Specialty retailers

Art bookstores and museum shops

GA Gallery - Art gallery: Sendagaya
[Open noon-6:30pm daily.]
Despite their compact gallery space, the Global Architecture Gallery puts on some excellent exhibitions focusing on contemporary Japanese and international architecture. There's also a very well stocked architecture bookstore.
Gallery 5 - Bookstore: Hatsudai
[Open 10:45am-7pm (Fri, Sat -8pm). Closed Mondays.]
Run by the NADiff chain of art bookstores, Gallery 5 serves as the museum shop for the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery. In addition to art books they also carry an interesting selection of experimental music as well as arty toys.
Gallery Ma - Art gallery: Nogizaka
[Open 11am-6pm (Fri -7pm). Closed Sun, Mon.]
Established by Toto, the manufacturer of bathroom appliances, Gallery Ma is a small two-story gallery located above their Nogizaka showroom. They specialize in modern architecture and contemporary design, with frequent exhibitions devoted to...
Nadiff Contemporary - Bookstore: Kiyosumi-Shirakawa
[Open 10am-6pm. Closed Mondays.]
The museum shop of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (MOT) is part of the NADiff chain of art bookstores.
Nadiff Modern - Bookstore: Shibuya
[Open 10am-9pm daily.]
Domestic and imported art books are the specialty at NADiff (the name is short for "New Art Diffusion"), and the collection here covers such diverse genres as photography, architecture, film, theater and music. The shop is attached to the art...
Nadiff a/p/a/r/t - Bookstore: Ebisu
[Open noon-8pm daily.]
A well-stocked bookstore specializing in contemporary art, photography, architecture and design. After you're done browsing here you can drop in to three or four small contemporary-art galleries that share the building with the bookstore.
On Sundays - Retail: Gaienmae
[Open 11am-8pm. Closed Mondays.]
Located next to the Watarium Museum's exhibition space, the museum bookstore has an impressive selection of imported art books, nicely printed art postcards, and various items notable for their design. There's a small cafe space downstairs.
Shimada Yosho - Bookstore: Omotesando
[Open 11am-8pm daily.]
Despite its ultra-fashionable location nestled among high-priced clothing shops, Shimada feels like a comfortable, old-style browsing bookstore, with narrow aisles and towering shelves piled high with gorgeous large-format coffee-table-suitable...

Other bookstores

Ohya Shobo - Bookstore: Jimbocho
[Open 10am-6pm. Closed Sundays.]
This antiquarian bookseller in the heart of the Jimbocho bookstore district is a great place to purchase, or just look at, antique ukiyo-e woodblock prints.
Tsutaya - Bookstore: Daikanyama
[Open 7am-2am daily.]
Run by the video-rental chain Tsutaya, this very large, impressively well-stocked book and music store serves as the anchor for the upscale Daikanyama T-Site shopping complex. The centerpiece of the shop is a luxuriously appointed lounge-bar area...
Tsutaya Tokyo Roppongi - Bookstore: Azabu-Juban
[Open 7am-4am daily.]
Booksellers in Japan have a generous tradition of letting their customers stand and read books at length before buying (or not buying), but the Tsutaya chain of book/record stores have gone one better than most. In their new Roppongi store, they...

