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Stores September, 14 2011

Tokyo Shopping Excursion – Shibuya

Today we arrived in Tokyo and started with a more extensive stroll through the Shibuya shopping area. Being the world’s most dense shopping area, you have to be prepared to work your way through the streets. Addresses are not very easy to find, but with some asking around and a map you will find most of your stores eventually.

As usual, the stores that you most look forward to see might not strike you as that amazing in reality and others that you just wanted to quickly pass by, you end up being stuck for an hour. Shibuya is only one of many other shopping districts, and while we sure missed a lot, we give you here a little report on what we did see and can recommend. Overall there is no doubt, Tokyo is a retail mecca that is hard to beat.

Check out the full review after the jump.

BAPE Shibuya - Whatever you might think of the brand today, we cannot pass through Tokyo and not go to A Bathing Ape. The Shibuya store is spacious and unlike the stores outside of Japan, you get here all styles in most sizes, meaning you can actually shop. The design by Wonderwall still makes our heads turn and is as modern as it could be. Take a look inside here.

ABC-MART – The shoe store chain has over 600 stores under its name all over Japan. As such you can imagine that it is a mass market store and it also looks like one. Cheap displays, some terrible brands, but we are in Japan and things just work a little different here. With such retail power, the retailer of course can put some pressure on the brands and therefore you find lots of exclusive colorways and material options in their offering, from brand’s including Nike, Vans, Converse, Reebok, Dr. Martens, Red Wing and others. Do not let the surroundings trick you, checking it out is definitely worth it. There is also no way you will actually miss it, they are all over Tokyo. In Shibuya we came across at least three stores alone.

Here is a look at the exclusive ABC-Mart Converse and Vans leopard fur collections that just came in.

OPENING CEREMONY Shibuya – The store and brand made its way from New York to LA and finally also to Tokyo. Forget starting small, instead they opened a massive 8 story flagship in the heart of Shibuya, carrying many brands (Alexander Wang, Kiehls, Band of Outsiders, Pendleton, etc) and of course their own brand. While we do love the interior and especially all the custom furniture, the building itself and details in the store could have been worked out better in our opinion. Also, if you can shop at OC NYC, then there is no need to pass by here. More images of the shop are available here.

PARCO PART-1 Shibuya – Just next to OC, we checked out the Parco Part-1 Shopping Center. Nothing spectacular from the outside and also in terms of interior design nothing special. Lots of brands set up shop in there, in a department store style. Overall not too impressive, if there was not a massive Comme des Garcons corner and more specifically men’s and women’s corners of Junya Watanabe Comme des Garcons. The full Fall/Winter 2011 Collection, including baseball jackets, Tricker’s collabos, Alden collabos, The North Face collabos, Levi’s and Brooks Brothers collabos, Porter and New Balance collabos – all in stock there. Just amazing and all that hidden in a very average looking shopping mall environment. Just for that already worth passing by, as its also in the ground floor.

Here an outdoor look of the BLACK Comme des Garcons are inside Parco Part-1.

SHIPS JET BLUE Shibuya – Beautiful from the outside, beautiful from the inside and a great selection. Mostly heritage inspired brands, many great exclusive products with Barbour, The North Face, Alden, Lacoste and many others. Just an all around great store for both men and women for solid, everyday fashion.

BEAMS Plus Shibuya – Another great surprise. Of course we know Beams and have many times written about product getting in there, but the store just proofed again their high profile and fantastic selection. From Saturday’s to mastermind JAPAN you can find endless great product in the good size store. Their own label product looked great as well and is of course cheaper than the brands that they carry, thus well worth looking into.

Across the street you also find a Beams T, the t-shirt store by Beams that sometimes has fun things to offer for reasonable prices.

MARGARET HOWELL Shop & Cafe Shibuya – MH presents this store in a design as clean as it can only get. Simple design, great furniture integration and display and just all around good stuff. We were surprised by all the collaborative items, especially because we saw them for the first time all in one place – Edwin denim, Converse sneakers, Barbour jackets, Porter luggage, G-Shock watches and the list goes on. The shop is filled with a delicious smell of freshly baked food, coming from the Margaret Howell Cafe next door.

Just because it was so beautiful, here a look inside the Margaret Howell store.

Freak’s Store Shibuya – Another great surprise was the Freak’s Store in Shibuya. A great selection of heritage and vintage inspired collections, filled with an excellent in house basics brand and a touch of technical outerwear. The organized mess that was going on in the store we liked the most, perfectly fitting the product on display.

BEAUTY & YOUTH Shibuya – The sub-branded store by United Arrows features a great selection of mens goods in the basement of the Shibuya store. Special installations by nonnative and FAT Tokyo made the place even more appealing. In terms of interior nice, but not impressive we would say, still worth passing through.

nano-universe Shibuya – The store looks great from the outside and has a solid interior design as well. After having reported many times already about it, we were not very impressed by the selection that we found in store. The rather mediocre in-house produced label, which takes up lots of space, put us off the most. Keep in mind, we are complaining on a high level here.

TOKYO HANDS Shibuya – We finished our Shibuya check out with Tokyo Hands. The classic Japanese Convenience store took up most of our time in the end. Floor after floor filled with bikes, cosmetics, tools, stationary, cellphone accessories and much much more. No brands, no worldclass interior designer, just a good old school Tokyo home supply store over several stories. We walked out with a full basket of exciting, cheap and useless stuff that we would not want to miss!

This was our quick shopping report from Shibuya Tokyo. Of course we missed stuff and also left some out, but hopefully these first ones were already of help. We will follow up with more in the coming days!

Photography: Highsnobiety

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