Spent the last 2 days checking out these 3 places. Also learned a few things along the way.
Though honestly, I wish these 3 places offered more than just shopping not that I’m complaining though.
You’re wondering why did I put a picture of Nadeko Sengoku of Bakemonogatari. Found this photo recently and liked the autumn theme for it. Besides, I took only film shots for the past 2 days so I needed something to post along with this entry. Meh
Ginza is a pretty great place to shop if you’re looking for designer brand things such as Chanel, Gucci, and even the Apple shop here is a lot better than the one in Shibuya.
Though it doesn’t have the glass stairway designed by Steve Job but what it lacks, it makes up with wonderful staffs.
I was there just browsing around when one staff noticed me and asked if he could help me in Japanese. Noticing I had trouble replying, he immediately switched to Mandarin, French, Russian and finally English when I replied in English. This guy was awesome! He knew so many languages!
Definitely number one in my book, I tried to look for a Paul Frank itouch cover but according to their database, they don’t seem to carry that line of product in all their store. Though he got me to try out their new Magic Mouse product, sweet heaven! It was so cool! I am definitely getting one later!
If you love stationary items then you’re going to LOVE Ito-ya! Its basically the porn shop for stationary lovers! It has 9 floors (The 9th floor is a coffee shop)!
Each floors caters to a specific category of stationary! Such as postcards, pens, calligraphy stuff, painter materials, notebooks, diaries, greeting cards and one floor dedicated to just PAPER (Wrapping paper, writing, drawing, painting, printing)! Their range of products starts from the cheap to levels literally costing 12,000 yens! I saw an awesome notebook bounded with leather skin, strip binding and metal enforced corners and etc!
I’m not much of a stationary fan but even I was really taken in by all of this. I spent a good 4 bloody solid hours in there! To get there you have 3 ways (the last way leads you to another branch though).
- You can take the Ginza line at get off what the Ginza Station and go out via exit E13, once on the surface keep going through till you see the giant red paper clip.
- You can take the Yurakucho line at get off at Ginza-itchome. Take exit 9 , turn left and keep going till you see the big Red paperclip.
- Finally, take the Ginza line and go all the way to end of the line at the Shibuya Station and right outside of the ticket counter is another Ito-ya branch though smaller than the Ginza branch.
Finally, you might be wondering who is that, she’s Hitagi Senjōgahara. Also from Bakemonogatari, she has an interesting and yet dangerous use for stationary items.
Konata, Patricia, Hiyori, Iwazaki and Yukata from left to right in the photo above. These characters are from Lucky star. The first 3 girls have been known to frequent otome road which is where I first heard about this place. The last 2 girls shown here are plain innocent.
My purpose coming here was to visit the famous otome road the female oriented version of Akihabara which caters specifically to female otakus’ taste. But for the life of me, even with a map, I couldn’t find the place. I spent roughly 2 hours looking for it, zip, nothing!
Instead I found myself in Ikekuburo’s red light district, I think. With all those hostess bars, clubs and etc. Then quickly made my way to the nearest metro subway tunnel. I’ve been coming back to this place since and I still can’t find it!
Another thing I would like to highlight about Ikekuburo, I don’t know whether it was just me but I noticed the number of homeless people in this area is relatively higher than in any other place I have visited in Japan. In every street I visited, there would be a number of them sleeping by the sidewalk or looking for stuff to recycle. There really isn’t any danger but its just a point I would like to highlight about this area.
My visit here was pretty lousy, spent many hours just looking around for the Apple Shibuya branch. Kept thinking to myself it better be worth the trouble, tragically it wasn’t in the end.
The shop was way smaller than the Ginza branch, staff in terms of customer service was only so-so and they didn’t really know if they have certain items or whether it existed or not.
Left the place and found Tower records nearby, paid it a visit. It was a visit far better than my Apple experience, if you’re in the area, go there instead. Good music and good book selection, will go there again to get some titles if I cannot find them in Jinbocho.
I wouldn’t say my experience here was bad but it was rather frustrating. I literally at point in my wondering, found myself at the Meiji Shrine! How far did I wondered off to have ended up at Harajuku!?