Shopping Tokyo | Journey


After every visit to Daikanyama, I leave thinking it is the neighborhood I would most like to inhabit should I ever move to Tokyo. It is never really crowded, there’s an Eataly (which pre-dates and surpasses NYC’s consistently chaotic eye-talyon outpost), really delicious coffee, leafy streets and of course good shopping. It sort of reminds me of TriBeCa in a lot of ways. That’s to say it is probably very expensive to live there, which likely means I would not ever be able to call it home, but it’s fun to imagine. Anyway, back to the point at hand: the importance of quality menswear retail. Tokyo has it in spades, much more than any city anywhere in the world. Having been all over the place, I am comfortable saying this rather bold statement because it is undeniable. The consumer culture is borderline insane and that is what makes it so much fun to visit.

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In a way, shopping Tokyo is like going to Pitti Uomo; if you go every year, you see a lot of the same thing (or similar things). You really could go once every few years and not miss much. This rang true on my most recent trip to Japan with the exception of a few different places, one being Daikanyama’s newish menswear shop Journey.

The store sort of seems to be based on the theme of the outdoors look, but only really in aesthetic ways. Kind of like those key chain carabineers, that if ever actually used for anything more than keeping your keys together, would mean certain death. So probably best not to actually head to the wilderness in any of this stuff. Better to just stick to the tree-lined parts of Tokyo. All that said, real deal or not, Journey sells a lot of great stuff, including a comprehensive selection of Mt. Rainier Design, a collection which I happen to really like.

Journey is the sibling to the store next door called OKURA (which has been around for some time and is well-regarded) and also to the Americana heavy (and tiny) shop across the street called High! Standard. I didn’t realize the connection at first, but all three stores including another around the corner are owned by the same parent company. All of these stores represent a different type of look, but collectively they each do their part to manifest interesting menswear retail.



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Comments on “Shopping Tokyo | Journey

    JRS on January 11, 2013 1:42 PM:

    Great post, MW. If you don’t mind me asking, which camera did you use for these shots?



    Michael Williams on January 11, 2013 1:54 PM:

    Glad you liked the post. All photos are Canon 5D MkII. I think the lens was 35mm f/1.4L. I was thinking of upgrading to the MkIII but can’t seem to justify it. What do you guys think?

    Shamus on January 11, 2013 2:05 PM:

    Great post I love that hood spend a ton of time there when I am in Tokyo. I highly recommend checking out the Coffee at Bonjour Records best that there is over there. Also the Kitimura Camera store at the T Site is insane. It is a good walk from that hood down to Naka Meguro as well. Some of the best walking in the city.

    Rob van der Spek on January 11, 2013 3:20 PM:

    Canon if your reading this, help this brother out!

    PETER on January 11, 2013 3:35 PM:

    I’m pretty sure the store next to Journey (which is just basically a re-merchandising of High Standard-same product essentially) is called Okura, not Mother Nature. Them, Blue Blue, Hollywood Ranch Market and High Standard all use the same “Mother Nature” bag, and it is also the name of an Okura sub-label…
    I agree though, one of the most liveable neighborhoods (along with Naka Meguro) in Tokyo. Plus Nanamica is in Daikanyama. THE BEST!!!

    MATT on January 11, 2013 5:49 PM:

    mk3 files are lush.. less crispy than the mk2. silent mode is wonderful – i leave it on all the time. the new camera raw 7.1 is also exceptional. not sure if you can tone mk2 files with it. check my site for samples.

    Nathan on January 11, 2013 6:23 PM:

    Don’t forget Tsutaya T-Site is in Daikanyama too – where they have a magazine library filled with back issues.

    Whitley weller on January 11, 2013 6:49 PM:

    Great post and photos. That room key is a keeper. The Holiday Inn at 2020 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque is no more. Now the Hotel Elegante… :)

    Ted on January 12, 2013 12:14 AM:

    Love this

    Jack on January 12, 2013 12:17 AM:

    Anyone know who makes that black watch shirt?

    Michael Williams on January 12, 2013 4:17 AM:

    I believe the Blackwatch shirt is Gitman Bros Vintage.

    In regards to Okura, you are correct Peter. My mistake. Hollywood Ranch Market is my least favorite of the bunch as it seems too fake for me. The others, including Okura are excellent. And Nanamica is tops for that area and one of the best in Tokyo.

    Justin on January 12, 2013 11:21 AM:

    Having lived in that part of Tokyo for awhile (albeit years ago) you could really find deals in ‘hot’ places like Naka Meguro where there’s older housing stock. Daikenyama is another story though because that place was basically leveled and rebuilt as new construction in the 90s with all the new units being real pricey.

    John on January 12, 2013 11:56 PM:

    This store looks like a Japanese Hickoree’s. Killer.

    caleb on January 13, 2013 1:59 AM:


    Robby on January 14, 2013 3:07 AM:

    Like so many things in Japan, the shops in Daikanyama reflect a cross-section of American goods that makes for better shopping than anywhere in America. Somehow the Japanese have made curation (aka merchandising) an art-form, and the “select shop” is museum of culture – witness the second hand shops of Americana or the Italianate splendor of Beams or United Arrows outlets…

    mat on January 14, 2013 5:36 AM:

    looks jam packed, my sorta place

    mark on January 17, 2013 9:03 AM:

    Hi Michael. An amazing looking store. In one of the photos I’m intrigued by the soda bottle tops that look like they’re attached to metal pins. You don’t recall what they actually are? I can’t work it out! Thanks.

    HP on January 19, 2013 11:20 AM:

    This store looks awesome.

    Okemah on January 23, 2013 11:42 PM:

    Consider the Fujifilm X-Pro-1 w/Fuji 35mm F1.4 prime…killer combo!

    Aaron on January 24, 2013 9:01 AM:

    Not really feeling these places anymore. I think the trend of americana outdoorsman is getting played out seriously in Japan. How many vintage, authentic, 80s hiking, stores can you have? Daikanyama, Nakameguro, Aoyama, Harajuku they are all over Tokyo – but it is the same thing. It’s the Starbucks effect where you cannot turn a corner and NOT see one of these shops.

    rap on February 8, 2013 1:02 PM:

    would like more places to visit!

    @aaron, that’s the thing though, it’s NOT a trend but a lifestyle that does not exist anywhere else. whether the trend lives on or not in the western side of the world this niche market/lifestyle is unique to japan and won’t be going away anytime soon.

Comments are closed.