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 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:
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Japan Electrolysis Clinic (Ginza)
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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
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368
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366
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336

To a tee

Tokyo’s hottest T-shirt shops boast designs by some of Japan’s top talents. Hanna Kite dresses down.

In a country that has stores devoted to Tintin and Honda shirt collections, it’s not hard to stumble on a few funky graphic tees. These six Omotesando short-sleeve specialty shops, in particular, offer some of the finest examples of T-shirt art anywhere in Tokyo. Often collaborating with or led by the top designers in Japan, they offer the best selection in cutting-edge styles—and sometimes even at budget-pleasing prices. The more Japan-inspired stores provide easy gifts for hip relatives and friends back home, but there’s no reason to be selfless. With summer closing in, you can be sure to find a shirt that suits you. Fuji Rock, after all, is only a couple of months away.

 

BeamsT
BeamsT (pictured above) is immediately recognizable by the rotating T-shirt contraption in its window. Always at the forefront of fashion and design, BeamsT has a summer selection that features garments in the very trendy colors of lime, lavender and light pink. The clerks we spoke to say that since the weather has warmed up and layers are coming off, more of their younger customers are interested in designs that cover the whole shirt and patterns with flowers and butterfly accents. Shirts with a “softer” homemade or stenciled look are also popular. Some T-shirts, such as Lightning (¥5,040) by The Wonderful Design Works, have been paired with similarly inspired flip-flops.

3-25-15 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3470-8601. Open 11am-8pm. Nearest stns: Harajuku, Meijijingumae. www.beamsT.com

 

graniph

The company that runs graniph is only a few years old, and their Harajuku shop is even younger: just two months. The owners decided that customers shouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for a quality shirt. So they came up with a plan: one shirt costs ¥2,500 and two shirts just ¥4,000. Casual is the theme here. The clerks want visitors to look at as many shirts as they like, so they don’t refold every garment the instant someone has touched it. Graniph has about 300 patterns—animals, women and cityscapes are just the beginning—that appeal to pretty much anyone. Some of the patterns are only possible because of cutting-edge printing techniques. Graniph also has a shop in Shimokitazawa.

3-25-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-5785-2808. Open noon-8pm. Nearest stns: Harajuku, Meijijingumae. www.graniph.com

 

Akiz
It’s a bit hard to believe, but Akiz’s buyers actually visit the US mainland or Hawaii six or seven times a year to fill their shelves. Probable Guinness world record for small business in Aoyama aside, Akiz (pictured right) sells domestic goods that are pretty impressive too. Our favorites include their Japanese-style wares, like the T-shirt with a geta sandals logo and the words “The Man” written underneath, and T-shirts made in collaboration with Puma Japan. While their trademark indigo dragonfly is popular among foreigners, Akiz, says store manager Hagimori, aims to be a fusion between old and new Japan. He recommends their rhino and elephant side print (¥5,800) shirts.

6-2-7 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-5466-5567. Open daily 11am-8pm. Nearest stns: Harajuku, Meijijingumae. www.akizjapan.com

 

Densuke
Densuke is a Mecca for anyone who fancies Japanese style but doesn’t want a big red dot and a “Nihon ichiban” on their chest. The shop specializes in taking traditional Japanese motifs from the Edo period and other historical eras and finding a place for them on a shirt. These tees would look just as classy on your mother as on your brother, and Densuke’s owners unveil new designs every couple of months, so it’s always worth the trip. This summer they’ve introduced no-sleeve tops and a diamond-and-wave pattern T-shirt. The owners also happen to be some of the kindest people you’ll ever want to meet.

3-28-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3478-7351. Open daily noon-8pm. Nearest stn: Harajuku, Meijijingumae. www.densuke.com

 

Shop 33

Shop 33 started in Kichijoji as a used-record store and evolved into a music and clothing boutique that honors the music and club scene. The Harajuku location features the designs of TAR, CCP and the brilliantly named Visible Elephant 47, as well as some handpicked CDs. Shop 33 has been painted in red, white, hot pink and gray to echo the stripes of their main contributors, The Designer’s Republic. While the store is quite tiny, a small door by the toilet leads to an annex. The shop itself is a bit hidden; when you start to wonder if you are lost, you’re almost there. Online orders can also be made in English.

5-18-8 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-5468-3133. Open Thu-Tue noon-8pm, closed Wed. Nearest stns: Harajuku, Meijijingumae. www.shop33.com

 

Ijiit Keiji Itakura
After working with the design company A/T for six years, Keiji Itakura opened his Omotesando shop (pictured right) in February because he wanted to develop his own style—in his words, “casual clothing with a mature look as well as an avant-garde touch and cuteness.” One of his T-shirts has what appears to be a human skull made up of the silhouettes of tigers, giraffes, and the like; on the reverse, the same animals are all lined up in a row. Part of his Rabics line includes tees that come with a Rabbit sticker. The idea is that the customer can place the animal sticker where they like, making each shirt a one-of-a-kind.

5-11-9 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3499-7355. Open daily 11am-8pm. Nearest stns: Harajuku, Meijijingumae. www.ijiit.com

Photos by Hanna Kite

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