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What does music mean to you? It is said that music is a universal language that is able to break through language and culture barriers.  It is even said that music is a medicine that can heal people’s hearts.  Listening to music may be like traveling through a time tunnel, re-triggering our past memories.  When a song is heard a personal experience of the past might be relived.  Music may allow you to sympathize with others.  No matter what music means to you, it always has the miraculous power to bind people together. If you are a music lover, you should go to Ochanomizu and find a store and come play a song or two, or you even buy a new guitar in Japan.  In this article, I want to take you to Tokyo music instrument stores at Ochanomizu and introduce five instrument stores to you.

By the way, Ochanomizu is the most popular music street in Tokyo. You can find diverse music instruments on this street.

Tokyo Music Instrument Stores: Guitar Planet

Tokyo Music Instrument Stores: Guitar Planet

As you can see the name of the store, all of its products are guitars. There are three stores lining up together in Ochanomizu. One of the stores exclusively sells electric guitars and bass guitars. In the store, you might notice a word, 中古, which means, “second hand.” If you are looking for a cheap guitar, Guitar Planet offers guitars for as low as 10,000 yen (100 USD).

Tokyo Music Instrument Stores: Guitar Planet 2

There is a different store that only sells acoustic guitars.  The selling point of this store is the unique Japanese brands such as Headway and Takamine. If you want a guitar that is made in Japan, come to this store. In addition, most of the staff there speak English.  If you have any questions regarding the guitars you can ask.

Finally, Guitar Planet (Ukulele Planet) branch also provides ukulele services. If playing the guitar is too difficult for you we can play the ukulele together.  With only 4 strings and less chords to memorize, its makes playing easier than the guitar.

Guitar Planet Information

You can visit the official website here. Website (Japanese). Follow Guitar Planet on social media at Facebook (English) and Twitter (Japanese).

Hours of Operation: 11:00~20:00

Big Boss

Tokyo Music Instrument Stores: Big Boss

There are four stores at Ochanomizu. I want to introduce to you the sound liner store, a specialty store for electronic guitar musicians. If you are an electric guitar musician, you will want to come here.  Big Boss provides guitar amplifiers, guitar effect pedals, pedal tuners, mic preamps, etc., to customers.   This is equipment necessary for live performances.  Besides fingerpicking and memorizing chords, personal solo and special effects are indispensable skills possessed by professional guitar players. In addition, if you accidentally break your guitar, Big Boss offers repair services. As the Chinese people say, “If a workman wishes to do a good job, he must first sharpen his tools.” Coming to the store is your initial step to be a successful guitar musician.

Big Boss Information

You can visit the official website here. Website (English). Follow Guitar Planet on social media at Facebook (Japanese) and Twitter (Japanese).

Hours of Operation:

Weekday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Weekend and Holidays: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

 

Ishibashi Music Drum Store

Tokyo Music Instrument Stores: Drum Store

The percussionists are the soul of a band. They are the signal-senders who initiate a song, provide transitional signals, and conclude a song by hitting the crash cymbal.  Ishibashi is a store that is specifically for drummers and percussionists. This store also provides a private drum kit studio for individual practices.   You can play in the room without any interruptions.   You can select a snare drum and ask a staff member to assist in setting up in the studio.  You don’t feel embarrassed if you are not an expert of drums; no one will laugh at you.  

Ishibashi Music Drum Store Information

You can visit the official website here. Website (English). Follow Ishibashi Music Drum Store on social media at Facebook (Japanese) and Twitter (Japanese).

Hours of Operation:

Monday to Saturday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Sunday and Holiday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

 

Shimokura-Gakki – Violin and Wind instrument Specialty Stores

Tokyo Music Instrument Stores: 下倉

Are you a jazz lover? Do you love listening to blues or gospel? Maybe you are a jazz musician.  Upright bass, saxophone, and trumpet are the essential elements of Jazz. I believe that playing music is similar to cooking. You might have the same meat as others have, but you decide the way you would like to cook; the seasoning you add on the ingredient and the sauces you put on the dish.  Likewise, playing the same songs can have different interpretations. Although Shimokura-Gakki also sells guitars, violin and wind instruments are one of their selling points. If you don’t like jazz music this store has  some violins as well. Shimokura-Gakki doesn’t disappoint.

Tokyo Music Instrument Stores:下倉Violin

Shimokura-Gakki – Violin and Wind instrument Specialty Stores Information

You can visit the official website here. Website (Engish) (Violin) (Wind instrument). Follow Shimokura-Gakki on social media at Facebook (Japanese) and Twitter (Japanese).

Hours of Operation:

Monday to Saturday: 10:40 a.m. – 7:25 p.m.

Sunday and Holidays: 10:10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

For your convenience, here are the list of locations.

 

Disk Union

Tokyo Music Instrument Stores: Disk Union

Our last station is Disk Union. No doubt that we all are reminiscent in some points. There are some preeminent songs that can penetrate humans’ hearts disregarding the time until it slips by. You might not be a musician, but you can be a music lover. In this store, you are not required to have any particular skill, but have ears to listen songs. There are many CDs that cannot be found in any other place in Japan, but you can find them here.  You can even find gramophone records and record players. 

Disk Union Information

You can visit the official website here. Website (Engish). Follow Shimokura-Gakki on social media at Facebook (Japanese) and Twitter (Japanese).

Hours of Operation:

Monday to Saturday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Sunday and Holidays: 11:00 a.m. – 8 p.m.

 

If there is no music, there is no meaning of life. Please come and visit these Tokyo music instrument stores.

March 27, 2017 0 comment
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Hi! I’m Tracy, and I love anime and manga!

Do you know “Dragon Ball,” “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” and “Gundam”? I bet you have heard at least one of them before! Anime as an art form aesthetic that has reached out from Japan to influence animation and live-action films worldwide. That’s why you were attracted by the title and are reading this article right now!

When someone mentions “anime spots,” most people would think of Akihabara. But there are also some incredible anime spots near where I live in Ikebukuro, and I’m going to tell you all about them!

 

Tokyo Anime and Manga: ANi★CUTE

ANi CUTE3 Tokyo anime and manga spots

ANi★CUTE is an official shop of NIPPON ANIMATION. At ANi★CUTE, you can buy cute goods based on “Chibi Maruko-chan” and “Rascal the Raccoon.” Kids in Japan love these popular anime shows!

You can visit the ANi★CUTE’s Website (via Google translate) for more information. If you want to visit them in person, they are an 8-minute walk from Ikebukuro JR Station (East exit), on the 2nd floor of Sunshine City ALPA. Click on the map below for walking directions!

Sunshine City Tokyo anime and manga spots

TORA NO ANA

TORA NO ANA is one of the top 3 anime stores in Japan. They focus on selling dōjinshi, which are self-published works fan fiction.

There are actually two TORA NO ANA stores in Ikebukuro. Store A is male-oriented and and store B is female-oriented. Be careful! You may become embarrassed if you go into the wrong store.  TORA NO ANA sells adult dōjinshi, and there is no special section where they are by themselves.

TORA NO ANA A2 Tokyo anime and manga spots

Tora no ana Tokyo anime and manga spots

TORA NO ANA (male oriented)

tora no ana Tokyo anime and manga spots tora no ana Tokyo anime and manga spots

TORA NO ANA (female oriented)

You can visit the TORA NO ANA’s website (via Google Translate) or follow the male oriented store on Twitter (via Google Translate). If you want to see the female side, you can visit their Twitter (via Google Translate), too! Both are close to Ikebukuro JR Station, and you can find them by clicking on the map above.