Toys, hobbies, anime/manga-related

Anpanman Children's Museum and Mall - Museum: Yokohama Minato-mirai
[Open museum 10am-6pm (enter by 5pm); mall -7pm; restaurant -8pm (LO 7pm) daily.]
Aimed squarely at the six-and-under crowd, this popular mini-museum and shopping mall are devoted to the cartoon-pastry hero and his many plush and collectible friends. The main reason to fork over Y1000 for the museum entrance fee is probably the...
Anpanman Shop - Retail: Yotsuya 3-chome
[Open noon-6pm daily.]
A shop devoted to the bean-jam-pastry hero and immensely popular children's cartoon character Anpanman, with thousands of different character items on sale.
Legoland - Attraction: Daiba
[Open 10am-9pm (enter by 7pm) daily.]
The Legoland Discovery Center is a mini-theme park inside the Tokyo Decks shopping complex, offering fun activities and charming attractions for visitors of all ages. There are a couple of entertaining rides, a 3D adventure movie, and hands-on...
Line Friends Store - Retail: Harajuku
[Open 11am-9pm (Sat, Sun 10-9) daily.]
Cartoon bears are of course an important part of daily life in Japan, and the most ubiquitous of these is probably Brown, the salmon-loving mascot of LINE, Japan's (and Asia's) most popular instant-messaging service, with 700 million users...
Mandarake Complex - Retail: Akihabara
[Open noon-8pm daily.]
A Mecca for manga maniacs, Mandarake carries a huge selection of toys, figurines and other collectibles as well as new and used comics.
Mandarake Shibuya - Retail: Shibuya
[Open noon-8pm daily.]
This conveniently located outlet of the comic-book specialty store carries action figures and toys, videos and music, and hundreds of thousands of comic books, both new and used.
Nakano Broadway - Shopping complex: Nakano
[Open noon-8pm daily.]
The ground floor of Nakano Broadway looks like a typical neighborhood arcade - dozens of shops selling handbags, sneakers, pet supplies and so on. But step onto the escalator and prepare to enter a different world - a warren of tiny,...
Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo - Retail: Ikebukuro
[Open 10am-8pm daily.]
Open since the end of 2014, this mega-shop offers the biggest selection of Pokemon goods in Japan, including lots of limited-edition items. You'll find everything from Pokemon-themed ramen, curry and candies to tableware, slippers and stationery. ...
Popondetta Akihabara - Retail: Akihabara
[Open noon-8:30pm. Closed 3rd Wed.]
The highlight of this model-railroad shop is a giant Tokyo-inspired track layout that takes up most of the second floor. Customers can rent one of several tracks by the hour, and either rent a model train here or bring their own.
Tintin Shop - Retail: Harajuku
[Open 11:30am-7pm daily.]
A well-stocked shop devoted to the beloved Belgian comic-book hero and his dog, Snowy.
Tokyo Toy Museum - Museum Shop Apty - Retail: Yotsuya 3-chome
[Open 10am-4pm. Closed Thursdays.]
The gallery shop at the Tokyo Toy Museum is worth a stop on its own, whether or not your're visiting the museum. They carry an intriguing selection of beautifully designed wooden toys, Russian nesting dolls, unusual games and unique small toys...

Furniture and housewares

Herman Miller Store - Retail: Marunouchi
[Open 11:30am-8pm.]
Run by the well-known US furniture manufacturer, the Herman Miller Store offers ergonomically designed chairs and office furniture, lighting equipment and stationery.
Ikea - Retail: Minami-Funabashi
[Open 11am-7:30pm daily.]
This branch of the giant Swedish retailer is convenient to the train station and located nearby the huge Lalaport shopping mall.
Ikea - Retail: Saitama-ken
[Open 10am-9pm daily.]
This branch of Ikea is located next to the Lalacity shopping mall at Shin-Misato station; there's also a branch of Costco at the other end of the mall. A shuttle bus links Costco, Ikea, the mall and the train station, although it's not that far to...
Ikea - Retail: Tachikawa
[Open 10am-9pm (Sat, Sun 9am-) daily.]
The first Tokyo branch of Swedish housewares shop Ikea is convenient to JR Tachikawa station - about a twelve-minute walk, or just five minutes from Takamatsu station on the Tachikawa monorail line. The restaurant is more popular than average for...
Ikea - Retail: Yokohama
[Open 10am-9pm daily.]
One of three Tokyo-area branches of the Swedish retailer, Ikea Yokohama is spread out over two levels and offers the usual selection of housewares. Free shuttle buses run from JR Shin-Yokohama every thirty minutes on weekdays and every twenty...
Tokyo Design Center - Notable building: Gotanda
[Most shops open 10am-6pm; closed Wednesdays.]
Designed by Italian architect Mario Bellini, the Tokyo Design Center was completed in 1991. The most prominent feature is a galleria passageway that cuts upward through the building diagonally, leading to a garden area sitting on a steep hill behind...

