, go to Harajuku! Harajuku is a paradise for people who love to shop for the latest Japanese clothing. La Foret Harajuku is worshipped as the site for cutting edge fashion in Harajuku. It is known for hosting many distinct stores ranging from girly to punk to Lolita style.
La Foret Harajuku also has some shops to eat and relax in, which is great as you will be exhausted after walking around the famous shopping district. Inside, there are cute crepe shops and pancake shops that always seem to have a line of people waiting. Moreover, just by standing in the street, you will be amazed by the many people with unique fashion and hair. You can spend a day here and won’t run out of things to see and do!
La Foret Harajuku is keen on making sure to offer customers a fresh experience each time they come; so it is known to constantly redecorate its building. You will also find many Pop-Up Shops (Temporary stores) and seasonal collaborations so that you can enjoy going there more than once.
You can find La Foret Harajuku just outside the exit of Meijijingu-Mae / Harajuku station, along the Meiji Street.
Tokyo Sola Machi （Sky Tree Town）
Tokyo Sola Machi has a different feel to Shibuya 109 or La Foret Harajuku. It is more calm, but exciting nonetheless. Sola Machi translates to “Sky Town” and is actually situated right at the foot of the Sky Tree, and is part of the Sky Tree Town. At 634 meters, Sky Tree is the tallest tower in the world at present.
It has a great selection of stores and restaurants that often cannot be found elsewhere. The complex itself is quite large, and hosts over 300 stores. It even has a planetarium and an aquarium! Sola Machi stores often sell limited edition goods as well, which is perfect for souvenirs.
Because Sola Machi is connected to the Sky Tree itself, there are shops and restaurants up in the tower as well. You can enjoy the great view of Tokyo while shopping and dining! Because there are more things to do other than shopping, it is a popular destination for the young in Japan.
You can get to Sola Machi by foot from Tokyo Sky Tree Station, or Oshiage Station within 3 minutes.
Venus Fort (Odaiba / Palette Town)
The Odaiba area is a popular tourist spot for foreigners. For young Japanese people, Odaiba is also known as a good location for couples. No wonder, because Venus Fort is built with the appearance of “17th to 18th century Europe”. There are gorgeous statues, fountains and romantic paintings on the walls. You can enjoy it as kind of an in-door theme park!
The complex is divided into 3 sections by floor; Venus Family, Venus Grand, and Venus Outlet. Venus Family has items for those with children or pets, while Venus Grand caters to the young with the trendy fashion stores. At Venus Outlet, you can get brand items for discounted price, and it is the only outlet shop in Tokyo city center.
What attracts young couples and girls to Venus Fort is the beautiful atmosphere. The fountains are totally Instagram worthy! At the very back of Venus Fort, there is even a Church area where a 17th century church can be seen. Many celebrities have held events and performances here.
The closest station from Venus Fort is Tokyo Teleport Station, or Aomi station (Yurikamome Line).
Roppongi Hills (Roppongi)
Roppongi may have the reputation for being the playground for wealthy adults. However, it is also popular among the young. Like Sola Machi, there are many things to do besides shopping, and if you spend wisely, you won’t end up broke!
You can visit the top of the sky-high building to enjoy the view of the city. Roppongi Hills also has the Mori Art Museum, which hosts many well-known contemporary artists. On top of that, there is also a cinema all within the building.
However, Roppongi is more known for its night scene. The shopping district contains luxurious bars and night clubs that have a more mature feel than Shibuya or Harajuku. Even if you are not into these, you should try going for Roppongi shopping trip at night, as they are famous for their beautiful illuminations in the area during winter.
Roppongi Hills is situated conveniently, as it is connected directly to Roppongi Station.
Did any of the shopping malls perk your interests? Make sure to visit them to catch the latest trends in Japan!