 

NAMJATOWN

namjatown Tokyo anime and manga spotsNAMJATOWN is Namco’s theme park for gyoza (Japanese dumplings) and ice cream. Don’t ask why, it’s Japanese! You can have a nice afternoon eating and enjoying the different cartoon attractions! Throughout the year there are special events held in collaboration with popular anime like “Yuri on Ice” or “Osomatsu-kun.” It’s fun!

You can visit the NAMJATOWN’s Website for more information. A little tip to save your money is that buying “Namja After3 Passport”(Unlimited Attractions Pass after 3:00pm) for ¥2,300 helps you save ¥300!  The NAMJATOWN is an 8-minute walk from Ikebukuro JR Station (East exit), 2F of Sunshine City World Import Mart Building, click on the map below for walking directions!

LASHINBANG (らしんばん)

Locating on the Otome Road – a street in Ikebukuro where shops are female oriented(Otome-Kei 乙女系), LASHINBANG is the largest store that specializes in second-hand anime goods. From tiny goods like badges to figures and cushions, you can find anime goods which are not popular anymore. Or sometimes you can find rare goods selling at a lower price here! They have 5 branches  in Ikebukuro, and the following are three stores on the Otome Road.

lashinbang Tokyo anime and manga spotsThe 2-floor LASHINBANG Main Store sells both male and female oriented goods – that means all kinds of anime! You can visit the Main Store Website (via Google Translate) or follow them on Twitter (via Google translate).

lashinbang Tokyo anime and manga spots

The LASHINBANG 2nd Store focuses on female oriented goods and anime CDs. You can visit the their Website (via Google Translate) or follow them on Twitter (via Google translate) .

lashinbang Tokyo anime and manga spotslashinbang Tokyo anime and manga spotsThe LASHINBANG Cosplay Store is on 4F of Animate Sunshine and is full of cosplay costumes and accessories. You can visit their Website (via Google Translate) or follow them on Twitter (via Google translate) .

All of these 3 stores are a 7-minute walk from Ikebukuro JR Station (East exit). Click on the map above for walking directions!

 

ACOS

You can buy everything you need for cosplay in one shop – costumes, wigs, color contact lenses, and even cosmetics are all here! No matter if you are a beginner or are experienced in cosplaying, just come here and you’ll truly enjoy the cosplayers paradise! You can visit the ACOS Website (via Google translate) for more information. If you want to come and buy cosplay stuff, the store is a 7-minute walk from Ikebukuro JR Station (East exit), on the 2nd ~ 3rd floor of animate Sunshine. Click on the map below for walking directions!

 

P’PARCO

Not just for stores of famous teenager Japanese fashion brands, P’PARCO is also a shopping mall. Inside is the headquarters of the big video sharing website “NicoNico” and anime goods stores.

EVANGELION STORE

evangelion store Tokyo anime and manga spots

The official store for Evangelion and fans will be crazy for the limited items here!
Rejet shoprejet shop Tokyo anime and manga spots
The Rejet shop is the filled with goods of Otome-Kei anime produced by the Rejet.co, which mainly focusing on games and drama CDs.

THE CHARA SHOP (THEキャラSHOP)the chara shop Tokyo anime and manga spots
The Chara is an online shop for wide variety anime goods. Events collaborating with different anime are held in this physical store and you can buy limited goods here!

Dash Store (ダッシュストア)dash store Tokyo anime and manga spots

Anime collaborated events are held in a short period (that’s why it’s called “Dash Store”), have a grasp of time to get the limited items of your favorite anime here!
Limited Baselimited base Tokyo anime and manga spots
A store that full of “limited” collaborated items which you can only find here!

p'parco Tokyo anime and manga spots

You can visit the P’PARCO’s Website (via Google translate) for more information. The shopping mall is right next to Ikebukuro JR Station (East exit), click on the map below for walking directions!

 

K-BOOKS

K-BOOKS is a store chain selling anime goods from old things to newest popular things. There are 13 stores in Ikebukuro, and all of them have different in themes, such as games, otome-kei, idols, etc! Here are two of them located on the Otome Road. Believe me, you won’t want to leave the store once you entered it (like me)!

k-books anime & live Tokyo anime and manga spots
The K-BOOKS Anime & Live Store are in the same building where you can find goods of all types of anime on 1F and idol anime on 2F. You can visit the Anime Store Website (via Google translate) or the Live Store Website(via Google translate) to have more information.

k-books otome Tokyo anime and manga spots

The Otome Store is only a few steps away from the Anime & Live Store that hundreds of otome-kei games and anime can be found here. You can visit the Otome Store Website (via Google translate) to have more information. Both of the stores are a 7-minute walk from Ikebukuro JR Station (East exit) and opposite to the Sunshine City, that means you can go there for shopping after buying anime goods!

 

POKEMON CENTER MEGA TOKYO

pokemon center Tokyo anime and manga spotsIt’s the largest Pokémon Center in Japan! A huge range of goods can be found here. Are you dreaming of becoming a Pokémon master?

Besides Pikachu, you can meet other Pokémon here and “catch” them all to take home! Check the Pokémon Center’s Website and take a 8-minute walk from Ikebukuro JR Station (East exit), 2F of Sunshine City Alpa to see how amazing here is! Click on the map below for walking directions!

 

J-WORLD TOKYOj-world Tokyo anime and manga spots

J-WORLD is a theme park for Shonen Jump, which is the most popular manga magazine in the world. At J-WORLD, you can take photos with the famous manga characters in Shonen Jump such as Son Goku from “Dragon Ball,” Luffy from “One Piece,” Naruto from“Naruto,” and much more!

A warning for you: make sure to come with your stomach empty, because you are going to try the original menu with designs from your favorite manga here!

Another tip to help you travel cheaper is that you can buy tickets online in advance with a ¥100 discount or buy a Night Passport (Unlimited Attractions Pass after 5:00pm) for¥1,800 (you save ¥800)!

Check J-WORLD’s Website or Twitter (via Google translate) or Facebook (via Google translate) for more information! The characters are waiting you at the 3F of the Sunshine City World Import Mart Building, which is an 8-minute walk from Ikebukuro JR Station (East exit). Click on the map below for walking directions!

ANIMATE IKEBUKURO

animate ikebukuro Tokyo anime and manga spotsThe animate Ikebukuro is a 9-floor store with anime goods and an anime-collaborated cafe. It is the largest anime goods store in the world. It is famous not only because of the large stock of anime-related items, but also for the events held here such as anime exhibitions, autograph sessions of illustrators, and talk shows with voice actors.

When you step into animate, it’s just like you have entered into an  anime world where anime-related things are everywhere! You can definitely spend half a day exploring it! Visit animate Ikebukuro’s Website or Twitter (via Google translate) to find out what’s new! It is a 5-minute walk from Ikebukuro JR Station (East exit), and you can easily find it by its recognizable logo on a tall building. Click on the map below for walking directions!

 

So you can see that there are many must-go places for anime fans in Ikebukuro. All of them are full of “treasures”! Make sure to visit!

February 17, 2017 0 comment
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Supreme streetwear

Japanese streetwear has largely been an underground movement since its creation in the early 1990s. Only within the last few years has this style trend caught on with a larger and more global audience. By definition, “Streetwear” is a unique, trend-conscious style of clothing that is typically released in small quantities through select, exclusive channels. Streetwear pieces themselves are comfortable and casual, including jeans, t-shirts and baseball hats. Most streetwear designs are influenced by military, hip-hop and skateboarding looks. Here is our list of the top Japanese streetwear brands you should check out to update your wardrobe!

