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  • Writer's pictureSyd

Tokyo's Top 14 Places for Vintage Shopping

Updated: May 23, 2023

Woman on bike shopping for vintage clothes at A Little Trip To Heaven vintage store in Shimokitazawa Tokyo.


Tokyo, Japan is a vintage fashion collector’s dream, but the sheer scope of the city can easily make shopping in Tokyo overwhelming... if you aren't prepared! To help you find the best vintage clothes minus the stress, I've narrowed the endless selection of Tokyo vintage shops (including some hidden gems) down to a solid 15 must visit, what to expect, and how much it's going to cost you.

Is Thrifting in Japan Expensive?

The price point for Tokyo, Japan vintage shops and thrift stores ranges quite significantly, with some shops sporting things like vintage t-shirts and jeans in the $100 USD range, as well as coveted designer brands like Louis Vuitton and Chanel with the hefty price tags you would expect. On the other hand, many of the more exciting stores were actually quite reasonable. In fact, the majority of what I found had price tags under the $50 USD mark, as well as some legendary designer brands for under $100 USD!



VINTAGE SHOPPING IN HARAJUKU

Harajuku, the famous eclectic fashion neighborhood of Tokyo, is what feels like a never ending stretch of exciting modern and vintage fashions. It is a Japanese style wonderland that you’ll love getting lost in, with every turn leading you down another narrow street brimming with treasures.

1. Chicago


Vintage store chain Chicago in Harajuku Tokyo Suburb.


Price Point: $$

If you Like: Vintage kimonos, clothing for men and women




Vintage kimonos for sale in Harajuku Tokyo


Vintage kimonos galore!!!


A shop with multiple locations across Harajuku, Chicago has done a number on my pocketbook, I’m not ashamed to admit it. One of the few places on this list offering traditional Japanese clothing, their wide selection of kimonos is jaw dropping. While they do offer many expensive options if that’s your MO, they have an equally large selection falling under the $50 usd! Now that's a great price for a kick ass kimono!


The excitement doesn’t end with kimonos though, with the multi-room storefronts offering a plethora of both mens and women’s options from your typical American 90s looks, to stylish workwear, and beyond.

This store is a must visit!


Follow: @harajukuchicago_official


2. Flamingo


Entrance to popular vintage store, Flamingo, in Harajuku Tokyo.


Price point: $$


If you Like: Mens and women’s fashion through the decades


If you’re after an exciting show of bold vintage styles, then the cool Harajuku store Flamingo does not disappoint. In a time where 90’s has taken over in a very unpleasantly excessive way, Flamingo continues to offer a little bit of everything, just how I like it!

Follow: @flamingosvintagekilo


3. Kinji Used Clothing


Used clothes store Kinji.

Price Point: $$


If you Like: American style 90s, 90s toys, shoes, sneakers, denim, popular brands, and 90s toys



Vintage red workwear jump suit found in Japan.

My initial feeling upon stepping into this store was overwhelm. It is a TON of clothing, primarily American 90s style, pilled into racks and racks of narrow passageways. It didn't feel so much like a vintage shop, but as far as thrift stores go, it was a big win!


I was especially transfixed with the wide selection monochromatic full body workwear, but the shop had a pretty substantial selection of mens and women’s clothing in virtually every day wear category, as well as an impressive collection of old toys!




Follow: @Kinji_harajuku




4.Harajuku Street


Locally owned vintage store on Harajuku Street called Bud.


Price Point: $$$$

If you Like: denim, sneakers, 90s 90s 90s


Okay… I’ll level with you. In this, the year 2023, I am not impressed with the lazy ass American 90’s persona that the majority of Harajuku vintage shops have taken on. It isn’t “vintage”, it is simply “used clothes priced like new clothes”, and if I see one more table of slightly used Ralph Lauren’s, I might become hysterical. Maybe this is a controversial opinion.

Regardless, for a string of vintage shopping in smaller storefronts, and if you've got a bigger budget, give Harajuku Street a shot (yes, I've clumped all of the stores on this street together).



5.SLOW


One of the best hidden gem vintage shops in Japan, Slow Vintage.