Kitchenware and tableware

Aritsugu - Knife shop: Tsukiji
[Open 6am-3pm. Closed Sundays, Tsukiji market holidays.]
This smaller, Tokyo outpost of the famous Kyoto-based knife shop Aritsugu is popular with chefs, and is one of several choices for professional knives in the Tsukiji Outer Market area.
Found Muji - Retail: Omotesando
[Open 11am-9pm (Sun -8pm) daily.]
Found Muji is a concept brand from the design-savvy retailer, reprenting a collection of simple but elegant products and designs discovered by Muji trend-hunters in various parts of the world. Muji then teams up with the craftsmen or small...
Fukui Minami Aoyama 291 - Retail: Omotesando
[Open 11am-9pm daily.]
Unlike most prefectural antenna shops, this spacious, attractively appointed store specializes in local handicrafts more than food and drink, and it's well worth visiting just for its pottery selection. You'll also find beautiful glassware, paper...
Japan Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square - Retail: Aoyama 1-chome
[Open 11am-7pm daily.]
The Traditional Craft Center in Aoyama offers handy one-stop shopping for a range of Japanese crafts. It's all here and it's all for sale - from pottery, lacquerware and carving knives for your everyday needs to more esoteric washi (paper...
Kamata Knife Shop - Knife shop: Asakusa
[Open 10am-6pm (Sun 12:30-5:30pm). Open every day.]
Patronized by both professional chefs and home cooks, Kamata uses traditional methods to craft their knives, offering more than 800 different items for sale. It's also a good place to buy whetstones, which make nice gifts for any chefs in your...
Kiya Knife Shop - Knife shop: Nihonbashi
[Open 10am-8pm daily.]
Established in 1792 and still going strong, Kiya sells an amazing variety of kitchen knives, including ones crafted specifically for cutting fugu, salmon, soba noodles and vegetables. They carry seven different styles of eel knife alone. They also...
Koncent - Retail: Asakusabashi
[Open 11am-7pm. Closed Mondays.]
With its inspiring collection of housewares, stationery and assorted knickknacks from up-and-coming designers, Koncent is a fun shop to browse even if you don't need anything. There's a tiny branch of the locally famous Sol's cafe up front if you...
Kuroeya - Retail: Nihonbashi
[Open 9am-5pm. Closed weekends.]
Gorgeous soup and salad bowls, bento boxes, trays and other items for the table are sold at this lacquerware specialty shop. In addition to traditional styles they also offer modern interpretations of the classics, including lovely silver-colored...
Masamoto - Knife shop: Tsukiji
[Open 6am-3pm. Closed Sundays, Tsukiji market holidays.]
Befitting this shop's location on the outskirts of Tsukiji's wholesale food market, the vast majority of Masamoto's customers are professional chefs. Cleavers, sashimi knives, small fruit knives - they're all here, and the shop also provides...
Midette - Retail: Mitsukoshimae
[Open 11am-8pm (Sat, Sun -6pm) daily.]
In addition to the usual local food and booze, this large prefectural antenna shop offers a good assortment of crafts - tableware, glassware, wooden dolls and other decorative items - all made in Fukushima. The sake refrigerators - showcasing more...
Rin - Retail: Ochanomizu
[Open 11am-8pm (Sun -6pm) daily.]
Feeling a bit like a modern-art museum gift shop, Rin offers a well-curated collection of design-conscious goods from around Japan, with an emphasis on traditional craftsmen with a modern aesthetic sensibility. They've put together a good selection...
Sugimoto Cutlery - Knife shop: Tsukiji
[Open 7am-4pm. Closed Sundays, Tsukiji market holidays.]
Dating back to the 1930s, Sugimoto started as a metalsmith specializing in swords and knives. Today they produce Western knives and Chinese cleavers as well as traditional Japanese knives made with Japanese carbon steel. They also carry a variety...

