Shopping (kaimono) is a necessity for some and an enjoyment for others, but for Tokyoites it’s both those things combined with unique cultural elements that have been shaping the city for centuries. Places of historical importance have also become key areas of commerce, serving as major shopping hubs long before now and still today. Even Tokyo’s train and metro stations have blended into the department store concept to become eki depato, huge shopping complexes which you never have to leave the station to enjoy.
These factors, combined with inescapable 24-hour convenience stores and ubiquitous vending machines, make Tokyo the world’s undisputed “Kingdom of Convenience.”
The first messenger boys in front of the Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Store ©ISETAN MITSUKOSHI LTD.