Issue Index

Features
  Mini Features
  Cultural Features
  Life in Japan
  Big in Japan
  Rant & Rave
  Cars & Bikes
  Health & Beauty
Jobfinder
  Money Talks
  Tokyo Tech
  Web Watch
  Food & Drink
  Features
  Restaurant Reviews
  Bar Reviews
  Word of Mouth
  Travel Features
  Japan Travel
  International Travel
  Travelogue
  Art
  Artifacts
  Fashion
  Tokyo Talk
  In Store
  Buyline
  Japan Beat
  CD Reviews
  In Person
  Concerts
  Clubbing

 

 BUYLINE
Shibuya’s Zenmall (29-4 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku; 03-3770-1641), known for offering large clothing for men, is holding a two-day Early Bird Pre-Summer Sale. The sale will take place on the mornings of April 12 (Sat) and 13 (Sun) for three hours (9am-noon) each day. During these times, nearly everything will be marked 20-80 percent off. Some of the bargains include suits with a spare pair of pants for \9,800 (sizes 3-8L), and summer casual jackets for \8,000 (3-6L). Imported designer suits by makers like Calvin Klein and Boss are also marked down to \39,000 and \59,000, respectively. Those who spend over \10,000 can take part in the Cash Grabbing Contest, where shoppers can dig into a box full of cash. Spend over \30,000 for two chances to grab, and \50,000 for three. Don't miss this rare opportunity, as it could be one of the few chances for those looking to buy large sizes in Japan, especially at affordable prices.
 PAST ISSUES
ADVERTISERS:
Ash 03-3770-3755
Biodanza
Boots
Clinique TCA
Club Boy Beau
Crunch 03-5459-123-
Dr. Allen Leroy Robinson
Hair Dressers Archecal 03-0449-6106
Hayato New York 03-3498-9113
Hugo BOSS
Japan Electrolysis Clinic (Ginza)
Maiko Make Over Studio Shiki
My Boo Nail Salon 03-5428-1121
Neal's Yard Natural Therapy Center
03-3405-7216
Roksen Bar Cosmetic 03-5658-7675
Sin Den
Takagi Skin Clinic
Tamariba.inc.
Tokyo Skin Clinic
Toni&Guy Japan 03-3797-5790
Watanabe Hair Dressing 03-3405-1188
Who Ga 03-5570-1773

IN STORE ARCHIVE:
535: Anything goes
Add a little spunk to your life at Tokyo's zakka housewares shops. Hanna Kite visits five of the best.
531: To a tee
Tokyo’s hottest T-shirt shops boast designs by some of Japan’s top talents. Hanna Kite dresses down.
527: Treasure chests
Hanna Kite checks out five Tokyo jewelers that offer the perfect setting for your next shopping excursion.
523: Arts and crafts movement
Trina O’Hara goes in search of the Japanese creative spirit.
519: Bra-vo
Move over, Hello Kitty. Sexy has finally replaced cute in Tokyo's lingerie stores. Hanna Kite reports.
515: Bowled over
Trina O'Hara tracks down the latest tableware to suit any time of day.
511: East meets nest
Trina O'Hara finds that Tokyo's flea markets and shrine sales suit all types of personalities and interests.
503: The write stuff
Hanna Kite takes notes at Tokyo's finest pen and paper boutiques.
499: Blasts from the past
Tokyo trendsetters have a knack for making old fashions new again. Jennifer Au goes back in time at the city's coolest vintage clothing stores.
495: In the bag
From haute to mass-market, designer to dowdy, Tokyo has a tote to suit every taste and budget. Jennifer Au tracks down the best.
491: Paper chase
Steve Trautlein goes on a search for Tokyo's best English booksellers.
487: Happy trails
A love affair with the great outdoors is easily consummated at these Tokyo retailers. Steve Trautlein gears up.
483: Top hats
Whether it’s a rooftop barbecue, a riverside picnic or an afternoon stroll, there will be times this summer when you’ll want to keep the sun off your face. †Martin Webb hunts down Tokyo’s best headwear suppliers so you can stay shady in style.
479: Oriental express
This summer, all things Asian are hot stuff. Martin Webb finds out how to get the look without breaking the bank.
474: Haute haven
Forget Roppongi Hills’ aspirations to be the city’s cultural hub. This is the consumer capital of the world, and it’s all about shopping. Martin Webb reports.
468: New kit on the block
Backed by street-wise fashion chain store Beams, these seven new stores are upping the style quotient in Daikanyama. Martin Webb sizes up this brand new shopping experience.
463: Can buy me love
Stuck for ideas about how to make Valentine’s Day extra memorable this year? Martin Webb shops around for some great gift ideas for lucky ladies.
452: Perfect timing
For the rushed residents of our fair metropolis, keeping an eye on time is one of life's little necessities.
448: House of style
The newly open Marunouchi Building is drawing legions of eager shoppers from all over Japan
445: Present perfect
Tired of wasting your yen on last-minute gifts at duty free?
441: Toy story
Martin Webb tackles every parent's annual ennui and finds playthings that could earn you more peace and quiet than you bargained for
437: Natural selection
Seven new "select shops" are giving style seekers an excuse to keep spending
433: Window shopping
Stephen Cotterill indulges his yen and peers into the retail oasis that is Glassarea Aoyama
429: Jet, set, go!
With the holiday high season just around the corner, trendy travelers are in hot pursuit of packing accessories
425: Loud and clear
No home is complete without a sound system, and for audiophiles, time at home revolves around those little black boxes
421: Red brick revival
Once at the heart of Yokohama's bustling port industry, Akarenga Soko has a new lease of life as an exclusive entertainment and retail complex
417: Eye browse
An eyewear boom has seen new stores open and old favorites prosper
413: Sporting goodies
Shibuya sportswear
409: Go Figure
An army of action figures
405: Puff 'n' Stuff
Tokyo's best cigar shops
381
379
377
375
373
371
368
367
366
364
362
360
357
355
351
349
347
345
343
341
338
336

