When it comes to shopping, I always make it my personal mission to go thrift and vintage. I see it as my personal "me time" as I spend a slow day getting lost among racks of pass-me-downs, people watching, wandering around with a warm latte in one hand. It also supports a conscious lifestyle decision of mine to reduce my consumption in fast fashion.
I focused on three main districts I found particularly interesting, namely Shimokitazawa, Harajuku, and Shibuya. Keep scrolling as I share my best shopping, dining experiences, and other goodies I discovered along the way!
Shimokitazawa is a soulful and hip district. Its narrow alleyways are home to dozens of cafes, bars, books, and fashion boutiques. Blink once and you might miss something. Whether you're into clothes like me or simply looking for a quaint spot to read, spend an afternoon here and you'd definitely discover something incredible.
Nat Kent 'Star Burst' studs c/o Annielka Boutique
— THRIFT & VINTAGE —
Secondhand clothing marketplace at dirt-cheap prices
Vintage and rare antique clothing
Collectibles, antiques, homeware
— CAFE —
As the name suggests!
Try the best chai latte and fresh homemade sweets
Darwin-themed book cafe with taxidermy specimens
Fun fact: my first job ever was being a sales assistant at a Japanese cosplay and alternative clothing store in Far East Plaza. I was mesmerized by Harajuku's alternative styles, such as the Gothic Lolitas, from a young age. Harajuku is the ultimate place for fashion and culture and people dress up to be seen. Almost a decade later, I can finally say that Harajuku lives up to all hype! Expect super cool independent fashion boutiques along Harajuku street.
Angel Blue 'Tom & Jerry' reversible satin bomber jacket from Chicago
— THRIFT & VINTAGE —
My favourite vintage and used clothing store hands down! Despite its eclectic offerings, the racks are surprisingly well edited and organized. There is something for everyone; from denim overalls to flouncy dresses, bomber jackets, Hawaiian shirts, and vintage Kimono.
Independent fashion boutiques, decade-inspired concept stores, subcultural style
— EAT —
Potato snacks and everything Calbee
A very popular and delicious Ramen restaurant, good till the last slurp!
Shibuya is the heartbeat of Tokyo. This place runs like clockwork. Not gonna lie, I paced the iconic and ever-busy Shibuya crossing four times for that perfect shot. #basic Don't judge! Hit the streets after dark for the ultimate electric city vibes.
One Spo off-shoulder crop top from Shibuya 109
Unfortunately, I do not have any thrift and vintage recommendations for Shibuya. Leave your thrifting desires to the previous two districts that I've mentioned above. Nonetheless, here are my best recommendations which I'm confident many of you would return Tokyo for. I know I would!
— SHOP —
10 storeys of Japanese young women's fashion!
Cool brands to check out: Bubbles Tokyo, One Spo, Swankiss, Liz Lisa, Bad Store
Design concept department store
The book shop to immerse in. I mean seriously. A real gem for everyone.
— CAFE —
A cafe-pub hybrid with a vintage flair. Great for people watching.
— DINING —
The best tonkatsu ever. Be prepared for long queues.
The best conveyer belt sushi experience
Mexican rooftop bar and restaurant with panoramic view
If you have any Tokyo experiences or recommendations, leave them in the comments below!