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Shopping in Tokyo is a sublime experience with a range of items on offer that is impossible to imagine for those who have never ventured out into its busy streets and neighbourhoods. Ginza is renowned throughout the world for its upscale assortment of shops and malls. Marronnier Gate, Mitsukoshi and Matsuya are 11- and 12-storey department stores packed with everything from top-brand clothing to state-of-the-art household appliances.
Ginza’s oversized Sony store sells the very latest products as soon as they are released. Video cameras, smartphones, media players, laptop computers and PlayStations are all on display and available for purchase. Akihabara is an alternative for electronics shopping. The Laox duty-free store stocks an estimated 70,000 items.
Roppongi Hills is a more recent addition to the high-end shopping venues in the city while the two adjoining districts of Shibuya and Harajuku are loaded up with outlets selling chic clothes, footwear and fashion accessories. Shops in areas like Korea Town sell articles specific to a particular theme. In this case it is K-Pop bits and pieces. Akihabara is best when looking to buy anime or manga related keepsakes.
There are lots of places in Tokyo where unique souvenirs are found. Tokyo Tower's Omiyage souvenir centre is situated inside FootTown. Its display counters are packed with a cornucopia of matchless keepsakes. Tower models, anime merchandise, copies of Samurai swords, cuddly toys and traditional Japanese dolls are just the tip of the iceberg which ensure visitors do not leave this Tokyo landmark empty-handed.
Asakusa’s pedestrian thoroughfare, Nakamise-Dori, and Omotesando’s Oriental Bazaar are among top spots to pick up souvenirs such as T-shirts with sumo and kanji logos, kiddies’ ninja outfits, silk kimonos big enough for the average westerner and replica samurai swords. Some shops also have old coins, small religious statuettes and various antiques.
Those visiting the Disney Resort will love the facility’s Bon Voyage! In keeping with its name, the exterior has been designed to look like a gigantic suitcase. Inside, the imagery persists with the lining and pockets of the case. Disney says Bon Voyage stocks 4,000 different products with themes such as Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Cinderella. Books, notebooks, pens, bags, sweets and T-shirts are all emblazoned with likenesses of your child’s favourite Disney character.