Present perfect

Tired of wasting your yen on last-minute gifts at duty free? Martin Webb comes to the rescue with original and exotic omiyage sure to impress the folks back home.

Blade runner
Japan's ancient warrior culture is what first attracts many to the Land of the Rising Sun. But owning a piece of this menacing past is a privilege that could cost you an arm and a leg-unless you know where to look. Tokyo has a number of shops specializing in antique swords and high-quality replicas, in addition to intricately ornamented katana parts: menuki (pommel), tsuba (hilt) and fuchigashira (grip charm). Standard sword-shopping procedure involves sitting at a low table while the master shows off his prized wares. If he takes a shine to you, he may even let you handle some of the impressive implements. Antique swords tend to start around ¥600,000, replicas from about ¥50,000. Lacquered samurai armor and scowling masks also make for good buys.

Japan Sword
A good first stop on any katana quest, this venerable shop has knowledgeable English-speaking staff

Open 9am-6pm. 3-8-1 Toranomon, Minto-ku. Tel: 03-3434-4321. Nearest stn: Toranomon, exit A1. www.japansword.co.jp

 

Token Shibata
Situated on Ginza's best street for Japanese crafts, Token Shibata features fine replicas such as a twin sword set, complete with saya (scabbards). Stands are also available for a reasonable ¥39,900.

Open 10am-6:30pm. 5-6-8 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3573-2801. Nearest stn: Ginza exit A1, turn left past Hanae Mori onto Suzuran Street.

 

Sokendo
Tucked under the Hanae Mori Building on Omotesando, Sokendo sells sword replicas and parts, some up to 400 years old. Its main store in Harajuku also holds occasional exhibitions; the latest runs until Sept 23.

Open 11am-8pm. B1 Hanae Mori Bldg, 3-6-1 Kita Aoyama, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3499-4898. Nearest stn: Omotesando, exit A1.

Main store: Open 10am-7pm. Sokendo Bldg, 6-28-1 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3499-8040. Nearest stn: Meijijingumae, exit A4, behind Levi's.



Robes to riches

Getting your hands on a custom-made kimono is an expensive and time-consuming process for which shoppers are advised to head to Ginza, Asakusa or Akasaka. For tourists with limited time or residents on a budget, however, there are some clever alternatives. Simply head to one of the many antique apparel stores dotted around town, whice sell everything from cotton yukata to intricate bridal kimono. There are also several shops specializing in antique fabrics. With a bit of imagination, you can turn these beautiful hand-dyed cloths into drapes, wall hangings, cushion covers or fashion items.

 

Hayashi Kimono
This cheerful store is sure to appeal to any Japanophile. Friendly female staff are on hand to advise shoppers on what to buy and how to wear it.
Open 11am-8pm. International Arcade, 2-1-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-3501-4012. Nearest stn: Ginza, exit C1, under train tracks, behind Imperial Hotel.