 

Japanese Streetwear: A Bathing Ape (BAPE)

BAPE streetwear

With locations all over the world, A Bathing Ape (BAPE) is a world-famous lifestyle and street-wear brand. Their designs are bright and colorful and are known for their signature take on the camouflage print as well as the iconic Bathing Ape monkey on their apparel. They often collaborate with other famous brands like Star Wars, Pepsi and Coca Cola. Their designs are perfect for men, women and children, but can be expensive, with prices ranging from $50-$500. Check out our article on BAPE here!  

 

Beams

BEAMS is one of the most famous Japanese clothing brands with stores all across Japan, Tokyo and worldwide. The BEAMS brand is known for their BEAMS T street-wear line and Ray BEAMS for women. BEAMS offers a variety of fashionable attire as well as custom tailored pieces. Beams is always up to date on what is popular and trendy. Their lines encompass a wide array of styles, which are perfect for men, women and children. Check out our article on Beams here!

 

Billionaire Boys Club (BBC) and Ice Cream

Billionaire Boys Club streetwear

Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream were both established in 2005 by Pharell Williams and Nigo, the founder of Undercover and A Bathing Ape. BBC designs are typical of Tokyo streetwear fashions, including t-shirts, jeans, jackets and sneakers. The pieces are produced in very small quantities and are usually fairly expensive, with t-shirts costing 5,000 yen.

You can visit the Billionaire Boys Club website (Japanese-English mix) and check them out on Facebook (Japanese), Twitter (via Google Translate), or Instagram. If you like what you see, check out their Online Store (English).

Nearest Station: 5-minute walk from Meiji-jingumae Station (click on the Google Map for walking directions)

Hours of Operation: Open everyday 12:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

 

Comme des Garcons

Comme des Garcons streetwear

Comme des Garcons is a Tokyo-based, Paris-inspired fashion label by Rei Kawakubo. From runway fashions to street-ready designs, Comme des Garcons has stayed globally relevant since its start in 1969.  If cutting-edge style and atmosphere are what you’re after, then there is no other destination in Tokyo than Comme des Garcons. When visiting the Gyre Mall Shibuya location, look out for the Play Box store (pictured above) – a small pop-up store with a limited selection of apparel!

Website (English) ||| Facebook (Japanese) ||| Twitter (English) ||| Instagram ||| Online Store (Dover Street Market; English)

Nearest Station: 8-minute walk from Harajuku Station (inside the Gyre Building) (click on the Google Map for walking directions)

Hours of Operation: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

 

Hysteric Glamour

Hysteric Glamour is one of the edgier designer Japanese streetwear clothing brands. Rocking a 1960s retro theme, their T-shirts and tops feature graphics on topics ranging from classic bands to old cars. They offer jeans, T-shirts, cardigans, and dresses as well as some menswear. Their name was even mentioned by Gwen Stefani in her famous song about Japan titled, “Harajuku Girls”. Hysteric Glamour has 51 stores in Japan and is perfect for men and women. Check out our article on Hysteric Glamour here!

 

Issey Miyake

Issey Miyake streetwear

Issey Miyake is regarded as one of the most internationally famous Japanese designers. Miyake’s pieces are a combination of Japanese concepts, mixing simple designs with modern and futuristic fabrics and techniques. Made for both runway and everyday, Miyake designs can be seen on sophisticated and street fashionistas alike.

Website (English) ||| Facebook (US English site) ||| Twitter (US English site) ||| Instagram

Locations: Multiple locations in Tokyo, find a store here.

 

Muji

Muji streetwear

“Muji” (“no brand” in Japanese) is known worldwide for their minimalist, quality clothing and reasonably-priced home furnishings. Muji carries lines of simple clothing for men, women and children in neutral colors, patterns and styles. The goal at Muji is to have the finest selection products made from quality materials, and to simplify the process and packaging of the goods they sell. Muji is a great one-stop-shop to update your Japanese streetwear selection. Check out our article on Muji here!

 

Neighborhood (NBHD)

Neighborhood streetwear

Neighborhood (or NBHD) is one of the founding brands of the Japanese streetwear movement. Started by Shinsuke Takizawa in 1994, NBHD clothing includes t-shirts, sweats, flannels and jackets with a distinct motorcycle gang-style influence. Recent collections feature more military and preppy designs, but are still recognizable as NBHD.

Website (English) ||| Twitter (English) ||| Instagram ||| Online Store (English)

Nearest Station: 3-minute walk from Meiji-jingumae Station (click on the Google Map for walking directions)

Hours of Operation: Everyday 12:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

 

Onitsuka Tiger

Onitsuka Tiger streetwear

 

One of the most important items to pack for Tokyo is a good pair of walking shoes, but if you’re in need or just want a new pair of shoes, head over to Onitsuka Tiger! As one of the oldest and most reliable sneaker brands in Japan, Onitsuka Tiger offers fashionable styles for both men and women. If you find yourself in Harajuku or Shibuya, be sure to visit a store and pick up an item from a 100% Japanese made label. Check out our article on Onitsuka Tiger here!

 

Supreme

Supreme streetwear

Supreme is a NYC-based skateboarding clothing brand with multiple store locations across Tokyo (Harajuku, Daikanyama & Shibuya) and the rest of Japan (Nagoya, Osaka & Fukuoka). Supreme’s Japanese streetwear releases are collections limited to each season. Past collaborations have included luminaries such as Vans, Comme des Garcons, and Louis Vuitton.

Website (English) ||| Facebook (US English site) ||| Instagram ||| Online Store (English) ||| iPhone App

Locations: Multiple locations in Japan, find the closest store here.

 

Undercover

Undercover streetwear

Undercover is one of the first streetwear brands, appealing to both high-end and street audiences for nearly 30 years. The brand’s motto, “We make noise, not clothes” perfectly describes its aesthetic, which is a mix of punk and goth. Each piece is like a work of art, making the brand very popular and sought after. Collaborations include Nike Sportswear and Uniqlo.

Website (English) ||| Facebook (English) ||| Twitter (via Google Translate) ||| Instagram ||| Vimeo

Locations: Multiple locations in Tokyo, find the closest store here.

 

Uniqlo

Uniqlo (short for “Unique Clothing”) is one of the most famous Japanese clothing brands for simple and reliable fashion. The brand prides itself on expertly made and long-lasting designs. Clothing and accessory collaborations have included Andy Warhol designs, Star Wars, Disney and Keith Haring. Top PGA golfer Adam Scott and tennis player Novak Djokovic wear Uniqlo designs. Don’t miss the massive 12-story flagship store in Ginza! Check out our article on Uniqlo here!

 

visvim

visvim Omotesando Tokyo Japan 2

If you are looking for the best in high-end Japanese men and women’s fashions, look no further than visvim Omotesando at their flagship store in the Gyre building. Founded in 2000 by designer Hiroki Nakamura, visvim mixes Japanese minimalism with Americana themes. visvim offers premium denim and high-quality cotton shirts and button-downs, mixing vintage-inspired fabrics with clean lines of modern fashion. The shop’s intricately designed interior enhances your experience while browsing for the next addition to your wardrobe. Check out our article on visvim Omotesando here!

 

WTAPS

WTAPS streetwear

Tetsu Nishiyama created the WTAPS streetwear brand in 1996. Designs are heavily inspired by military styles, however recent collections have incorporated more preppy and trad (Traditional American) looks. WTAPS has also collaborated with other popular streetwear brands, including Supreme, A Bathing Ape, and Vans. The GIP Store in Shibuya and other authorized dealers carry the WTAPS brand.