Price: $$$

If you Like: Women's oldies but Goodies


While the majority of Tokyo vintage stores are currently under occupation by the 90’s, I was relieved to see that this hidden gem still held true to its old school vintage feel. It is a beautiful store, offering even a selection of truly vintage women’s hats, circa 1920s.


Follow: @SLOW_OMOTESANDO



VINTAGE STORES IN SHIMOKITAZAWA


It seemed impossible to me that Harajuku could be topped in terms of vintage apparel, but given how disappointing the 2023 selection had been (go fuck yourself Ralph), I hopped on the train and headed east. Maybe if I got slightly further from the touristic city center, the selection wouldn’t be so over-picked. This hunch was not only correct, but I’d go as far as saying that Shimokitazawa’s vintage game blew Shinjuku out of the water.


Shimokitazawa in Tokyo's eastern region is the biggest vintage shopping neighborhood in Tokyo. Its cool and quirky narrow streets were like something out of a dream, like a hot singles mixer for vintage shops and charming cafes. It was, in short, one of the best vintage shopping experience of my life.


6. New York Joe


Vintage Apparel in popular Tokyo hipster suburb Shimokitazawa, New York Joe Exchange.

Price: $$

If you like: Mens and women’s vintage through the decades



Rows of used clothing from the 90s, 80s, and 70s.

An old Japanese bathhouse turned shopping paradise, New York Joe was the first shops I stoped at on my hunt for Shimokitazawa vintage. Oh baby, let me tell you, it did not disappoint. In the end I left with only one treasure, a pair of (80s?) white retro futurism sunglasses. They’re UNREAL. And as it turns out, New York Joe was only the beginning of Shimokitazawa’s fashion magic.


Amendment: Sellers beware - I’ve read many reviews from Tokyo locals trying to sell their vintage to New York Joe that they were pretty brutally scammed. Have your vintage appraised at your own risk.



Follow: @Newyorkjoeexchange


7. A Little Trip to Heaven


Womens 1960s and 1950s clothing at popular store Little Trip to Heaven.

Price: $$

If you like: Womens 1920s - 1970s


With such a phenomenally curated mix of ultra feminine fashions, accessories, and jewelry (which looked to be curtesy of the 1920s-1970s), A Little Trip to Heaven was an enchanting Tokyo shopping experience for any vintage connoisseur who delights to browse in ultra femme lace and frills.


Another must visit location!


Follow: @little_trip_to_heaven

8. Gaslamp Square


Vintage purses and tops from Shimokitazawa used clothing store Gaslamp Square.

Price: $$

If you like: Mens and women’s 60s-90s, designer lables




Hands down my new favorite Tokyo vintage store! From the outside looking in, I could already tell that this shop would be a hit, but the clothing and accessories I found on my visit inside blew my expectations out of the water. Best vintage meets best price, I left with treasures that are sure to become wardrobe staples. One purchase, in particular, was an authentic (I hope, haha) 90cm Hermes scarf for an unbelievable price of only $60 USD. I'm not normally big on brand names, but it's HERMES. I’m shook.

Follow: @gaslampsquareshimokitazawa



9. Shimokita Garage Department

A mall full of vintage and used clothes in Tokyo neighborhood Shimokitazawa.

Price: $$-$$$$

If you Like: Mens and womens market vendor style vintage shopping

1950s womens clothes.

When I first wondered into , it took my eyes a moment to adjust before realizing it wasn’t just one store I was walking into, but a whole market of vintage vendors. The selection was remarkably varied, both in style and pricing, from frilly night gowns to leather fringe, this vintage Tokyo shop has a lovely mix of clothing for everybody.










Follow: @Shimokitagarage



10. Petit Cochon (translated from Japanese text on window)



1960s and 1970s womens clothing.

Price: $$$

If you like: Women’s 1960s-1970s


This was a modestly sized shop, clearly opting for quality over quantity. It’s selection was retro feminine, and as I heard one nearby shopper mention to her friend, was very “grandma-chic”. If you fancy yourself a fanatic of retro prints and boxy shift dresses, this is the spot for you!




