Wednesday, December 28, 2011


By Pixie Bebeklis

Vintage Shopping in Japan 

Shopping in Japan is an experience like no other. Especially if you hit the big city, Tokyo. You’ll need all the energy you can muster up, because the guys dressed up in fishnets and bunny ears shouting into megaphones, the colourful Geishas, the aural assault of pachinko parlours and general aesthetic awesomeness will bombard all your senses to the absolute maximum. (I recommend drinking cups of coffee all day long and learning some basic Japanese to get you through a day of shopping.)

Japanese girls shopping (Photo courtesy of Local Times Japan)

And, YOU CAN’T DO TOKYO IN ONE DAY. Heck, you can’t even do it in one month. Stay a while

Also, save A Lot of Money.

Why? ‘Is it expensive?’ everyone asks. Well, no, in comparison to Australia these days, it’s dirt-cheap. Especially vintage fashion here. It all comes from America and you can buy quality pieces between 100-300 Yen if you shop carefully. It’s just that There’s So Much Cool Stuff, you’ll max out your credit card in no time, while shipping boxes of fluorescent sneakers and Hello Kitty electric toothbrushes back home to yourself (Well, maybe that’s just me.)

I love shopping editorial (Photo courtesy of Numero Tokyo)

Basic Japanese Language for shopping: 

The Japanese are very polite. A few basic phrases, means they will treat you very well and appreciate the fact you tried. By the way, the ‘u’ in Japanese is not pronounced. So ‘desu’, is spoken as ‘des’.

Hello - Konnichiwa 

Thank you - Arigatoo 

What is this? - Kore wa nan desu ka 

How much is this? - Kore wa ikura desu ka 

Please - Onegaishimasu (or) Kudasai 

Harajuku Lovers ad campaign (Photo courtesy of Stylert)

Places to checkout: 

Shimokitazawa - Loads of vintage, opshop style stores & cute cafes.

Shibuya - The glitzy Times Square of Tokyo.

Harajuku - Alleyways of fairy lights and designer boutiques.

Koenji - Great for markets and vintage. 

Daikanyama - Lots of second hand shops and heaps of cute cafes.

Shibuya crossing (Photo by Tamao Funahashi)

My favourite place in the world, however is:

Chicago Thrift Store 

This place is HUGE. It is also the wonderland of anyone who loves vintage fashion. Needless to say, I am glad I was armed with loads of cash and vacuum bags. I could spend days here. I don’t buy clothes in Australia, because this place is so cheap and amazing, that to buy an entire wardrobe and send it back to myself in Australia is cheaper than buying it in Australia. 

The clothes are from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. They also have leather products & plenty of menswear as well as womenswear .

Go to 6-31-21 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku 

Every time I went here, it was daylight. When I would leave, it was midnight. Nuff said. HAPPY SHOPPING!

Would you like to hear more from Pixie, please leave a comment below!

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