Website (English) ||| Instagram

Nearest Station: 8-minute walk from Harajuku Station (click on the Google Map for walking directions)

Hours of Operation: 12:00 a.m. -8:00 p.m.; Closed on the last Monday of every month

 

Yoshida & Co. (Porter)

Yoshida Omotesando 1 streetwear

Yoshida & Co. is a high-end bag and accessories brand that prides themselves in designing and manufacturing their products in Japan. They are best known for their Porter and Luggage labels and have featured the likes of the cartoon Peanuts and Eric Clapton on their bags. Yoshida & Co.’s products are made with high-quality materials and are targeted towards both men and women and include luggage, briefcases, backpacks, and wallets. Their pieces are found in over 700 stores worldwide. Check out our article on Yoshida & Co. here!

February 10, 2017 0 comment
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Tokyo Knife Stores Sugimoto

If there’s one thing Japan is known for, it’s the quality of their blades. Tokyo knife stores stock cooking knives, high-end barbering scissors, clippers, and much more. So if you work with a blade, you will want to consider visiting one of the places on our list of Top Tokyo Knife Stores.

Or maybe you’d like to create your own blade? Voyagin can get you in with a genuine Japanese swordsmith so you can forge your own authentic samurai knife.

Tokyo Knife Stores: Aritsugu

aritsugu Tokyo Knife Stores

Aritsugu is one of the smaller stores located in Tsukiji, with a good selection of sashimi knives and kitchen knives.  It is located in the outskirts of the Tsukiji Fish Market, near all the food stands. Maybe you could grab a bite to eat while knife-shopping!

Website (via Google Translate) ||| Online Store (via Google Translate)

Nearest Station: 5-minute walk from Tsukijishijou Station (Toei-Oedo Line) (Click on the Google Map for walking directions)

Hours of Operation: Open Daily 6am – 3pm

 

Kama-Asa

Tokyo Knife Stores Kama-AsaKama-Asa, located on Kappabashi Street, is the largest knife store on this list. Though their knife collection is what makes them special, they also hold a wide variety of household goods such as plates, chopsticks, strainers, and many other Japanese cooking tools.  Kama-Asa can also make customized knives for individuals who have certain specifications or just want a unique knife. And on the second floor is a museum which shows the store’s history!

Website (via Google Translate) ||| Facebook (English and French) ||| Instagram

Nearest Station: 10-minute walk from Asakusa Station (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Mon-Sat (9:30am-5:30pm) Sun or Holiday (10am – 5:30pm)

 

Kamata

Tokyo Knife Stores KamataYou can’t miss Kamata–along with the huge knife sign, they have two small Kappa statues in front of the store. Though their small is smaller than most, they have one corner facing the streets dedicated to showing passersby the process of making a knife. You watch as their blacksmiths create and sharpen knives right in front of you. Many are designed with waves, flowers and other iconic Japanese symbols. The owners of the store are very friendly, English-speaking, and assist their customers in getting their knives home via the mail or through airport security by way of a Letter of Consideration.

Website (English) ||| Facebook (Japanese) ||| Online Store (English)

Nearest Station: 12-minute walk from Asakusa Station (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open Daily 10am – 6pm. Occasionally intermittent closings; check website for details

 

Kanesoh

kanesoh Tokyo Knife Stores

Kanesoh is located in the heart of Asakusa, on the outskirts of Senso-ji temple. This Tokyo knife store attracts many customers, mostly globetrotting chefs and knife enthusiasts. Although famous for their knife collection, they also make other items with stainless steel such as scissors, carving tools, chopsticks and even tweezers!

Website (Japanese only) ||| Online Store (Japanese only)

Nearest Station: 5-minute walk from Asakusa Station (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open daily 11am-7pm

 

Kappa-Bashi

The designs of the knives at Kappa-Bashi have an antiquated feel. The handles are made of wood and there are no designs on the blade. Their knives range from small to katana size. When I entered, the store was packed with people asking about how they make the knives and asking to see them. The owner of the stores knows a little English, which will help with your purchase.

Website (via Google Translate)

Nearest Station: 5-minute walk from Asakusa Station (click on the Google Map for walking directions)

Hours of Operation: Open Daily 9am – 5:30pm

 

Koshi no Ittou

Tokyo Knife Stores Koshi no IttouOne of the smaller Tokyo knife stores in Kappabashi Street in Asakusa, Koshi no Ittou is a simple store that offers a variety of goods made of stainless steel – nail cutters, tweezers, carving tools, knives and even gardening tools!  Interestingly, though most of the knives on display are theirs, a couple selections of knives are from other knives stores around Japan, put on display. The prices are lower, but the quality is on par with the other Tokyo knife shops along Kappabashi Street.

Website and Online Store (via Google Translate)

Nearest Station: 10-minute walk from Asakusa Station (click on the Google Map for walking directions)

Hours of Operation: Open Daily 10am – 5pm

 

Masamoto-Sohhonten

Tokyo Knife Shops Masamoto SohUnlike most Tokyo knife stores, which are located in Asakusa or Tsukiji, Masamoto-Sohhonten is located in Honjo-Azumabashi (one stop from Asakusa).  The store eschews the old-fashioned look for a more modern aesthetic, and is located on the first floor of an office building. Their knives are simply forged, with unique wavy designs on the upper end of the blade. These knives are high-quality issue, and the owner is both quite knowledgeable about knives and an excellent English speaker.

Website (via Google Translate)

Nearest Station: 7-minute walk from Honjo-Azumabashi Station (Toei-Asakusa Line)

Hours of Operation: Open Daily 9am – 5pm

 

Sugimoto

Tokyo Knife Stores SugimotoSugimoto is the biggest out of all the Tokyo knife stores found in Tsukiji. They have the largest variety of knives in the area, ranging from simple kitchen knives to the professional-grade knives and on to the artistic pieces. This store is actually located inside the Tsukiji Fish Market. You can’t miss it due to its size and the very welcoming owners.

Website (English) ||| Online Store (English)

Nearest Station: 7-minute walk from Tsukijishijou Station (Toei-Oedo Line) (click on the Google Map for walking directions)

Hours of Operation: Open Daily 7am – 4pm

 

Tougen–Masahisa

Tokyo Knife Shops Tougen-MasahisaTougen-Masahisa is a small custom Tokyo knife store where the knives are made on-site. The store has shelf after shelf of simple but effective blades.

Website (English) ||| Online Store (English)

Nearest Station: 8-minute walk from Tsukijishijou Station (Toei-Oedo Line) (click on the Google Map for walking directions)

Hours of Operation: Open Daily 5am – 3:30pm

 

Tsubaya

Tsubaya is one of the oldest Tokyo knife stores on Kappabashi – a very small place with a whole lot of history. Their knives are works of art, with unique designs and name customizations. They’re so old-fashioned that they don’t even have a website–but they have a great reputation nonetheless, as this review will tell you.

Nearest Station: 5-minute walk from Asakusa Station (click on the Google Map for walking directions)

Hours of Operation: Open Daily 9am – 5:45pm

 

Tsukiji-Masamoto

Tsukiji-Masamoto is a knife store located in the outskirts of the Tsukiji Fish Market – as you exit the station and approach the market, it is probably the first store you will see. The workers inside are making the knives right in the middle of the store. As you enter, you notice many pictures of famous chefs with the Tsukiji-Masamoto knives in their hands. Their knives are primarily for slicing fish, but they also carry a selection chef’s knives. One of the stranger things about Tsukiji-Masamoto is that they accept US dollars and Euros as well as Yen. But with knives like this, we can see why you would be in a rush to get from the airport.

