For some people, a trip abroad means one thing. Duty. Free. But if there’s one thing duty isn’t these days, it’s free – and the bargains aren’t quite what they used to be. So how do you make the most of your trip away to snap up a few wallet-friendly purchases?
You head to the local thrift stores, that’s how. In Tokyo, thrifting isn’t just a Saturday lunchtime pasttime – it’s a way of life. There’s endless amazing branches of independent and chain vintage/thrift stores to visit, and with areas like Shimokitazawa serving as whole destinations for thrifties, it’s guaranteed that you’ll pick up something amazing. Here’s our list of the best thrift stores in Tokyo!
Whether you’re in Harajuku or Shimokitazawa (or, in fact, any of Tokyo’s coolest districts) you’ll find a RagTag branch with a gem in it. It’s known for designer tags at distinctly non-designer prices – so step aside, Heathrow Terminal 5 departures!
The Hard-Off outlet group are well-known for bargains in every area – from books to collectibles – and MODE-OFF, their fashion outlet, is no different. From vintage to high-street, all their secondhand clothes are great quality – and because it’s a chain, you might just find one wherever you are. The Koenji branch is located in area known for its secondhand shopping, so that might be the place to start!
Kinji is another chain that’s branched across Japan, and they’re well-known for their vintage clothing and outwear. However, they’ve got a wide selection for you to sift through in search of your next staple… so make sure there’s some room in your suitcase! There’s one big branch a stone’s throw from Harajuku Station.
A hidden gem of the thrifting world, Stick Out is one you’ll want to visit when you’ve got some time on hand. But spend some time digging through the rails, and you’ll be rewarded with some amazing finds at great prices.
For vintage with an American-twist, the Flamingo trio of stores will be your hotspot. Stock is imported from the US, so it’s that old-school Americana vibe, deep in the heart of Tokyo’s most stylish districts. If you’re not sure where you’re going, the giant neon flamingo on the wall should give you a good idea.
We’ve plotted our best thrift stores in Tokyo on the handy map below – along with some more favourites local to each of them. So, whether you’re in Koenji, Shimokatazawa or Shibuya, there’s a place for you to seek out. Happy thrifting!