When in Yokohama: Motomachi, Chinatown & Isezakicho Street
Get out of Tokyo and head to Yokohama to visit Yokohama Harbor, Sankeien Garden, the Cup Noodle Museum or the Ramen Museum. And while you're there, make sure to pass by Motomachi for its picturesque street shops reminiscent of European promenades. While not everything along the street is cheap, you can find specialty products that are worth the money like Sugi Bee and Kitamura leather goods. Also close by are the shopping streets of Isezakicho and Chinatown, where you can get cheap souvenirs. Isezakicho, in fact, has a five-story Daiso filled with good stuff!
When in Shibuya: Jumble Store, Flying Tiger & Rainbow Spectrum
Perhaps you decided to stay in Shibuya for Japan's famous icon: Hachiko. While we can't blame you for falling for those legendary puppy dog eyes, apart from Hachiko and the tourist-favorite Shibuya Scramble crossing, there are a lot of steals that you can actually score when in Shibuya. If you like vintage goods and don't mind secondhand items, make sure to stop over at Jumble Store. It's a good place to get branded items because Japan's standard of quality is higher than the usual thrift shops (definitely unlike the quality level and selection variety of Salvation Army). If you fancy brand new trinkets and souvenirs, make a stop at Flying Tiger and Rainbow Spectrum.
When in Kawasaki: Bremen Street & Lazona Mall
If you happen to be in Japan for a business trip, you might find yourself in Kawasaki, a great central location between two main destinations in Kanto: Tokyo and Yokohama. When in Kawasaki, you can experience the day-to-day shopping of the average local by visiting Bremen Street in Motosumiyoshi. On Bremen, you can find specialty doughnuts, homemade bread, fruits, vegetables and most anything you'd need as a resident of Japan. You can score good grooming buys in some of the drugstores there or buy souvenirs from the ¥100 shop Can Do. There are also old school soba shops, ramen shops, coffee shops and okonomiyaki restaurants. If you want normal shopping with extensive options, enjoy the convenient one-stop shop, Lazona Mall, which is easily accessible from Kawasaki Station. In the same complex, you can find the must-try Baked Cheese Tart.
When in the Tokyo Suburbs: Futako-Tamagawa & Jiyugaoka
There is more to Tokyo than the central station and crowded Shibuya. In the quieter parts of Tokyo, like Meguro and Setagaya, where residential apartments and houses are concentrated, there are shopping places that deserve a stop over. These areas are in fact ideal places to rent an Airbnb and also a good base for exploring uncrowded small shrines and museums. When in Meguro, make sure to explore the streets of Jiyugaoka, where third-wave coffee shops abound, thriving alongside homegrown Japanese brands and international brands. When in Setagaya, head to Futako-Tamagawa to shop for common brands like H&M and Zara, or explore a cozy branch of Tsutaya, or spend a day in craft stores and woodwork shops like DIY Factory and Tukuriba Workshop.
When at Tokyo Station: Yaesu Street & Keiyo Street
Tokyo Station alone is already a shopping haven. As it is a major station, you can actually get some good shopping finds while waiting for your train ride. Inside Tokyo Station, there are two main streets worth exploring. When you're at the station around lunchtime, head over to ramen street and slurp on some crowd-pleasing tsukemen, then do your cardio after by exploring Yaesu Street, famous for anime and cartoon character trinkets and handcrafted souvenirs. If you want to shop common brands like Uniqlo, head to Keiyo Street. On the same street, you can purchase some mouth watering cheese cookies from Tokyo Milk Cheese.