August 11, 2023
What’s Your Go-To Place in Tokyo?
Tokyo influencers' tips for exploring the city
By Aya Sasaki
With an influx of visitors returning to Japan, Tokyo’s influencers share with us their favorite Tokyo places to shop and hang out.
As someone who never goes anywhere without a book, my favorite store in Japan is definitely Books Kinokuniya. The branch in Shinjuku has such an incredible selection of books in foreign languages, not just English or Japanese, but other languages too! I especially love the fact that it’s super easy to find English translations of Japanese literature, and it always has all the new releases. Its frequent special offers and loyalty points system is essential if you’re a book addict like me.
My favorite store in Japan is Loft, for sure. It’s stationery heaven! Ask anyone, I am very serious about stationery and obsessive about planning my life down to the last detail. I’ve kept a bullet journal for many years which helps me keep track of my work schedule, photoshoots and as part of my mindfulness practice. So I spend a lot of time in Loft looking at pens and testing them for thickness and smudge (I’m left-handed), and stickers that’ll be fun to decorate my journals with. Loft is definitely responsible for my washi tape addiction.
My favorite store is a recent find of mine called Okadaya in Shinjuku. It’s a multi-level handicraft supply store that has everything from knitting to crocheting and cross-stitching. I like that you can find everything in one place and with so much variety. Taking up knitting as a hobby has reduced my screen time and helped me de-stress after the workweek and it’s gotten me some pretty nice scarves.
I love these weird places that Japan has to offer, so one of my favorite stores must be the muscle girls bar. It’s a fun concept bar where muscle girls serve you protein drinks and put on a show. You won’t be able to experience something like this anywhere else. They even have a training machine in there for you to work out on while you’re at it.
Tokyo is a city with endless opportunities for shopping, entertainment and eating out, and as someone who loves shopping, it’s hard to pick a favorite! One place I go to nearly every day is Family Mart. It’s famous for their fried chicken, Famichiki, but they also offer so much more. As a snack person, I love their variety of sweets and snacks, and that they change their assortment with every season or holiday. Sometimes they do anime-themed collaborations, which is also exciting. As someone from Germany, where we don’t have convenience stores, I simply love that I can go out in the middle of the night and buy my favorite chocolate if I wanted to.
I’m obsessed with Yodobashi Camera. In a world where we can buy almost everything online, you still can’t beat just going in and trying something out before you put any money down. When I started photography, I would go to Yodobashi and try all the cameras to see if they felt good in my hands or had the best features. I would also look at all the lenses and dream about being able to afford them one day. I’ve now found my dream camera, but I still enjoy just going to Yodobashi and playing with what’s on offer.
My favorite store by far is Kiki2 in Koenji (people who watch my channel won’t be surprised). Not only is it decorated like a dream, with pink walls and vintage toys, but the items they sell always leave me with empty pockets. Some favorites I got from them include a pastel purple sweater with mint green details and floral designs, and a floral quilted jacket with lace details. It’s a thrift store, and usually these are super expensive here, but their prices are so reasonable in comparison, so I always end up buying something (even if I didn’t intend to). On top of all that, the staff are super nice and always remember me. I even got permission to film there once! I recommend it to anyone who wants to be whisked away into a pastel world and thrift adorable pieces in Japan.