a VirtualTourist member from Frisco
What's the best Tokyo department store for browsing in Ginza, Shinjuku, or Shibuya? Not shopping for anything in particular, just want to visit one of these mega-department stores to browse and want to visit one with a nice food hall. I've heard good things about Isetan, Matsuya Ginza, Mitsukoshi, Seibu, Takashimaya, and others but my time in Tokyo is limited and I know these stores are huge-monous (7+ floors??) so I'd like to narrow it down to just one. Thanks in advance!
If you are just feasting your eyes then I would say Mitsukoshi Department Store in the Nihonbashi section of Tokyo, the inside is amazingly decorated and the food section is at the basement..
I beleive its the oldest deparment store in the tokyo...
forgot to mention, ginza is just full of "individual shops" not really department stores..on the weekend the main street is close from traffic so its like a big boulevar and crowd can be overwhelming...I think they got a nice UNIQLO there, like 3 level...while most other uniqlo are just a one level around the country...(uniqlo is like a benetton in usa but without the high prices, lots of colors) pretty good quality clothes.....
If you head to harajuku you will meet with the younger crowd...lots of weird fashion in this area..:-)...just look out for where their is a big crowd..:-) most probably some good sales to be found....
Japanese department stores are great. Make sure you go to the food part, too. That's always interesting. I rather like Tokyu Hands which has some weird and wonderful stuff. The one i went to was in Shibuku.
In Shinjuku it's ISETAN, and you've landed on the Food Tasting Guide, what else did you expect, this is within 7 minutes walk from the major train stations. Remember that the Shinjuku station is massive and a maze. This store is known to be a trend setter, other than the food floor which is chic and mod, they have a separate men's building. This is the link to 7th Floor Restaurant & Cafe click below e.a.t. Paradise for stunning photos of what to savour. Isetan Google Mapped
Behind names are Mitsukoshi, Ltd. (株式会社三越 Kabushiki-gaisha Mitsukoshi) founded in 1673 and Isetan founded in 1886
Roppongi Hills is a good place to check out, too.
To specifically answer your question for each region:
Mitsukoshi (Overall best)
Matsuya Ginza (Better for cheaper items, relatively speaking, and the food floor is easier to understand)
Printemps (Popular for women only)
Marui (Better for younger people, but if you are thinking of Marui, go to Shinjuku or Shibuya)
Isetan (Overal best with 1 main building and 1 building for men. One of the best food floors in Shinjuku)
Takashimaya (Has a lot of everything but not as "standard")
Marui (Nice new main building but focuses more on women)
Odakyu (Honourable mention because it is better for those looking for cheaper items)
Bicqlo (A new mega Bic Camera and Uniqlo combined into one large shop. Very popular these days)
Seibu (The biggest department store in Shibuya, but if you are going to Ginza and Shinjuku, may not be worth a visit)
Marui (Better for younger people (15-30))
109 (The famous 109 is known for its leading fashion designs for young girls (mainly teens) but also popular with some celebs from Hollywood)
Tokyu (While the department store itself isn't great, the food floor is pretty good and located just under the JR Station)
I love the shop "Tokyu Hands" in Shinjuku. They have nearly 10 floors of random "stuff" (kitchen, household, hobby, ect) that is very interesting.