Department Stores in Tokyo

When you walk into a ‘Departo’ (department store) in Tokyo you will see some of the prettiest girls behind the makeup counters with their perfectly made up faces and uniforms. And look around! You’ll be surrounded by well dressed woman on a shopping frenzy.

Dressing up to go to the department store is an event within itself. Rarely do you see anybody casually dressed, wearing sweats or sneakers like you see in the States or Canada and like I usually go. Who doesn’t want to be comfortable while walking around for hours? It must take these woman forever to get ready!

Rarely will you find malls but rather Departo in Tokyo. But I don’t mind one bit. The Departo is usually a 10+ story building and a one stop shop. One of my favorites, ISETAN, is catered more to the high end crowd so you know you’re getting good stuff. If you want brand name clothing, or want to look for items from the USA, you’ll definitely find it here because Japanese girls love anything foreign!

I can’t believe how popular brand name jeans are in Japan. People fork out big money to fit into a pair of Citizens of Humanity or True Religion Jeans just to name a couple. ISETAN has one of the biggest ‘Jean’s Bars’ in the Departo. A Jeans Bar is a huge section with tons of jeans from the US, Europe and Japan.

The girls who buy these jeans are so obsessed with sizing. The sales associates actually tell them to go down a size for the ‘stretchy’ type jean, just to keep the customers happy. I once saw two girls on the floor trying to squeeze into a pair of jeans and I heard the sales associate tell them to suck in their tummies as they wiggled. Even if your love handles are bulging out of the sides…don’t worry they’ll say, ‘they will stretch, you look great’!

This leads me to the dressing room situation. Rarely will you be able to try on a pair of pants or a shirt, don’t ask me why…maybe it’s a hygienic thing. If you do find a dressing room, be prepared to take off your shoes outside and that white cloth in the corner is something you should use to cover your face so you don’t get any makeup on the clothes. Smart and courteous but a pain in the neck.

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