Home Shinjuku Shopping Tour of Shinjuku’s East End Department Stores

Shopping Tour of Shinjuku’s East End Department Stores

written by EnAble Japan January 10, 2015

By: Jessica Jackson

 

Shinjuku is a maze of stations, shopping, and businesses. For the uninformed traveler it is easy to mix the main hub Shinjuku station with Higashi Shinjuku and Shinjuku Sanchome or even the West end from the East end. Fortunately, much of the main shopping of Shinjuku is accessible from Shinjuku station. Focusing on the East end, I’m going to share a virtual tour of a few of the big Shinjuku department stores, also known as the “depato.” Many stores on this side are accessible from both underground in the station as well as above ground along Futaba Street, which runs between Shinjuku and Shinjuku-Sanchome and is clearly marked by signs in both English and Japanese.

With that word of warning out of the way, let’s dive right into a few of the behemoth shopping centers in Shinjuku’s East End.

 

 

Lumine EST

Lumine EST has two basement levels and 8 floors along with a limited roof garden. With the exception of the odd café or restaurant meant to give patrons a place to rest, each floor is based around clothing and items targeted to different demographics.

 

 

Starting with the station accessible B1 and B2, B2 is a grab bag and has a bit of everything meant to attract the passerby. B1 is heavily marketed toward young, fashion-forward women. From frilly femme to city chic to hipster casual, many small stores line the halls with fashionable young shop clerks modeling the wares. As is often the case with department stores, the lower portion (B1 through the fourth floor) of the store is devoted to women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories.Lumine EST is not too cruel to the dragged along boyfriend or partner because there is at least one stationary, knick-knack, or trinket store to occupy their time on each floor.

 

 

The fifth and sixth floors are dedicated to male fashion, also ranging in style to accommodate different aesthetics with random bric-a-brac stores spaced across the floors.

 

 

The 7th and 8th floors are restaurants that serve foods in both western and Asian styles. The roof space holds seasonal festivals; in the past special events such as the beer and BBQ terrace or flea market have been held upstairs.

 

Lumine EST Location Information:

Website | Facebook | Twitter  | Instagram

Nearest Station: 5 minute walk from Shinjuku Station (click on the google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open Everyday from 11AM- 10PM

“Why Go?”: A little bit of fashion, food and fun for everybody!

Isetan

Isetan is a whopping series of buildings, most notably the iconic main building which is the focus of my review. Isetan considers itself to be the stately elder of Shinjuku shopping malls, and with its iconic plaid shopping bags, it is absolutely right. This could be seen as a benefit—everyone knows to go to Isetan, but it also has this almost imperceptible layer of dust over it like it is meant for an older or more sophisticated crowd. Though goods are for sale, there is almost something museum-like about the store.

 

 

Each area of each floor is themed, but unlike other stores, which are typically sectioned off by designer or brand, Isetan’s floor plan is designed for you to flow from one product to the next. It also throws out any pretense of not pandering to women because the main building is almost entirely catering to female shoppers. The separate Isetan building just down the block is called men’s building is called that for a reason—it is where all the male products are with the minor exception of the 7th floor traditional Japanese garment section.

 

I visited during the Christmas exhibit, and there were large series of displays with ornaments, décor, and goods available.

 

 

More than Lumine EST or 0101, Isetan is willing to personally cater to foreign customers, which is quite the feat since the customer service quality in Japan is known to be pretty stellar to begin with. Isetan kindly had phones set out on each floor to call the foreign customer service desk on the sixth floor and had the most comprehensive multi language brochure and directory.

 

Isetan Location Information:

Website | Facebook | Twitter  | YouTube

Nearest Station: 10 minute walk from Shinjuku Station (click on the google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open Everyday from 10:30AM- 8PM

“Why Go?”: A classic Japanese Department store who cater to and love foreigners!

0101 (pronounced Marui)

Like Lumine EST, 0101 is a chain of department stores targeting young women between 25 – 35 years old. As expected, it also caters to many different fashion styles. One difference between Lumine EST is that the price point of 0101 ranges more drastically from affordable cheaper brands to exorbitantly priced high-end fashion brands. 0101 has a generic shopping floor plan with two exceptions – restaurants are  located on the bottom floor, and the first floor contains the special events. Past examples include Harry Potter goods.

 

 

I think overall 0101 is a bit more friendly and approachable because of the price point range and clothing options. Shopping options are expanded beyond standard sizing more thoroughly; it has the “0101 model” area (plus size clothing) and also carries shoes in sizes above 25 for larger feet—as many foreigners have.

 

 

The store has also clearly made an effort to make male shopping easier in a department store. Part of what makes 0101 my top pick was that I also noticed more imports of mid-price point clothing as opposed to just the high-end fashion brands. To be honest, this is the store I actually shop at the most of this list.

Marui (0101) Location Information:

Website | Facebook

Nearest Station: 10 minute walk from Shinjuku Station (click on the google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open Monday-Saturday from 11AM- 9PM, Sundays open from 11AM-8:30PM

“Why Go?”: Friendly and approachable department store with styles and products for every budget!

Bonus department store: Bikkuro

 

 

Bikkuro is the love child of the affordable clothing brand Uniqlo and electronic goods giant Bic Camera. Bikkuro/ Bicqlo is exactly what you would expect of a clothing store and electronic store mash up. It is a six story building with three basement levels. The bottom basement levels are Bic Camera staples; B3 is computer goods, B2 is smartphones and accessories, and B1 is clocks, beauty supplies, and medicines. 1-3 is Uniqlo, including men’s and women’s inner and outerwear, and children’s clothes. 4 is TV audio, software, and liquor; 5 is household appliances, and 6 is lighting, toys, and video games.

 

Bikkuro Location Information:

Website (Uniqlo Site)

Nearest Station: 7minute walk from Shinjuku Station (click on the google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open everyday, 10AM-10PM

“Why Go?”: A weird, but oddly perfect mix of Japanese electronics and fashion!

Considering this is only a small slice of the shops available in the East end, let alone all of the options in Shinjuku area, I am sure you quickly see that Shinjuku is a shopping haven for visitors and locals alike.

For more ideas of things to do while in Shinjuku, try visiting our Shinjuku photo essay. Ready to move on from Shinjuku? The elegant Ginza district is also known for its massive department stores.

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