Shopping in Tokyo
With impeccable service, overwhelming choice, fantasy-land buildings, tradition, technology and lashings of kitsch, it's easy to be bitten by the shopping bug in Tokyo.
The main shopping areas in Tokyo are: stylish Ginza, with its ritzy department stores, designer boutiques and chic galleries; young, trendy Shibuya for clothes and accessories; the 'youth mecca' of Harajuku for teenage fashions and kitsch; and Akihabara for a vast selection of cut-price electronic goods and computers.
In a country that thrives on fish, the auctions at Tsukiji Ichiba, 5-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, the world's largest fish market, prove that it's worth getting up at 0500 after all.
For traditional department store shopping in Tokyo, visit Mitsukoshi on Chuo-dori, or the newer Roppongi Hills complex, Minato-ku, where food and entertainment are also thrown in.
If shopping in a reconstructed Italian villa is your idea of heaven, visit Venus Fort, 1-3-15 Aomi Koto-ku. For wacky, kitsch shopping 24 hours a day, check out Don Quijote (locally known as Donki) across the city, but particularly at 3-14-10 Roppongi Minato-ku.
Oriental Bazaar, 5-9-13 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, sells yukatas, kimonos, lacquered boxes, wooden sake cups, tea serving sets and any other Japanese handicraft you can think of to take home.
Standard shopping hours in Tokyo are 1000-2000, although some shops are open 24 hours a day.
A 5% consumption tax is added to most goods, although some shops will refund this if you have your passport with you and spend over a certain amount.