 

Chicago
A bustling basement bazaar of vintage clothes, Chicago has a special section devoted to antique Japanese apparel. Vintage kimono start from ¥4,800, juban (liner) from ¥2,900, obi from ¥1,500, and tomesode (short-sleeve kimono) from ¥5,800.
Open 11am-8pm. B1F Olympia Annex Bldg, 6-31-21 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3409-5017. Nearest stn: Meiji Jingumae, exit A4.

 

Kawano Gallery
This simple store is filled with antique Japanese fabrics. Sift through the piles and racks of kimono, obi and haori (overcoat), noren (curtains), festival banners, and flags.

Open 11am-8pm Thu-Tue. 102 Flats Omotesando, 4-4-9 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3470-3305. Nearest stn: Omotesando exit A2, turn right at McDonald's, across from Royal Host.
www.gallery-kawano.com

 


Wafu wallpaper

A beautiful kimono hung on an oversized Japanese-style hanger makes a beautiful wall covering, but for a more contemporary feel, your friends and family are sure to love images from Japan's vibrant popular culture. Step into yesteryear with a visit to Asakusa's Maruberudo, which boasts a treasure trove of posters bearing the likenesses of obscure '60s soap stars. Or plunder the wealth of manga history at Shibuya's Mandarake, the largest manga retailer in the universe. Here you'll find scores of original manga cells, postures and costumes, in addition to some of the most dedicated salespeople around (purchase goods worth ¥1,000 or more and you may win a chance to take part in one of their costumed stage shows).

 

Maruberudo
Flick through the thousands of thumbnail photos of Japanese singers, actors and actresses from the glorious past of Japan's geinokai (celebrity world) and have your favorites blown up to poster size.
Open 11am-7pm. 1-30-6 Asakusa, Taito-ku. Tel: 03-3844-1445. Nearest stn: Asakusa.

 

Mandarake
A manga maniac's paradise, this comic dungeon store stocks all manner of pre-owned manga from the '60s up through last week. Figures, trading cards, original cells from the production stage, costumes, posters and plastic models are also for sale here.

Open noon-8pm. B2F Shibuya Beam Bldg, 31-2 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3477-0777. Nearest stn: Shibuya, across from Tokyu Hands' Inokashira Street entrance. www.mandarake.co.jp/english/index.html


Monkey business
If it's street cred you're looking for, look no further than the back streets of Tokyo. DJ/Pepsi spokesman Nigo's A Bathing Ape is still king of the swingers in this neck of the woods, spawning everything from ladies' brand Bapy to hip shoe store Footsoldier. Hot on Bape's heels are a number of original hip hop labels like Balance, Swagger, A.G. and Bounty Hunter, all of which are fast becoming highly collectible too. Expect to be mobbed by envious street-fashion freaks if you manage to get any items from these hype Tokyo brands back home.

 

A Busy Workshop
Graphic designs on white T-shirts are the staple here, but silky stadium jackets, baseball hats and belts and key fobs are also big sellers. The Minami-Aoyama store houses the Bape Gallery on the second floor.

Open 11am-8pm. 5-5-8 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3407-2145. Nearest stn: Omotesando exit A5, next to Miu Miu.

Bape Harajuku: Open 11am-8pm. 4-28-22 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Nearest stn: Meijijingumae. Tel: 03-5474-0204.

 

Bapy
The latest addition to the Bathing Ape stable, Bapy is targeted at the "busy working lady"-meaning sweet young things in their late teens or early twenties. Three narrow floors carry cute clothing, accessories, bath products and grocery bags.

Open 11am-8pm. 3-6-5 Kita Aoyama, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5766-9177. Nearest stn: Omotesando exit A1, behind Gucci.

 

Footsoldier
A conveyer belt sends the latest footwear from the Bape posse around this stark black store. Revival, retro styles in dozens of colors under the "Bape Sta" label make almost every shoe a rare object.

Open 11am-8pm. 1F Kinoshita Bldg, 3-7 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-5784-1660. Nearest stn: Daikanyama, on Hachiman Street, opposite Silas & Maria.

 

Bosstalk
New and used gear from A Bathing Ape, Under Cover, Soph, W taps, Head Porter, Bounty Hunter, Balance Wear Design and other Japanese street brands, including rare collectible items, stickers and accessories are here with, of course, hundreds of T-shirts.

Open noon-8pm. 175-ban-kan Bldg. 1-7-3 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-5770-5186. Nearest stn: Harajuku, Takeshita exit, on Takeshita Street, past 7-Eleven.

top