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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.
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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
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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Anything goes

Add a little spunk to your life at Tokyo's zakka housewares shops. Hanna Kite visits five of the best.

Bottled green tea in Boston tastes pretty much the same as it does from a vending machine in Shibuya. But no matter how international our planet becomes, sometimes a certain something can only be found one place on Earth. For interior-knickknack devotees and accessory-minded folk, zakka, or "miscellaneous goods" stores, are the cornerstone of life in Japan, the trusted source of goodies when a bag or apartment needs a touch of personality. There's nothing quite like them beyond Japanese shores.

While a walk around Shimokitazawa or Kichijoji guarantees a zakka encounter, the following five stores in Jiyugaoka and Daikanyama are the top shops in Tokyo's zakka central. They offer a little more than your standard basket and wire-plant-hanger fare, and a more distinctive selection than Loft.

 

Hotch Potch
Packed to the edges with traditional zakka accessories, Hotch Potch stands apart for its colorful, pop-inspired goods and huge selection. Even among Jiyugaoka's interior decorating stores, Hotch Potch is practically a shrine to the zakka phenomenon. New products are regularly featured in the woman's magazine an-an, and the store is crowded with cheerful shoppers even on weekday mornings. Hotch Potch's postcard, cell-phone strap, tissue-box cover, toilet-paper holder, jewelry and umbrella selections are reason enough to visit, but they also have a range of other bath, kitchen, stationery and living goods. One of our favorites is the smiley-face toothbrush cover with suction cups (¥250). Come New Year's, Hotch Potch also has one of the best day-planner selections in town.

1-26-20 Jiyugoka, Meguro-ku. Tel: 03-3717-6911. Open Sun-Thu 11am-8pm, Fri-Sat 11am-9pm. Nearest stn: Jiyugaoka.

 

Six and Press Six
Six and Press Six showcase stationery-related items from all across Europe. Their most fabulous feature is a beautiful selection of graphic-design posters, mostly advertisements from Italy's Olivetti typewriter company and former exhibits from the Dansk Design Center in Copenhagen. Six first opened in Jiyugaoka ten years ago, and its sister store Press Six opened in Omotesando in December. Dark, soothing greens and browns are the name of the game here. The Jiyugaoka store features mobiles from Denmark, leather goods that can be personalized, Lufthansa totes, CDs, switch plates, and an assortment of folders and notebooks. The Omotesando store has taken the concept a step further and stocks over a thousand picture books and books on graphic design, as well as dead-stock fabric from the '70s.

Jiyugaoka: 2-8-13 Jiyugoka, Meguro-ku. Tel: 03-3723-7767. Open daily 11am-8pm. Nearest stn: Jiyugaoka.

Omotesando: 3-5-25 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5474-1705. Open daily 11am-9pm. Nearest stn: Omotesando.

 

Irodoriya

Daikanyama's Irodoriya separates its wares by artist instead of genre, and each of the creators displaying their crafts was hand-picked by the owners. Our current favorites are the glass bowls and paperweights by young Aki Ito, bags by Momoko Takeuchi, and silk-screen postcards by Atsuko Nihei. Shop director Tobinaga-san says that one of their most popular items is the kaleidoscope necklace (¥18,900). Through July 19, Irodoriya will hold a polar-bear exhibit to raise awareness of global warming. Handmade polar-bear stuffed animals with baby-blue noses, pottery, wood carvings, and bags with arctic themes will be on display. For sewing fans, there's also a polar-bear measuring-tape dispenser that retracts with a nudge to its belly.

2-16-11 Ebisunishi, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3462-2321. Open daily 12:30-7:30pm. Nearest stn: Daikanyama.

 

Cielo

Cielo specializes in wood and kitchenware zakka. Their zebra-striped picture frames (¥2,100-¥2,800) are simply exquisite, but they also have handmade wooden spoons, bowls, chopstick holders (¥150 each), lamps, wooden magnetic photo stands, and fabric-covered bulletin boards. Cielo carries stainless-steel measuring spoons, measuring cups, and other cooking essentials from Amco. Two of their most useful tools are steel refrigerator magnets with imperial/metric liquid-measure equivalents, and a magnet with instructions on the various ways to cook an egg. Both are less than ¥1,000. Cielo also has tablespoon and teaspoon measures that attach to your refrigerator. The shop is located across from the entrance to the Calpis building in Daikanyama.

2-17-11 Ebisunishi, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-5728-6735. Open daily 11:30am-8pm. Nearest stn: Daikanyama. www.la-luz.co.jp

 

Cibone
Perhaps the only redeeming quality of the Winona Ryder/Richard Gere romance Autumn in New York was the decorations in the Charlotte character's room. You can start a similarly elaborate look for your apartment with Cibone's garland lamp (¥8,500 in silver or gold). Besides a great location being underneath Jigs, one of the Jiyugaoka's few late-night restaurants, Cibone has one of the most amusing zakka selections in town. Their goods are more expensive than the other shops mentioned here, but they're always top-of-the-line. Another one of our favorites: the ambulance-red cold packs for post-Roppongi mornings. Animal rubber bands, Olioblock puzzles, and Nuala yoga gear and shoes from Christy Turlington and Puma run a close second. The "zzzoo" lights, which come in hedgehog, owl or pig shapes, are adorable too.

2-17-8 Jiyugaoka, Meguro-ku. Tel: 03-5729-7131. Open daily 11am-8pm. Nearest stn: Jiyugaoka. www.cibone.com

Photos by Hanna Kite

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