As its been noted before Tokyo is actually an unassuming thrift store paradise. From cheap outlets to speciality high-end designer boutiques, no matter your thrift store taste you can find it here in Tokyo. If there were one area of the city that could be considered the thrift store heart of the city it would be Koenji. Located a few minutes from Shinjuku this hip pocket of the city is overflowing with some of the best secondhand shops in the world. Here are just a handful of places you should check out while you’re in town.
Specialising in anime inspired, brightly coloured menswear, what makes Hayatochiri stand out from the pack is the sheer variety on offer. In terms of selection, this little friendly boutique has potentially the most interesting stock in the city. Rather than simple worn soft leather jackets and well faded workman’s jeans Hayatochiri sells repurposed and remade one of a kind pieces. Inside the store looks like if a candy shop, toy store and thrift shop all got swept up into a tornado and spat back out a one single entity.
A Koenji vintage icon, Re’all is known for its huge variety of stock and super friendly professional staff. Just a short five minute stroll from Koenji station, the store is actually located on first floor of a residential building. Here in the back streets of the city, the store’s stock pours out onto the pathway begging passers by to pop in and explore. Started by two brothers as a way to provide brand name goods at a reasonable price, Re’all is the best place to find that designer staple to add to your wardrobe.
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With a name like ‘Gasoline’ you probably know what to expect from this Koenji icon. This is your go-to for all biker style apparel. Think leather jackets, chunky boots, denim overalls and everything in-between. They also stock an impressive selection of workmen’s classics like Lee and Carhartt jeans and shirts, all in pretty much brand new condition.
Now or Never
If you’re after classic comfort clothing, like chunky knits and soft worn in jeans, Now or Never is your spot. Focusing on easy to wear men’s apparel (with some ladies stuff and jewellery thrown in) this Koenji thrift shop is an easy, no frills home to some carefully selected gems. Given how much the stock rotates sometimes it’s hard to keep up so follow the shop’s regularly updated blog to know about the store’s recent additions.
4 Chome-24-2 Kōenjiminami, Suginami-ku, Tōkyō-to 166-0003, +81 3 3317 7707
In English ‘oshare gaijin’ actually means stylish foreigner, but there isn’t anything too specifically foreign about this place. It is however stocked with a whole lot of stylish clothes. Run by two sisters, the shop has a style focus more heavily weighted on the feminine end of the spectrum. If you’re looking for that new cute summer dress this is where you should go!
3 Chome-56-1 Kōenjiminami, Suginami-ku, Tōkyō-to 166-0003, +81 3 3316 9337
For all your vintage military style clothing needs, you should head straight to Whistler. The store is filled to the brim with classic leather goods and heavy duty vintage jackets. The most impressive point of the store however is its shoe collection. The store’s owner makes regular pilgrimages to the US to personally hand select each pair that makes its way into the store.
Another store dedicated the menswear, Chart’s speciality is arguably their impressive collection of neckties which are located on the first floor of the building. Run by the same owners as Whister the main difference between the two stores is that Chart is a lot more focused on capsule everyday wear as opposed to military outfits. For men’s accessories, belts, boots and everything else you can’t go past this place.
Suginami-ku, Koenji Minami 4-30-8, Misato Building 1st-2nd Floor, +81 3 5377 1911
Ok so this isn’t really a clothing shop, but it’s still technically a thift store and one of the most impressive outlets in the area. Scrap Studio is a stylish furniture and homeware store that features restored remade and re-purposed furniture at an incredibly reasonable price. If IKEA and Nitori (Japanese IKEA) are too mainstream, but you don’t want to blow your budget make your way over to this Koenji gem.
4 Chome-8-2 Koenjiminami, Suginami, Tokyo 166-0003, +81 3 3313 2629