Ready to take a deep dive into the world of thrifting in Japan? Keep reading to discover this comprehensive manual on everything you need to know!
Secondhand Shopping in Japan
Shopping is often considered a delightful pastime in Japan however, it’s hard to overlook the decline in clothing quality, the unethical treatment of garment industry workers, and the detrimental environmental impact associated with the fashion industry. As conscious consumers like yourself become aware of these issues, the need to combat overconsumption becomes evident. One effective way to address this is through secondhand shopping or thrifting, a global trend-turned-lifestyle embraced by individuals seeking sustainable alternatives to fast fashion.
If you’re ready to explore the world of secondhand shopping or planning a trip to Japan and wish to shop ethnically, you’ve come to the right place. Japan boasts an impressive array of thoughtfully curated thrifting and preloved clothing stores. In this article, we will guide you through everything you need to know about where to shop for secondhand clothing in Japan.
While my first experience with thrifting in Japan was a sparse selection of secondhand boutiques in Shizuoka City, my move from the countryside to the city introduced me to a new world of secondhand shopping! In Tokyo, there are several great neighborhoods where you can find a fantastic selection of preloved clothing. Here are some of the top thrifting hotspots to explore:
If you’re on the lookout for American clothing brands, Shimokitazawa is the best place to visit! Renowned for its impressive selection of men’s clothing, this vibrant neighborhood is just a stone’s throw away from the station, teeming with shops offering a diverse range of sweatshirts, jeans, jackets, shoes, and tees. One of the advantages of Shimokitazawa’s thrifting scene is the availability of American brands, which often offer a broader range of sizing options compared to Japanese clothing. If you’ve struggled with finding the perfect fit, this area is a dream come true. Not only that, but you’ll also find a wealth of high-quality garments ensuring your newly chosen items will produce a long happy life in your closet rotation. Keep in mind that Shimokitazawa’s popularity and reputation do come with a caveat, the prices tend to be higher compared to thrifting in other areas. However, the exceptional selection and quality make it a worthwhile destination for fashion enthusiasts seeking authentic American style in the heart of Tokyo.
Koenji is another notable neighborhood for thrifting enthusiasts. A big draw to Koenji is that it has a great assortment of niche secondhand shops that encompass a distinct theme catering to various fashion tastes. When exploring Koenji, I found a treasure trove of shops dedicated to Kawaii fashion and streetwear. If you’re on the hunt for something truly one-of-a-kind to elevate your wardrobe, Koenji won’t disappoint!
Other areas to explore are Harajuku for cute and edgy, Shibuya for vibrant and casual, and Shinjuku for secondhand designer handbags and other goods. With so much to explore, you’re bound to uncover great options on your next shopping trip to Tokyo.
While Tokyo offers an abundance of thrifting opportunities, there are also fantastic options for those seeking a consolidated shopping experience. Look no further than these popular secondhand chains scattered throughout Japan:
Within the realm of these chains, Hard-Off, Book-Off, and Mode-Off lead the pack when it comes to the most noteworthy stores. You may also encounter additional “Off” stores, such as Hobby-Off, Liquor-Off, and even Off-House. Each specializes in its own particular themes while occasionally branching out to encompass a broader range of items. For instance, Book-Off primarily focuses on used books, while Hard-Off has an impressive selection of games, electronics, gadgets and more. In cosmopolitan hubs like Tokyo, Book-Off may even surprise you with a curated assortment of secondhand clothing and designer goods. Notably, Mode-Off, known for secondhand clothing, boasts over 15 locations within and beyond Tokyo, making it a dedicated destination for fashion enthusiasts!
Two other prominent chains worth exploring are Second Street and Treasure Factory. Second Street focuses on secondhand clothing, accessories, and shoes for both men and women, offering unbeatable prices at numerous locations across Japan. On the other hand, Treasure Factory serves as an all-encompassing recycle shop. Here you’ll find used appliances, furniture, paintings, dining ware, sports gear, and clothing for the whole family! Make sure to visit Treasure Factory not only for its secondhand clothing treasures but also for remarkable recycled goods for your home!
Japan Thrifting Pro-Tip: If you’ve got the time, venturing beyond the metropolitan buzz is a great option for a wider range of preloved clothing, accessories, and beyond. Visit secondhand chains in areas like Saithttps://blog.tokyoroomfinder.com/living-in-japan/9-places-to-buy-clothing-on-a-budget-in-tokyo/ama or suburban Tokyo where you’ll be rewarded with a broader selection that surpasses what you’d typically find in popular urban areas.
With this comprehensive secondhand shopping guide at your disposal, you can embark on a seamless thrifting journey in Japan with convenience and affordability. Regardless of if you’re on the hunt for books, fashion, or household items, you’ll be able to give a second home to the preloved treasures you find. For even more on affordable shopping in Japan, read our popular article on 9 Places to Buy Clothing on a Budget in Tokyo.