Japan is somewhat of a pilgrimage for those looking to hone their craft, from food to coffee, textiles and denim – the Japanese have perfected the artform of taking your time, doing it right, and committing your life to something you’re passionate about.
If you’re like us, Japan provides a source of style inspiration even from a distance. Books like Take Ivy, Japan’s timeless tribute to American Ivy League traditional style, or Japanese magazines like Free and Easy (R.I.P.) all provide a glimpse at what it means to sweat the details and build a manual around lifestyle.
What follows is our guide to shopping for menswear, specifically vintage and indigo goods, in Tokyo. This is called Tokyo in One Day because it just barely scratches the surface of what’s out there. We know we left out some heavy hitters but plenty has been written about them.
To quote Anthony Bourdain, “I'm sure I could spend the rest of my life there, learn the language, and still die happily ignorant."
Shop Alrightnik shirting with fabric sourced from Japan here.
Vintage is popular in Tokyo and parts of it will blow your mind. While we could name a few neighborhoods for vintage, we’re sticking with Shimokitazawa because of the density of quality vintage within a few blocks of each other. It’s a short train ride from Shibuya.
Big Time - Shimokitazawa
Big Time is first because this is a place to devote serious time digging. Big Time is stocked with a collection that spans vintage military goods, workwear, sportswear (sweatshirts, fleece, track suits), flannels, collegiate goods, and footwear. What’s great about this store is it’s large and organized, not overwhelming like a lot of other spots in town.
Flamingo - Shimokitazawa
Flamingo is more of a typical thrift shop, a short walk from Big Time, and if you have any sort of penchant for Polo this is it. They stock a plethora of button downs, denim, and some standout vintage pieces from LL Bean and Carhartt. You’ll also find American collegiate goods here as well.
Hoochie Choochie - Shimokitazawa
This place is a gem, and while Big Time and Flamingo have been well documented, we might regret telling people about Hoochie Coochie. It’s hard to not want it all. What H.C. lacks in space it makes up for in military surplus from around the world as well as authentic vintage Japanese pieces, boro cloth, patchwork and indigo chore coats. In a city where vintage is everywhere, this place stands out with its commitment to curation.
Nozy Coffee - Shibuya
Heading back to the city center of Shibuya, Nozy Coffee Roastery is a solid spot to experience Tokyo’s take on craft coffee. They have a huge selection of house roasted beans and the pour over is done to perfection. Watching the roaster at work in front of you is a nice way to pass the time.
Okura - Shibuya
If indigo is what you’re into, Okura should be on the list. If you’re familiar with Blue Blue Japan, this is essentially the flagship, along with a treasure chest of indigo goods like scarves, handkerchiefs, chore coats, workwear pants, tee shirts and button downs. We saved this for last because if you can only hit one place on a layover, make it Okura.