Shibuya

Shibuya is a trendy shopping district that caters to a young and upscale crowd. It’s quite a bit hipper than Ginza and the large number of restaurants, bars, and theaters in this area make it the perfect destination for a fun night on the town.

As you’re crossing the street from Shibuya station take care not to be run over while ogling the multiple huge television screens that seem to dominate the area. It’s been said that Shibuya is the home to more multi-story high TV screens than anywhere in the world.

Interesting trivia: The Tower Records in Shibuya used to be the largest record store in the world (a distinction now apparently held by the Virgin Megastore in Time Square New York). While it may no longer be the largest record store, it does feature a huge selection of music as well as a very large selection of English language books and magazines.

Ginza

Ginza (which literally means “silver mint”) is one of the largest and oldest shopping districts in Tokyo. Most of the upscale stores in this area have more in common with stores you would encounter in a modern western shopping district. There’s even an Apple store here – the first ever opened outside of the United States.

Home of the famous Ginza Lion beer hall, the district is said to feature over 400 art galleries and numerous department stores.

If you’re looking for a long day of shopping, Ginza is probably a good bet. Just remember to check your credit limit before you start your day.

Akihabara (Electric Town)

If you’ve come to Tokyo looking for a deal on a new camera or the latest consumer electronic gadget, this is the place to be. Fifty square blocks of massive electronics stores. It’s like taking a space trip and landing on planet transistor. Perhaps the most incredible part of the Akihabara experience is that so many of the stores appear absolutely identical in terms of variety and price. Also be aware that the latest computer and PC gadgets are definitely aimed at the Japanese market, so unless you feel comfortable typing in Kana, you’re not likely to find an enticing deal on the latest hand held computer.

Reader Review

I spent a whole day wandering around the Akiahbara, which is literally hundreds of small shops selling all manner of electronic parts, devices and equipment. It is the size of a whole city block, under one roof. You’ll find small shops selling everything from individual components (nothing but resisters or capacitors or transisters) to fully assembled systems of all types. If it has anything to do with electronics, You’ll find it here. We were even able to find a magnetron to use in our ship’s radar transmitter.