Crafts

Aki-Oka - Shopping complex: Akihabara
[Open 11am-7pm. Closed Wednesdays.]
Officially known as "2k540 Aki-Oka Artisan," this is a complex of galleries, boutiques and workshops for artisans of both traditional and modern crafts. Lined up under the JR railroad tracks are some two dozen shops selling (and often making...
Bingoya - Retail: Wakamatsu-Kawada
[Open 10am-7pm. Closed Mondays.]
The main draw at this long-running folk craft store is probably their extensive selection of pottery - dishes, bowls and other tableware in various styles and price ranges - as well as a smaller selection of bamboo and lacquerware for the table. ...
Japan Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square - Retail: Aoyama 1-chome
[Open 11am-7pm daily.]
The Traditional Craft Center in Aoyama offers handy one-stop shopping for a range of Japanese crafts. It's all here and it's all for sale - from pottery, lacquerware and carving knives for your everyday needs to more esoteric washi (paper...
Midette - Retail: Mitsukoshimae
[Open 11am-8pm (Sat, Sun -6pm) daily.]
In addition to the usual local food and booze, this large prefectural antenna shop offers a good assortment of crafts - tableware, glassware, wooden dolls and other decorative items - all made in Fukushima. The sake refrigerators - showcasing more...
Origami Kaikan - Retail: Ochanomizu
[Open 9:30am-6pm. Closed Sundays.]
A combination retail store, gallery space and educational facility devoted to the Japanese art of paper folding. After being inspired by assorted origami works on the gallery floor you can see how origami paper is dyed and painted in the...
Rin - Retail: Ochanomizu
[Open 11am-8pm (Sun -6pm) daily.]
Feeling a bit like a modern-art museum gift shop, Rin offers a well-curated collection of design-conscious goods from around Japan, with an emphasis on traditional craftsmen with a modern aesthetic sensibility. They've put together a good selection...
Sumida Machidokoro - Retail: Oshiage
[Open 10am-9pm daily.]
Showcasing traditional and modern crafts local to the Sumida-ku area (where Tokyo Skytree is located), this attractive shop sells glassware, traditional food items, chopsticks and bowls, knives and scissors, and goods made from wood, leather and...

Other specialties

Spiral Building - Notable building: Omotesando
Pritzker Prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki designed this Aoyama landmark, which was completed in 1985. There is an excellent design shop on the second floor.
Fujiya Camera - Retail: Nakano
[Open 10am-8:30pm daily.]
Simply one of the best camera shops in town, this 70-year-old shop sells used and new equipment at very competitive prices, with knowledgeable, unpressured service. Nikons are upstairs, Canons are on the ground floor, and there's a "junk" branch...
Maizuru - Retail: Asakusa
[Open 9am-6pm daily.]
Although the custom is not as popular as it once was, some restaurants in Japan still show off plastic food models in their display windows to entice passersby. Maizuru is where they buy them. You can purchase realistic-looking plastic...
MoMA Design Store - Retail: Harajuku
[Open 11am-8pm daily.]
More than 1800 very tasteful items are stocked at this museum shop from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Everything from stylish lamps to clever wristwatches to stationery and kitchenware. The selection also includes a number of items...
Murjirushi Ryohin - Retail: Marunouchi
[Open 10am-9pm daily.]
Muji's gigantic flagship store near Yurakucho station has been recreated as a specialty bookstore. It still houses the usual retail departments, selling simply designed furnishings, housewares, clothing, stationery and even food, but now undulating...
Murjirushi Ryohin - Retail: Shinjuku
[Open 11am-9pm daily.]
Somewhat smaller than the flagship store near Yurakucho, this branch of the popular "no-brand" shop is still quite large, selling simply designed housewares and clothing and housing an outlet of the Meal Muji cafe in the basement.
Pigment - Retail: Tennozu Isle
[Open 11am-8pm. Closed Mondays, Thursdays.]
Tokyo's most gorgeous art supply store, designed by architect Kengo Kuma, may tempt you to pick up a paintbrush, just for an excuse to shop here. The wall of pigments took a full week of chromatic coordination to get right, and they stock more than...
Terada Mokei - Retail: Shimo-Kitazawa
[Open 11:30am-7pm. Closed weekdays.]
Although they started out providing 1/100th-scale cut-out figures to be used in architectural models, Terada has greatly expanded their line-up to cater to scale-model hobbyists, offering kits that feature miniature animals, sports settings,...
Tokyu Hands Ikebukuro - Retail: Ikebukuro
[Open 10am-8pm daily.]
The incredible variety of merchandise here includes everything imaginable for outdoor explorers, campers, artists, craftsman, amateur chefs, and home repairmen. Even if you're not buying anything, it's always an entertaining place to browse around....
Tokyu Hands Shibuya - Retail: Shibuya
[Open 10am-8:30pm daily.]
Here in the well-stocked original branch of the popular craft and hobbyist store you'll find everything from science-lab equipment and art supplies to woodworking tools and lumber. There's a large stationery department, and a decent selection of...
Tokyu Hands Shinjuku - Retail: Shinjuku
[Open 10am-8:30pm daily.]
This popular "do-it-yourself" shop stocks a good selection of curtains, lamps, gardening tools, kitchen utensils, bicycles, cosmetics, costumes, drills and power tools, picture frames, notebooks and clocks.