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.
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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
Tokyos hottest T-shirt shops boast designs by some of Japans
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 OHara goes in search of the Japanese creative spirit.
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 its a rooftop barbecue, a riverside picnic or an afternoon
stroll, there will be times this summer when youll want to keep the sun
off your face. Martin Webb hunts down Tokyos 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 citys cultural hub.
This is the consumer capital of the world, and its 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 Valentines 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
433: Window shopping
Stephen Cotterill indulges his yen and peers into the retail oasis that is Glassarea
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
409: Go Figure
An army of action figures
405: Puff 'n' Stuff
Tokyo's best cigar shops
East meets nest
Trina O'Hara finds that Tokyo's flea markets
and shrine sales suit all types of personalities and interests.
|Togo shrine sale
When Tokyoites wake to an alarm clock at 4:30 on a Sunday
morning, it's not likely that they're commuters
or workaholics. This sweet siren signals a date with flea
markets and shrine sales around the city. Some call it obsessive,
some call it crazy, yet Japanese and foreigners play this
addictive game of search and rescue every weekend.
So what drives these ardent pilgrims to goods strewn over
shrine steps and concrete parking lots? Look into their faces
and you will see expressions like, "There might be
something valuable here, something I might need, something
no one has noticed yet." It's the thrill of
the chase. The innate desire to hold, wear and possess treasure.
|Hanako, washi and calligraphy
Apart from the adrenalin rush, people participate in this
ritual because it provides useful lessons about Japanese life
and society. It's a free open-air museum where they
can handle the objects. The absence of plastic and packaging,
and the ability to haggle over the price, make it different
from Japan's department stores. Besides, where else
would you go to buy goods no one else wanted?
Tokyo's flea markets and antique stalls cater to diverse
personalities and collecting interests. They play host to
the historian, artisan, scientist, explorer, traveler, bargain
hunter, decorator and gift giver inside us. Which collector
Explorer/traveler types collect as they travel around
the world. Usually they gather everyday objects that tell
something about the place or how people live. Kimonos, geta
sandals, sake kettles, old coins, maps, ceramics, furniture,
kitchen utensils, lacquerware, old mah-jongg sets, wooden
abacuses, traditionally woven baskets, musical instruments,
wooden boxes, chests and noren curtains fall into this category.
Australian Ambassador John McCarthy is the explorer/traveler
type. Over the years, he's collected carpets in Damascus,
puppets in Indonesia, betel leaf containers in Myanmar and
silver Buddhas from Southeast Asia. "When you go home,
they remind you of the country you've lived in. The
pieces are a link to the memories," McCarthy says.
|Face-to-face with the
Scientific types are the tinkerers who enjoy pulling
things apart and putting them back together. This urge can
be satisfied with the clocks, radios and compasses found at
shrine sales. If you're into preserving the past and
your home looks like a taxidermist's studio, then you
can add to your collection of mounted insects, animal pelts,
zebra hides, stuffed tortoises or fossil specimens.
Shrine sales offer great history lessons as well as great
artifacts. Historians like objects that are beginning
to show their age. McCarthy finds that "part of the
fun is to figure out how old an item is
As you become
more absorbed in history, the pieces become more meaningful."
|Elegant finds abound
at area shrine sales and flea markets
China-born Lansheng Zhang is an art teacher and an artisan/scholar
type. He recently acquired an antique combination lock
at a shrine sale. Instead of a number code, this lock consisted
of rotating Chinese characters, which, surprisingly, he was
able to open. Woodblock prints, calligraphy brushes, ink stones,
brush holders, vintage sumi-e brush paintings, scrolls, drawings,
hanko signature stamps and wrist rests are also favorites
of the artisan/scholar type.
Who can escape the allure of a sale? Bargain hunter types
know the joy of finding an object at a good price. Many start
out buying what they can afford, and then, when they learn
more about their desired object, become more selective and
look for the best examples. Take note: in Japan, dishes, cups
and bowls typically come in sets of five. Anything sets sold
with fewer can be a bargain.
While some are interested in all things utilitarian, there
are the obscure and kooky collectors who find their
prize in the odd and accidental. This personality usually
gets distracted and finds it difficult to keep a specific
collection growing. Meanwhile, decorators can be found
sorting, selecting, arranging, and admiring fabrics or housewares
at shrine sales. They collect things that look good in groups,
and have a keen eye for anything to use in their house. Decorators
are known to use obi for table runners, kimono stencils on
lampshades, and hibachi for flower pots.
Gift-giving types frequent the shrine sales for objects
they can give away. In an era of mass production and fashion,
a good rummage through the stalls can turn up gifts that are
unique, handmade or at the very least different from the latest
craze. This is the case of James Murray, a lawyer who works
for an American firm. He bought traditional dolls for his
nieces for Christmas, while Katherine Riggall, who works for
a Japanese architecture firm, bought her brother a sake set.
Shrine sales are perfect for pilgrims seeking cultural and
retail renewal. So next time you open your eyes early Sunday
morning, identify your hoarding instinct, choose your collecting
personality, then reach out for the treasures lying on shrine
Photo credits: Trina O'Hara,