International designers’ favourite places to shop in Tokyo

Where to find everything from bespoke shoes to rare books, vintage fashion to pottery

Tokyo multibrand store Wako – a favourite of Fabrizio Buonamassa-Stigliani, senior director of Bulgari’s watch design centre
Tokyo multibrand store Wako – a favourite of Fabrizio Buonamassa-Stigliani, senior director of Bulgari’s watch design centre

Fabrizio Buonamassa-Stigliani, senior director of Bulgari’s watch design centre

Tokyo feels like many cities in one, with each prefecture having its own identity, such as Akihabara with all its electronics and comics stores. Itoya is my favourite stationery store in the world, where you can find handmade Japanese paper, inks and pens. In Ginza, I like the multibrand store Wako, which does everything from watches and clocks to food products; it was one of the few buildings in Ginza not destroyed in the second world war. Itoya, 2 Chome-7-15, Chuo-ku, 104-0061 (+813-3561 8311). Wako, 4 Chome-5-11 Ginza, Chuo-ku, 104-8105 (+813-3562 2111; wako.co.jp). 

Sonia Rykiel artistic director Julie de Libran, who loves exploring Tokyo’s vintage-fashion boutiques
Sonia Rykiel artistic director Julie de Libran, who loves exploring Tokyo’s vintage-fashion boutiques | Image: Edouard Jacquinet

Julie de Libran, artistic director of Sonia Rykiel

Daikanyama T is an amazing bookstore and coffee shop that has a brilliant selection of Japanese magazines. I also love shopping for vintage clothes in Tokyo, and Laila Vintage is one of my favourites. Last time I was there I found all these French designs from the 1960s and earlier that were reworked in Japan. Daikanyama T, 17-5 Sarugakucho, Shibuya (real.tsite.jp/daikanyama). Laila Vintage, 5-46-2 Jingumae, Shibuya (laila.jp).

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Daniel Hopwood, interior designer

Isetan is the most amazing department store. It has a whole tower block devoted to menswear. I also got obsessed with its homewares department. Local makers have small stands there for a week at a time, so it’s always changing. I bought a lot of pottery, and also discovered the best bookshop I have ever seen called Tsutaya. It’s made up of three pavilions and has a section entirely dedicated to cars, with endless books from around the world. Isetan, 3-14-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, 160-0022 (+813-3352 1111; isetan.mistore.jp). Tsutaya, 175 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku, 150-0033 (+813-3770 2525; real.tsite.jp).

Tokyo department store Isetan, which has a whole block dedicated to menswear – interior designer Daniel Hopwood also likes its homewares
Tokyo department store Isetan, which has a whole block dedicated to menswear – interior designer Daniel Hopwood also likes its homewares

Victoire de Taillac-Touhami, co-founder of Buly 1803

The shops in Shibuya-Ku are so well done, with specialist stores and vast selections – I always see something that I’ll never see anywhere else. I go to interiors store D & Department’s Shibuya Hikarie for its made-in-Japan range and excellent café and bar; and we’ll visit Wego for our kids, who are obsessed with the vast choice of fashion and jewellery on offer there. Shibuya Hikarie, 2-21-1 Shibuya, Shibuya-Ku, 150-8510 (+813-5468 5892; hikarie.jp). Wego, wego.jp

Patrick Johnson’s set of cooking knives from Kama-Asa
Patrick Johnson’s set of cooking knives from Kama-Asa | Image: Hugh Stewart

Patrick Johnson, menswear designer

I brought home a set of beautiful cooking knives from a shop called Kama-Asa. It custom-makes them with your initials carved on the blade in Japanese. 2-24-1 Matsugaya, Tatio-ku, 111-0036 (+813-3841 9357; kama-asa.co.jp).

Rodman Primack – Design Miami Basel executive director and founder of New York art and design practice RP Miller – says that Aoyama in Tokyo is one of his favourite shopping areas
Rodman Primack – Design Miami Basel executive director and founder of New York art and design practice RP Miller – says that Aoyama in Tokyo is one of his favourite shopping areas | Image: Weston Wells

Rodman Primack, Design Miami Basel executive director and founder of New York art and design practice RP Miller

Aoyama is one of my favourite shopping areas in the world. I go to Imabari for beautiful towels; I always stock up on the waffle-woven and cotton-terry varieties, as well as the simple white robes. Maison Kitsuné is a predominantly Paris-based label but with Japanese spirit, so I like to visit its Tokyo store, as well as Undercover for its well-curated menswear. And no visit is complete without a visit to Morita for antique and vintage textiles. There are so many treasures – from 18th- to 20th-century Japanese fabrics, to textiles from India and elsewhere. Imabari, Minami Aoyama, 5 Chome-3-10 Min Aoyama 1070062 (+813-6427 2941; imabaritowel.jp). Maison Kitsuné, 3-15-13 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, 107-0062 (+811-2066 7588; maisonkitsune.com). Morita, 5-12-2 Minami-Aoyama, Minato ku, U-Bahn (G02, C04), Omotesando (+813-3407 4466). Undercover, 5-3-22 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku 107-0062 (+813-5778 4805; undercoverism.com).

Maison Kitsuné – Rodman Primack enjoys visiting the label’s Tokyo outpost
Maison Kitsuné – Rodman Primack enjoys visiting the label’s Tokyo outpost

Michael Hill, creative director of Drake’s

I was delighted to find Yohei Fukuda, a remarkable Japanese shoemaker in Tokyo who trained in Northampton with some of the world’s finest cordwainers. He made me a pair of Derby boots with exquisite detailing. From about £3,400; yoheifukuda.jp.

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Gabriela Hearst, fashion designer

The Aoyama neighbourhood is great for shopping. As well as interesting Japanese brands, it has all the familiar designer labels – but the edit is different from anywhere else. My favourites are Loveless, for edgy Japanese labels; Drawer for refined womenswear; and, of course, Dover Street Market, for its huge list of established and new names. Drawer, 1F 5-12-4 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku 107-0062 (+813-5464 0226; store.united-arrows.co.jp/shop/drw/). Dover Street Market, Komatsu W, 6-9-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku 104-0061 (+813-6228 5080; doverstreetmarket.com). Loveless, 3-17-11 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku 107-0062 (+813-3401 2301; loveless-shop.jp). 

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