Website (via Google Translate) ||| Online Store (via Google Translate)

Nearest Station: 3-minute walk from Tsukijishijou Station (via the Toei Oedo Line) (click on the Google Map for walking directions)

Hours of Operation: Open Daily 6am – 3pm

Click on one of the links below to explore other shopping options in Tokyo–

December 2, 2016 0 comment
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Kiddy Land Harajuku Tokyo Japan

Kiddy Land Harajuku

Kiddy Land Harajuku Tokyo Japan

Standing five stories tall, Kiddy Land Harajuku is a unique toy store that offers a wide range of goodies for all ages.  The first floor hosts a huge variety of eye-catchers such as katana umbrellas, electric joy buzzers, and miniature soda can taps. Below the first floor is the popular Snoopy Town, home to the creations of Charles Schulz.

Kiddy Land Harajuku Snoopy Tokyo Japan

Fans of Hayao Miyazaki will enjoy the second floor of  Kiddy Land Harajuku, as half of it is completely dedicated to toys from Studio Ghibli.  There are giant Totoro plushies, Kiki’s Delivery Service hand towels, Howl’s Moving Castle figurines, and much more. The second floor is also home to the Disney section, where customers can peruse offerings from the Cinderella classics all the way to the latest animated features.

Kiddy Land Harajuku Star Wars Tokyo Japan

The third floor features various Lego, Star Wars, and Gundam toys.

On the fourth floor, customers will find shelves upon shelves of Hello Kitty and Rilakkuma dolls.

Kiddy Land Harajuku Rilakkuma Tokyo Japan

Kiddy Land Harajuku  aims to help “dreams come true” for both children and adults alike. They are constantly receiving new toys and plushies, so be sure to check out their Arrivals page to see what is new! When you come to Tokyo, be sure to visit Kiddy Land Harajuku and pick up a unique souvenir of your favorite character! I mean really, how could you not want a giant Totoro plushie?!?!

Kiddy Land Harajuku Store Information

Facebook (customer reviews and photos) | Website

Nearest Station: 7-minute walk from Harajuku JR Station, 5-minute walk from Meijijingu-mae Subway Station

Hours of Operation: Open weekdays 11:00 am – 9:00 pm, Sat-Sun-Holidays 10:30 am – 9:00 pm

“Why Go?”: To get all of those wonderful toys!

© 2016 Peanuts Worldwide LLC

© &™ Lucasfilm Ltd.

©2016 SAN-X CO., LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Click on one of the tags below to explore other shopping options in Tokyo–

July 12, 2016 0 comment
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Shinjuku Station Shopping Tokyo Japan

Shinjuku Station Shopping

Shinjuku Station Shopping Tokyo Japan

Are you on an extended layover in Haneda? Waiting for the bullet train to bullet out of town? Want to do some shopping and maybe get a light meal, but you don’t want the hassle of navigating unfamiliar Tokyo streets? Shinjuku Station Shopping could be right for you!

Shinjuku Station is not just a train station, it’s also a gigantic shopping center. As such, it is an easy shopping and dining option for those who don’t have a lot of time or are reluctant to brave the Tokyo streets. But where are the best places to go? Shinjuku Station is gigantic, and you may not have the time to wander around forever in search of the perfect gift or that can’t-do-without item. Here are EnAbleJapan.com’s top places in Shinjuku Station Shopping, so you can explore (instead of sitting around on your smartphone like everyone else).

Isetan

Isetan is a Japanese department store that is so large, it has its own station exit. Isetan is also a great last-minute souvenir place, with Japanese alcohol and dessert packages designed with the traveler-on-the-go in mind. The second floor also features many clothing brands, like Dolly Girl by Anna Sui and Next B. by Agnes B. These fashion brands have a kawaii touch, so depending on who you’re shopping for, this could be a good place to go. It also has its own underground food court.

BIC Camera

Bic Camera Shinjuku Station Tokyo Japan

BIC Camera is a go-to spot for newbies in Japan. Shinjuku Station’s BIC Camera is located outside of exit B16. The two-floor store offers prepaid SIM cards for different phones, for different months, and for different amounts of data. They also sell power adapters, if your devices’ plugs won’t fit in Japan’s two-pronged outlets. If you are just arriving in Japan, we recommend stopping in BIC Camera to set up everything for your trip.

Sekaido Shinjuku

Sekaido Shinjuku, located at Exit C1, is a store that specializes in art materials and stationery. They have a wide selection of postcards and Japanese-style stickers, which could be great souvenirs to bring back home. There are plenty of choices, and the prices at Sekaido won’t break the bank.

UNIQLO

Uniqlo Shinjuku Station Shopping Tokyo Japan

Uniqlo is a popular brand all over the world, and has a huge store right in Shinjuku Station. They are known for their basic clothing pieces and low prices, and have something for the whole family. The 2nd floor of Uniqlo also offers embroidery design, so you can put small pictures or your name in kanji on clothes you buy (500 yen per word/ picture).

Kinokuniya Bookstore

Kinokuniya Bookstore is located by exits B7 and B8. Kinokuniya Bookstore’s 7th floor English bookstore sells a vast array of new books, bestsellers, genre books, and anything else you could find in a big-box bookstore. Of special interest are the section of books by Japanese authors that are translated to English, so you may find a treasure here that may be hard to get (or even browse for) anywhere else. There is also a travel section, where you will find Japanese maps, guidebooks, must-buy item guides, restaurant passports, and English manga. A great place to pick up airplane reading material! Outside the exit one can find a number of reasonably-priced restaurants with few crowds and many choices (such as curry, pasta, udon, yakisoba, sushi, etc.).

13th Floor Roof Garden

Air Garden Shinjuku Station Tokyo Japan

If you’re searching for something a little more relaxing, check out the 13th floor roof garden on top of the station. To get there, take exit E8 Takashimaya, and take the elevator all the way up. From there, you will have a perfect view of the Shinjuku area. There are plenty of seats, and many restaurants and cafés, too.

Tokyu Hands Shinjuku Station

Tokyu Hands is a store within Takashimaya department store. Tokyu Hands is one of those places that has everything–clothes, jewelry, bags, shoes, and other luxury goods. Brands include Chanel, Coach, Dolce & Gabbana, Bvlgari, and Gucci. Many products from these brands are exclusive to Japan, so if you’re looking for something unique and in-style, Tokyu Hands is your place.

NEWoMan

Newoman Shinjuku Station Shopping Tokyo Japan

NEWoMan is located right by the South Exit. It is eight stories of clothing and shoe stores, sweets shops, and even an outdoor area available for dining. On the first floor is Akomeya Tokyo, a rice specialty shop. They sell rice cookers, utensils, and sake cups for the discerning rice (and rice-product) enthusiast.

Shinjuku Station Shopping Location Information

For further shopping options in Tokyo, please click on one of the articles below–

July 6, 2016 0 comment
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Akihabara, or Akiba for short, is arguably one of the hottest places to visit during your stay in Tokyo.  Known for its appeal to the otaku of Japan, Akiba is lined with shops filled to the brim with electronics, PC parts, video games, manga, and let us not forget, anime, and the sound of good old-fashioned fun floods the entrances of the many arcades scattered throughout the district.

