Tokyo suburbs are subdivided into smaller sections of blocks called xxx chome. So Shinjuku Sanchome is the third section block of Shinjuku. Took us a while to figure the addressing system. Once you have figured it out, it makes a lot of sense. Shinjuku Sanchome is a short walk from Shinjuku Station. The Shinjuku Sanchome Metro Station is a smaller Metro but just as important station for an interchange. Outside of the station is a district for all sorts of things – entertainment, shopping, more shops, movie theatres and more. And one of them is Isetan.
On this day, we had a free day. W and I parted to explore on our own with a scheduled meeting after 1 hour. Sharp.
I visited Isetan, where all the world luxury brands are. The building takes up an entire block. The products are pretty much all the luxury brands we have in Sydney, but with more attentive and ultra polite staff. I choked at the prices a few times then left after 5 minutes.
I then went to Marui – aka OiOi. This was more reasonably priced, and better yet they stock Japanese brands. They have 3 buildings serving different markets. The mens building with about 6 floors was interesting even for a visit. I ended up buying a scarf that was on sale.
By this time, the 1 hour mark was up. I called and called. W wouldn’t pick up and she knew I was a little anal with being on time.
After 1 hour of constant calling with no response, I realised she was having too much fun shopping on her own. Another hour went past, she finally ran up to me with a half apologetic smile and dragged me to Komehyo (no photos allowed). Opposite to Isetan is the H&M store and next door is this shop where they sell second hand luxury goods. The first 5 floors or so are devoted to female fashion, from jewelleries to hand bags to shoes to everything else fashionable, say a second hand handbag for Yen 4,000,000? I suppose Tokyonites are so fashionable, there is a depth of market for this shop with multiple branches across town.
W swiftly took me to the top floor where mens’ wear is. I ended up buying three items, including a thick cotton plain brown militaryesque jacket I had been searching for a number of years – Comme Des Garcons – apparently it is a good brand. Three items for about AUD$150 with taxes back on the spot.
After that, we went next door. If you are feeling hungary in Tokyo, just look for a department store and catch the lift up to a top floor where the restaurants are.
For about yen1,500 you get a simple three course meals in booths with partitions. The lunch was pretty good after some shopping.