VINTAGE SHOPS IN KOENJI


Over the last 50 years, the Tokyo neighborhood Koenji has become a popular spot for the younger crowd and their hipster fashion. While the streets themselves lacked charm, the clothing shops hosted some of Tokyo's best vintage stores! If sheer pastels, lace, and ruffles are your aesthetic calling card, type "Koenji Station" into google maps and get going! As an exciting bonus, It's an amazing location! Only one train stop away from Nakano Broadway, home to coolest collection of vintage toys that I’ve encountered, and surrounded by a lovely non modernized selection of bars and restaurants.


11. Big Time


Big Time, a multilevel thrift shop in popular Japanese fashion neighborhood Koenji.

Price: $$$

If you like: Mens and womens 60s-90s


Funky print 1970s womens loungewear dress.

Big Time was so crowded with vintage treasures that there was hardly space to walk. This was yet another Tokyo store with fashions through the decades (not that they weren’t showing Ralph PLENTY of love), but it wasn’t until my hunt lead me to the furthest corner wrack in the last room of the third floor that my heart stopped. At $120 USD, it was realistically double what I felt comfortable spending on a single used article of clothing (not like that’s stopped me before), but this, this was not just “a used dress”, this beauty was a psychedelic work of art.




Follow: @Big_time_koenji




12. Small Change - Vintage Import Clothing

1950s and 1940s dresses and accessories.

Price: $$

If you like: Real blast from the past vintage shopping men and women + accessories


I somehow managed to leave this store, home to some of Tokyo's best vintage clothing and accessories, with my budget unscathed, but I’d assume only out of overwhelm. It was a vintage selection so exquisite that my eyes could hardly manage to focus on one thing at a time. And when everything is that good, how do you choose? An insane philosophy to have left such a whirlwind of a vintage shop empty handed, but that’s exactly what I did. This is what shopping in Tokyo is all about!



Follow: @Small_change_koenji

13. Kiki2


1950s kawaii clothing in hipster neighborhood Koenji, Kiki2.

Price: $$

If you like: Frilly dresses and jewelry


One of the smaller and very specifically themed stops in Koenji, Kiki2 is kawaii to the max. It’s fun and ultra femme selection had me oohing and awing throughout every inch of the store, with even the shop keeper styled with cuteness to match. It was a sweetness so unquantifiable and so wonderfully Japanese that you’ll simply have to see it for yourself.


Follow: @Kiki2_clothing



14. Top Of the Hill


Old time multi level clothing store Top Of the Hill.

Yet another shop that you could find yourself getting lost in, expect to be impressed by what lines the shelves at Top of The Hill. They sell their fair share brands from around the world, showcasing a history of trends throughout their uncountable racks of clothing.

Follow: @Topofthehill_koenji



OUTRO


Be warned that the vintage shops I’ve mentioned are but a fraction of what you’ll actually find. Tokyo vintage is a marathon, not a sprint. Stay hydrated, and stay vigilant. Like me, you might find yourself at points where you think, “I can’t possibly look at anymore pastel nighties, clip on earrings, and certainly not one more Ralph Lauren polo ever again.” But trust me, you can, and you will. Godspeed.


As a slow fashion designer, I am very aware of the toll that the fashion industry takes on garment workers and the environment. Choosing slow brands is massively helpful when combating those affects, but it is still crucial to balance any purchases of new clothing with pre loved when possible. Support your indie designers and businesses, yes please, but even sustainable production practices in excess are still excess. Balance, as always, is the key! In the end, I find that the marriage of Indie and vintage fashion in my experience it makes for an even more exciting outfits all together! So, it’s a win as multifaceted as they get!I hope that your Tokyo vintage shopping experience is just as thrilling as mine have been, and that you leave with treasures and stories that will last you a lifetime!


I hope that your Tokyo vintage shopping experience is just as thrilling as mine have been, and that you leave with treasures and stories that will last you a lifetime!


Tag me on instagram @sydneyduncanco with photos of your favorite Tokyo finds, I’d love to chat vintage and give you a shout out!




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