However, as exciting as the area can be, it can also be just as overwhelming. For the first time visitor, this means that many of Akiba’s greatest gems may be overlooked.  That’s why we’ve compiled a rough list of shops to help you make the most out of your first trip to Akiba.  Though not large, you will want to free up at least an entire day to explore the area.

Maid Cafes

Photo credit: Maid @ Akiba by Miki Yoshihito

First thing is first, one of the essential must-have experiences while in Japan is the infamous maid cafe.  Generally speaking, most maid cafes offer pretty much the same services. Waitresses dress up in frilly maid costumes and serve tea to customers while speaking in their cutesy maid cafe lingo.  Customers can also pay to play games or have more personal conversation with the maids. Traditional maid cafe foods such as the ever popular omelette rice are available to snack on.  Here are a few which are sure to satisfy the moe in all of you.

Cure Maid Cafe – While certainly not as niche as many of the maid cafes lining the streets of Akihabara, Cure definitely sticks to tradition.  One of the first maid cafes in Akiba, Cure is definitely worth checking out, if only to say you’ve been.

Maidreamin Cafe Franchise – In contrast to Cure’s hidden presence, Maidreamin does everything in its power to make customers browsing the streets of Akiba aware of its many locations scattered throughout the electronic district.  When you imagine “maid cafe”, you are probably picturing a place exactly like Maidreamin.  Definitely a must-have experience while in the wonderful city of Tokyo.

 Electronics Stores/All purpose

Photo credit: Akihabara by Danny Choo

Part of the allure of Akihabara is the incredible selection of electronics.  In fact, the district is commonly referred to as Electric Town.  Shoppers from all over the world come here to find unique computer parts, household appliances, as well as specialty parts.  While there are seemingly infinite small shops scattered throughout Akiba, here are some of the most noteworthy (which all happen to be duty free).

Sofmap – Offering over 6 floors worth of all things electronic/otaku, Sofmap is very hard to miss.  Everything from computer parts, to cell phone cases, to secondhand games/figurines, and to an entire floor dedicated almost entirely to headphones/earbuds can be found in this retail giant.  Definitely worth checking out for anyone wanting to see all of the new nifty electronics coming out of Tokyo.

Laox – While Laox has an excellent selection of electronic goods, it also sells a wide variety of other merchandise.  Housewares, hobby goods, and clothing to name a few.  Laox separates itself from the rest of the competition with its incredible prices and wide selection of goods.

Akky 1/2/International – Very much like Laox in regards to merchandise, although this retail chain is a bit more foreigner friendly.  It also boasts a fairly respectable souvenir section.  There are a total of three Akky’s in Akihabara.  Akky 1, Akky 2 and Akky International.

Robot Shops (VStone/Kondo/Tsukumo Robot Kingdom) – That’s right, shops dedicated entirely to robots.  Robot parts, robot casings, robot paint, etc.  You may not be an expert in robotics, but this is definitely a very essential experience during your stay in Japan.  Some even host robot competitions.  There are several robot shops throughout Akiba, and quite honestly they are pretty well hidden.  However, it is definitely worth the search.

Anime & Manga

Photo credit: Mandarake Complex by Street Viewer

It’s virtually impossible to make your way through Akihabara without running into at least one anime shop.  While they all are fairly interesting in their own ways, there are a few gems which bring the best of all anime shops under one roof.

Mandarake – Perhaps one of the more popular anime shops in Akiba, Mandarake is 8 floors of Otaku heaven.  With each floor focusing on a different aspect of the anime genre, it is almost impossible not to find something interesting.  They even have two floors dedicated entirely to hentai/yaoi.

Animate – Animate is a well known company specializing in selling all things anime. Very similar to it’s flagship Ikebukuro store, the Akihabara store is no less impressive.  Plan to spend a few hours sorting through the impressive collection of anime goods.

K-Books – One of the largest collections of Manga under one roof, K-Books offers an incredible selection at very hard to argue with prices.  Be warned, however, that a majority of the manga here is in Japanese.

Arcades

Photo credit: Taito Station Akiba by Jaakko Hakulinen

Shopping and eating seem to be reoccurring themes in Tokyo.  That’s why the handful of arcades in each part of the city can be an incredibly refreshing break from Tokyo’s intense shopping culture.  Akihabara is no exception, and with tons of arcades lining its sidewalks one can spend hours playing all of the latest and best arcade games in Japan.

Taito Hey! – Taito is the largest chain of arcades in Japan.  It’s almost impossible not to find one in every busy prefecture.  Akihabara hosts the largest of these incredibly fun-filled gaming factories.  All of the most obscure games one can imagine, along with the most popular ones, can be found in this multi-floor arcade.

Sega – Club Sega is very much like Taito.  The main difference is Club Sega’s focus on claw games.  Many Akiba-ites can be found here trying their hand at winning rare prizes.  Tired of gaming?  Take a step up to one of the upper floors for some super fun Purikura.

Super Potato – One of the longest standing game stores in Akihabara, Super Potato hosts perhaps the most impressive collection of retro games.  Hidden on the top floor is a retro arcade which many Akiba-ites come to in order to relieve some stress and to have a good time.

While each of these shops are fun and unique in their own way, they are certainly not all that Akihabara has to offer.  We definitely recommend taking the time to thoroughly walk the streets to find some of the countless gems hidden away within this electric paradise.  Akiba is and will continue to be intimidating to newcomers.  However once you’re able to sort through the madness, it quickly becomes one of the most pleasant places in Tokyo.

 

June 8, 2016 0 comment
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Shibuya 109

 

Shibuya 109

 

Shibuya 109, A “shopping paradise”

With eight floors and two basement levels, navigating the iconic shopping skyscraper Shibuya 109 can be daunting. It is a 3-minute walk from JR Shibuya station Hachiko exit and this building has wide range of excellent stores. Instead, it’s more or less a fashion labyrinth, and is hard to navigate. Here are top 5 clothing stores at Shibuya 109 that you should hit up for a great variety of styles!

 

Cecil McBee (2nd Floor)

If girly, frilly fashion is your deal, then Cecil McBee on the second floor is for you! Full of gorgeous dresses, a wide selection of accessories to lift up your feminine look, the ladies of fashion will be right at home here. At Cecil McBee, you can find clothes ranging from the girlish-cute style to the elegant-chic style.

 

Liz Lisa (5th Floor)

Known for their retro and “kawaii” style of apparel and accessories. Liz Lisa is a great place to go if you are looking for a feminine addition to your wardrobe without going entirely on lolita. Listed as one of the top five women clothing brands in Japan,  Liz Lisa is now continuing to expand their markets overseas. Here is the perfect place to find pastel mix and match clothing. Filled with sensibly lady-like cuts and colors, Liz Lisa gives you a wide selection of styles and fabrics without going over the girly deep end.

 

shibuya 109

Secret Honey (3rd Floor)

Secret Honey is also known for their “retro and girly style” but their apparel line is best known for their collaborations with Japanese anime and Disney characters. Previous collaborations include Cardcaptor Sakura and Sailor Moon. Their collaboration line are very popular and usually sell out in just a few minutes. If you consider yourself to be a Disney fashionista, be sure to visit their store. New Disney dresses are being released every week so don’t miss out!

EGOIST (4th Floor)

“Clothes are not for anyone but a wear for themselves.”

The name of the game at EGOIST is “classic and trendy”. Apparently you might not find crazy-colored and patterned clothing here. In contrast, you will be offered a clean and streamlines style in their apparel and accessories. That is not to say that their wares are not on the cutting edge of the latest street fashions. Besides, their fashion style actually comes in perfect understatements. The shop assistants at EGOIST are very fashionable- step up to them and they’ll guarantee you with the best coordination ideas!

