I’ve never visited a place with so many second hand stores like Tokyo: the capital of pre loved clothes.
What really makes the experience of buying second hand in Tokyo truly amazing, is the perfect condition of almost every single items these shops sell.
Sometimes it’s very hard to tell if the clothes are new or used, and the reasons why these pieces are in such perfect condition is cultural.
Japanese respect and take excellent care of everything they own, from their homes, to their gardens and of course their clothes.
The major religion in Japan is Shinto and its practitioners believes that everything around has spirit and should be worshipped.
Disclaimer: I literally tried to summarize a religion I know almost nothing about in one sentence so please forgive me.
I just wanted to give you an idea of the respect Japanese have for the owning and environment around them.
In Tokyo, you can find second hand, vintage and thrift store everywhere but the number neighbourhood for 2nd hand is Shimokitazawa.
Almost all the boutiques here are vintage and secondhand so I recommend to spend an entire day there and explore all the options.
Also, most of the 2nd hand chain of stores, have a branch here.
We listed here all our favorite places - that we visited in person:
2nd street: it's a chain so you can find many around the city. The clothes look like brand new, it's very hard to tell what has actually been used. You can find items from any kind of brand, from Zara to Acne to Japanese designers.
Cyan: a very feminine vintage boutique, where you can find very unique, beautiful pieces.
New York Joe Exchange: they have a huge selections of items that are easy to wear and the shop in Shimokitazwa is very unique since the place is an old public bath.
Bonum: I fell in love in this boutique, that upcycles old denim into outstanding pieces like jackets and pants. I've never seen so many beautiful, trendy and well done upcycled pieces.
Rose: a small boutique that sells handpicked trendy pieces in perfect conditions. It's so trendy and cool, I wanted to buy every single piece they had.
This elegant boutique not only sells beautiful vintage pieces and accessories but also upcycles. Here I bought an old, very large man shirt tuned into a cropped button down shirt.
Flamingo: a big selections of clothes at very convenient prices.
Chicago: one of the most famous chain of secondhand in Tokyo and a very original one. First of all, they have a huge selection of kimonos. Secondly, they upcycle pre loved clothes into new items following the trend of the moment.
GasLamp square: a super cool thrift shop, very hipster and high quality.
I wanted all their silky blouses.
The sun goes down: a beautifully designed boutique, where everything is in the shades of white, beige, brown.
Going second hand shopping in Tokyo has been one of the most exciting experience I had during my trips to Japan. Even if you're not into second hand (yet), you should definitely try visit one of these shops: they have clothes for any body type and for any style.