Thursday, 8 August 2013

Shopping Guide for Tokyo

I'm a huge fan of Japanese Gyaru (gal or girly girl) fashion and my favourite Gyaru magazines are Happie Nuts, Blenda and ViVi. I can name, off the top of my head, 80% of all Gyaru Brands that Shibuya109 houses. I'm not an expert but let's just say, I love my Japanese fashion!

Needless to say, I did a lot of shopping during this trip in Tokyo. Really, that was the main purpose of this trip. Oh, and to see the cherry blossoms, of course! In this post, I will try to be as informational as possible on shopping in Japan; however, please note that this shopping guide applies to Gyaru Fashion rands and make up only.

Price range: 8,000 - 10,000yen
Style: feminine, sweet, office lady

Customer service: Excellent! They were so friendly and nice! Both at the Shiubya 109 store and the Lumine store at Ikebukuro. 

Cute change rooms

Pinky Girls
Price range: 8,000 - 10,000yen
Style: cute and sweet"sweet lady" style

Customer service: I discovered this brand when I visited Tokyo in 2010. The girl that served me was so pretty and lovely, it left quite an impression on me and an even more memorable impression on my boyfriend! This time around, though, we were served by a very awkward girl who made us feel just that slight bit uncomfortable the whole time. It could have been a better shopping experience but the store was super cute, and so were their clothes! We ended up buying a LOT from there. In fact, our grand prize giveaway includes a Pinky Girls sweater and look book!

Peach John
Price range: 3,000 - 4,000yen
Style: Cute Lingerie

Customer service: We had excellent customer service from a Taiwanese girl that conversed with me in Mandarin. She was sweet and helpful and ran around looking for the right sizes for us to try on. The other store clerks, on the other hand, weren't friendly nor helpful at all. 

I first discovered this brand in Hong Kong. I have no idea why I never came across this brand during my previous two visits to Japan. Now, pretty much all my lingerie comes from Peach John. I absolutely love this brand, and naturally, I went crazy in the store!

Price range: 9,000 - 12,000yen
Style: Mode style

Customer service: I found that each time I went, all girls except for one at the  Shibuya 109 store were rude and unfriendly. Fortunately for me, I lucked out and was served by the only friendly girl at Emoda. When I paid, the girls at the counter continued gossiping with each other and barely looked at me as she processed my purchases.

On my last day in Tokyo, I decided not to put make up on and dressed comfortably albeit on the under dressed side for the plane ride, and I don't know if it's because of this but when I visited the Emoda store at Parco, Ikebukuro, the sale assistants wouldn't even look at me! It was as if they didn't want me as a customer because of the way I was dressed! I was mortified at the experience!

I used to be a huge fan of Emoda because I adore their style but because of the bad customer service, I'm extremely put off by the brand.

Astoria Odier
Price range: 4,000 - 6,000yen
Style: Sweet, lady like style - lots of cardigans and knee length skirts

Customer service: We discovered this store by chance at Lumine in Ikebukuro. The girl that served us was sweet, cute and very helpful. I ended up buying a load of cardigans and knee length skirts which are staple items in my wardrobe and very suitable for work.

Where to shop

NOT Shibuya 109! It's way too crowded in there, especially on Saturdays. Good luck fighting for a free change room. I didn't learn about this until towards the end of my trip, so I really want to share this piece of advice before you go and make the same mistake that I did.

There are a lot of other department stores such as Parco, Lumine and Marui One that all carry the same gyaru brands but they are much more spacious and have considerably less people.

My two favourite department stores would be Parco and Lumine in Ikebukuro. Marui in Shibuya is not bad either but before you visit any of those stores, I really recommend for you to check out the outlet stores at Venus Fort in Odaiba first!

Shibuya 109

Parco and Lumine in Ikebukuro

The toilets are so luxurious!

Where to buy Japanese cosmetics and beauty products

Don Quijote or Pharmacies (Matsumoto Kiyoshi) and Beauty counters in department stores

Japanese cosmetics and beauty products are the cheapest in Japan, of course! Since all my make up and beauty products are Japanese branded, I stocked up on everything!

Happily hauling home our 90kg of shopping from Tokyo 

Shopping in Japan is fantastic if you know where to go and you don't mind paying roughly the same prices as you would in Australia. They have great style and the quality of their clothes is very high. I love coming back to Perth and when people ask me where I got my outfit, I proudly declare, "It's from Japan.".


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