RODEO CROWNS (5th Floor)

If you are more comfortable with a boyish-style, here is the right place for you. Based on American-casual style, RODEO CROWNS adds in a touch of delicacy to its men-like items. In fact, the concept of this brand is to pull out a pop and colorful combination onto their apparel.  If you’re lucky, you might find collaborations with other brands from time to time. Be creative- enjoy mix and matching their vibrant-yet-simple colored clothing.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. To get the full Shibuya 109 store list, check out the Shibuya 109 website.

Shibuya 109 Information

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Online Store

Nearest Station: 3-minute walk from JR Shibuya Station  (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: 10:00am – 9:00pm Everyday

“Why Go?”: To spend some time in Tokyo’s fashion hotspot for young Japanese women and foreign visitors.

Got some extra time to spend in Shibuya? Stop by the neighboring Shibuya 109Mens and Uniqlo. After you’re done there, head on over to Pablo for some delicious Japanese rare cheesecake, or splurge some more money at Jeanz Mate!

June 2, 2016 0 comment
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Kiertsin Tokyo Hair Salons

When you are staying in Tokyo, finding the perfect hair salon for you might pose a challenge. A Western friend of mine lived in Tokyo for years, and she said that finding hair dressers was especially difficult, since they were all used to working with thicker Japanese hair. Average Japanese salons would fry her hair. So not only will you need an English-speaking hairdresser, you also may need a hairdresser that can cater to thinner Western manes. Here is a list of our top ten salons for foreigners.

 

Tokyo Hair Salons : Assort International Hair Salon

According to Assort’s website, they are, “recognized as Tokyo’s #1 English-friendly hair salon with great services with international experience.” They are located in Minato. A standard cut is ¥6,000, and they also do eyebrows, styling, treatments, color, perms, and make up. First time clients can receive a free treatment and a ¥1,000 discount. Reservations can be made on their website.


Nearest Subway stop: 5 minute walk from Gaien-Mae Station, on the Ginza Line
Telephone: 03-5772-6461
Website
Hours of Operation
Tuesday-Friday: 11:00am-9:00pm (21:00)
Saturday: 10:00am- 8:00pm (20:00)
Sundays & Holidays: 10:00am-7:00pm (19:00)
Closed on Mondays

 

Dude

Dude is another salon that caters to foreigners as they speak English fluently and import hair colors specifically for Western hair. The salon is located in Shimokitazawa, and is known for its laid-back atmosphere. Standard cut prices are ¥6,600 for men and ¥6,900 for women. Dude also does color & cut, highlights & cut, and super blonde highlights & cut. Furthermore, Dude offers free consultations and free color sample tests.


Nearest Subway stop: 3 minute walk from Shimokitazawa Station, on the Keio-Inokashira and Odakyu Lines
Telephone: 03-3468-9116
Website
Hours of Operation
Wednesday-Friday: 10:00am-7:30pm (19:30)
Thursday: 10:00am- 8:30pm (20:30)
Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays: 10:00am- 7:00pm (19:00)
Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays

 

Gold Salon Tokyo

Gold Salon Tokyo staffs only foreign hair professionals, all fluent in English. A standard cut is ¥8,500 yen, and a cut without shampoo is ¥5,000 yen. Gold Salon also helps with coloring, straightening, hair extensions, and hair treatments, including keratin and conditioning treatments. They have been featured in Metropolis magazine, and appointments can be made on their website.


Nearest Subway stop: 4 minute walk from Azabu-Juban Station, on the Namboku and Oedo Lines
Telephone: 03-6436-0228
Website
Hours of Operation
Monday, Wednesday-Saturday: 10:00am-8:00pm (20:00)
Closed Tuesdays and Sundays

 

Hayato Salon

Hayato Salon has branches in the USA and the UK, so they have a lot of experience working with thinner hair. Most of the staff is bilingual and have worked in either London or New York. They offer a relaxing environment. Cut prices range from ¥5,000- ¥15,000, depending on the stylist. They also offer straight, wavy, and curly perms, coloring, styling, conditioning treatments, and hair extensions. If you share your new hairstyle to social media, they will even give you a ¥500 discount.


Nearest Subway stop: 6 minute walk from Roppongi Station, on the Hibiya and Oedo Lines
Telephone: 03-5574-8844 or book your Hayato appointment through Voyagin!
Website
Hours of Operation
Weekdays & Holidays: 10:00am- 9:00pm (21:00)
Sundays: 10:00am- 7:00pm (19:00)
Closed Tuesdays

 

QB House

QB House Tokyo Hair Salons

Editor’s note: Ok, I have to step in here. This has been bothering me ever since I published this article, and I can remain silent no longer.

Hi, guys! Yes, I’m speaking specifically to guys. Because men are the only people I have ever seen inside the QB House. This is not a place my wife would be caught dead in.

Have you seen the prices at some of the other places in this article? It’s going to cost you at least 5000 yen to get your hair cut at one of those salons. This is fine if you’re one of those guys with gorgeous locks who is still grinding it out on the dating treadmill. Me? I’m not that guy. I have a sports cut, which requires no maintenance and makes a neat scratching noise when I move my head back and forth on my pillow at night.

That’s why I prefer the QB House. 1080 yen gets you a serviceable cut in 10 minutes or less. Obviously, this is not the place to get fancy–they got a barber chair and a barber and that’s it, friendo. If you’re looking for a shampoo or highlights or whatever, go somewhere else. But if all you want is to keep from having to comb your hair in the morning, this is your spot. Some rudimentary Japanese will be required (“suportsu-cutto”) but you should be able to handle it. And if you can’t? Well, it’ll grow back. Until the day it doesn’t.

QB House barber shops are small businesses, but they’re all over the place. I prefer the one on the Keikyu train platform at Shinagawa Station, but you can find your own here (or have someone find it for you, because the QB House’s only English websites are for Singapore and Hong Kong).

And the “How-to” is even printed on the outside, for your convenience.

QB House Hair 2

And now, back to the fancy places.

 

Shinka

Shinka is an originally Australian hair salon with a branch in Roppongi. It serves customers from all around the world, and features happy customer reviews on their website. A regular cut is about ¥6,250 for women and ¥5,750 for men. Shinka also does coloring, perms, airwaves, straightening, hair treatments, highlights, hair styling, eyebrows, and head spas. They will also cut children’s hair for less.


Nearest Subway stop: 8 minute walk from Azabu-Juban Station, on the Namboku and Oedo Lines
Telephone: 03-5575-6768
Website
Hours of Operation
Monday- Friday: 11:00am- 8:30pm (20:30)
Saturdays & Public Holidays: 10:30am- 6:30pm (18:30)
Closed Sundays & the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month

 

Sin Den

Sin Den is a salon that specializes in foreign hair, so no matter what hair you have on your head, Sin Den will accommodate to your needs. Many of their hairdressers are foreign themselves. Located in Shibuya, basic haircut prices range from ¥6,500 to ¥9,500. Discounts are given for children, and special styling is an extra cost. Sin Den also can help you with make-up, bridal packages, hair treatments, hair coloring, and nails.


Nearest Subway stop: 8 minute walk from Gaien-Mae Station, on the Ginza Line, and a 10 minute walk from Omote-sando Station on the Chiyoda, Ginza, and Hanzomon Lines
Telephone: 03-3405-4409
Website
Hours of Operation: Wednesday – Monday 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Closed Tuesdays.

 

VIP Creative Hair International

Vip Creative Hair International is a foreigner favorite salon, and their website features many positive testimonies from English speaking clients. A haircut for women costs ¥7,000 whilst a men’s haircut is ¥6,000. They will also do styling, color, perms, hair treatments, facial waxing, make up, and eyebrows. Specific directions to the salon can be found on their website.


Nearest Subway stop: 9 minute walk from Hiro-O Station, on the Hibiya Line
Telephone: 03-6408-6132
Website
Hours of Operation
Tuesday- Saturday: 10:00am-8:00pm (20:00)
Sundays & Holidays: 10:00am-7:00pm (19:00)
Closed Mondays

 

Watanabe Hair

Although the website’s English may not be perfect, Watanabe Hair is regarded as one of the top hair salons in all of Tokyo. Women’s and men’s standard cuts are both ¥5,500. Prices may vary based on the stylist, and children’s cuts are discounted. Watanabe also can color and perm your hair.
Address: 3-25-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001


Nearest Subway stop: 9 minute walk from Harajuku Station, on the JR Yamanote Line
Telephone: 03-3405-1188
Website
Hours of Operation
Tuesday- Friday: 11:00am- 9:00pm (21:00)
Saturdays: 10:00am- 9:00pm (21:00)
Sundays & Public Holidays: 10:00am- 8:00pm (20:00)
Closed Tuesdays and the 3rd Monday of the month

 

WEC Hair

Tokyo Hair Salons WEC Hair is a salon located in Ebisu. The owner has worked in London, New York, and on Hollywood movie sets as a stylist. He also speaks English fluently. A regular cut is ¥5940, with discounts for kids. They also do color, perms, straight perms, hair treatments, hair sets and blows, and head spas. Appointments can be made on the website or by calling the salon number.

 


Nearest Subway stop: 5 minute walk from Ebisu Station, on the Hibiya, Saikyo, Tokaido, Shonan-Shinjuku, and Yamanote Lines
Telephone: 03-6277-4344
Website
Hours of Operation
Weekdays: 11:00am- 10:00pm (22:00)
Saturday: 10:00am-7:00pm (19:00)
Sunday: 10:00am- 6:30pm (18:30)

Did we miss anybody? Do you want your salon featured in this space? If so, send us an email and let us know!

Click on the links below for more information on surviving Tokyo in style–

May 31, 2016 0 comment
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http://dev.enablejapan.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Tokyu-Hands-Shibuya.jpg

http://dev.enablejapan.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Tokyu-Hands-Shibuya.jpg

Hello, Tokyo travelers and fellow enthusiasts! Do you need to pick up or replace one of those little travel necessities, like a bag or a raincoat? Are you looking for some uniquely Japanese gifts and souvenirs, but don’t know where to go? Or do you just need a place to rest and re-caffeinate while you check your email? You don’t just need a hand, you need a Tokyu Hands Shibuya!

The Tokyu Hands Shibuya is a conveniently-located clearinghouse of all of your travel, souvenir, and gift-giving needs. It is one-stop shopping for your needs as well as for those odd little Japanese items that your family sees on TV and the Internet. Here you can pick up the sort of gifts that will thrill your friends without busting your budget.

And for your convenience, Tokyu Hands Shibuya offers free wifi and a place to rest with their Hands Café. Take a rest and plan the next part of your trip while updating your Facebook photos!

EASY SHOPPING

Are you nervous about communications barriers? Don’t be! Tokyu Hands Shibuya has English speakers on staff, so if you get in a bind there’s always someone to help with selections, price lookups, and helping you with your purchases.

And as a tourist, it gets even better—you get a 5% discount on selected items by showing your passport at the Information Counter on Floor B2C. There, you will receive a 5% discount ticket to redeem at the time of purchase, so be sure to visit before you are ready to check out! Tokyu Hands Shibuya is also a Tax-Free Shop, so after you make your purchase you can take your receipt back to the same Information Desk on Floor B2C and have the sales tax refunded! If you’re thinking of buying an expensive souvenir of your trip, Tokyu Hands Shibuya is the place to look!

What if everybody meets you at the airport when you return home? Tokyu Hands Shibuya offers free gift-wrapping, so you can start handing out the souvenirs right away!

“All that sounds great,” you think, “But do I really want to carry all of this stuff around until I get back to my hotel?” Tokyu Hands thought of that, too! For a 450 yen fee, the store offers shipping to your Tokyo-area hotel.

TOKYU HANDS SHIBUYA TOP TEN SOUVENIRS AND GIFT ITEMS

Tokyu Hands Shibuya was kind enough to give us a list of the top selling items purchased by tourists during their trip to the store. If you don’t see anything that catches your eye here, don’t worry! The Tokyu Hands Shibuya is a gigantic store full of items with that certain Japanese style. Come take a look!

Tokyu Hands Tokyo Japan Cards

10. Kyukyodo Hagaki Postcards: These elegant postcards feature Japanese scenery and are the perfect way to keep in touch with the people back home. 86 yen per card.

9. MT Colored Masking Tape: This multicolored and multi-patterned brand of masking tape is perfect for use in a wide variety of art and decorating projects. Starts at 108 yen per roll.

8. Suntory Whisky 17 Year Miniature Bottles: You may think “Scotland” when you think whisky, but Suntory in Japan is consistently winning awards for both their single malt and grain offerings. You can sample a mini-sized bottle of this fine spirit at 907 yen for a 50ml bottle.

7. Mindwave Stick Markers: Sticker markers with a whimsical Japanese theme for that super-organized person in your life. 378 yen per pack

6. PureSmile Face Masks: Made in Korea and highly regarded by Asian women, these face masks are popular for their skin-brightening and moisturizing abilities. Bloggers such as Louise Hung at xojane have even tried them out, so pop on over and see what they have to say! 108 yen per pack.

5. LuLuLun Facemasks: An elegant facemask from a Japanese cosmetics maker, designed for daily use. Other cosmetics from this brand are also available. Starting from 324 yen per pack.

4. Ukiyo-e Series Utamaro Line Collagen Facemasks: A facemask for lovers of both beauty and the art of the “floating world.” You can keep them to display the art or until you use them, but either way they are a bargain at 129 yen per pack.

3. Iwako Erasers: I know you’ve seen these—tiny eraser packs in the shapes of sushi, bento boxes, animals, and others. You can buy a small pack of three assorted eraser shapes for 50 yen per pack, perfect for kids and kids-at-heart.

Tokyu Hands Shibuya Tokyo Japan Skin Care Masks

2. Isshin-Do Honpo Design Facepacks: Moisturizing and beauty doesn’t have to be all serious, all of the time. Isshin-Do Honpo facepacks come in a variety of styles, from Kabuki to animals to Marvel characters and even KISS designs. Starting at 430 yen per mask, they are great gifts for the beauty-conscious who still like to have a little fun.

Tokyu Hands Shibuya Tokyo Japan Pens1. Frixion Ball Pilot Pens: As a writer myself, I love the feel of a good pen. Frixion Ball pens are multicolored and erasable, allowing you to switch colors or eliminate errors as desired. Pens start at 194 yen for a single color. Make sure to pick up a few refills (sold next to the pens) to make your gift last longer!

TOKYU HANDS SHIBUYA LOCATION INFORMATION

Website | Online Store (Tokyu Hands official)

Nearest Station: 7-minute walk from Shibuya Station (Hachiko exit)

 

Hours of Operation: 10:00 am – 8:30 pm daily

“Why Go?”: Pick up uniquely Japanese souvenirs and gifts before your return home!

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April 11, 2016 0 comment
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