1. Ainz & Tulpe, Shibuya-ku
Ainz & Tulpe, a two-floor megastore of skincare and makeup, has everything – from perfumes to bath salts, and, of course, makeup, is already worth flying to Tokyo for. If this sounds appealing, you can find an amazing outlet on Omotesando Street, very close to Harajuku station. As a bonus, it doesn’t get nearly as packed as some of the competitors in the neighbourhood.
Address: Quest Building Jingumae 1-13-14 Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
How to get to Ainz & Tylpe: JR Harajuku or Omotesando Stations
Website: Ainz & Tulpe
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2. Matsumoto Kiyoshi, Toshima-ku
Japanese drug stores sell more than you could ever imagine. Photo credit: Pictures of a pair of wandering travel mice
Matsumoto Kiyoshi, a drugstore chain found in nearly every city in the country, sells a wide range of cosmetic brands, tax-free. The two-storey Takeshita shop in Harajuku is one of the larger ones, but can also be a bit packed. Matsumoto Kiyoshi carries a wide range of brands, from lower-end options like Cezanne and pricier options like Shiseido’s more luxury offerings.
Address: Ikebukuro 1-27-5 Toshima-ku, Tokyo
How to get to Matsumoto Kiyoshi: JR Ikebukuro
Website: Matsumoto KiYoshi
3. PLAZA, Shibuya-ku
Where’s the best place to buy cosmetics in Shibuya? PLAZA is a fun little store billing itself as an old-fashioned American drug store that sells an interesting array of fun surprising products, including makeup. There’s a big branch in Shibuya’s 109 building, where you can find all the cosmetics you could want from Japan as well as the rest of the world, very much like how Seoul has become a hotspot for beauty shopping.
Address: 109 Building Dogenzaka 2-29-1 Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
How to get to PLAZA: Shibuya Station
4. LOFT, Shibuya Udagawacho
Browse through this little fun store called Sony Plaza. Photo credit: Misty7
Tokyo’s LOFT is a funky department store that sells everything under the sun. Of course, they have cosmetics too. There are branches near many of the major train stations in Tokyo, including Shibuya, whose local LOFT is atop a hill and very easy to spot.
Address: Seibu Shibuya Udagawacho 21-1, Tokyo
How to get to LOFT: Shibuya Station
5. THREE Cosmetics, Minato-ku
So where’s the best place to find organic cosmetics? With locally sourced ingredients, and products that balance body mind and skin, THREE makes cosmetics that make connoisseurs flip. Their Omotesando boutique is a must see for any serious cosmetics buff, and the neighbouring organic cafe is a tasty treat. This is the perfect brand for those who are interested in using natural and organic beauty products.
What to buy at THREE: Balancing Cleansing Oil
Address: 3-12-13 Kita-Aoyama Minato-ku, Tokyo
How to get to Three: Omotesando Station
6. Cosme Kitchen, Shibuya-ku
Cosme Kitchen offers more than just organic cosmetics. Photo credit: TimeOut
Not to be confused for a Tokyo restaurant, this organic cosmetic shop in Shibuya-ku carries both domestic and international make-up, skin care, and hair care products. Their Daikanyama store has a small organic juice/ smoothie bar and offers not only organic beauty products, but also herbal teas, detergents and other eco-friendly goods for you and your home from all over the world.
What to buy at Cosme Kitchen: naturaglace products
Address: 19-4 Daikanyama, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
How to get to Cosme Kitchen: Daikanyama Station
Website: Cosme Kitchen
7. Isetan, Shinjuku
This is the best place to get all your high-end luxury cosmetics at one shot – plus a lump sum of tax off your bill. The beauty section of this particular store spans two floors in Shinjuku, filled with international brands and also local brands like SK-II and Albion. You’ll also be able to find organic and niche brands such as Yonka.
What to buy at Isetan: Suqqu products
Address: Shinjuku 3−14−1, Tokyo
How to get to Isetan: Shinjuku Station
8. Mitsukoshi Ginza, Chuo
Isetan Shinjuku has bags, makeup, food, history and a lot more. Photo credit: JNTO
Located at Ginza 4-chome, right in the heart of the Ginza district, Ginza Mitsukoshi is a landmark of the neighbourhood. There was a renewal of the thriving cosmetics floor in September 2015, and in terms of the product line-up, the beauty and cosmetics section on the first basement floor carries several brands, including the first Burberry retail space in Japan.
Address: 4-6-16 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo 104-8212
How to get to Mitsukoshi: Ginza
Where to buy cosmetics online?
@cosme is the place to know what’s in and what’s good. Photo credit: Tokyo Savvy
With tonnes of reviews and rankings, @cosme is Japan’s premier online cosmetics retailer. Use international package forwarding service or just get the things delivered by Japan’s very reliable delivery services. And for those who prefer to see what they buy before they purchase, @cosme also has a physical presence in some major department stores.
Address: 1-11-1 Nishi Ikebukuro Toshima-ku, Tokyo
How to get to @cosme: Ikebukuro
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Published October 2016 and updated in September 2017. Any prices are lowest estimated prices only at the time of publication and are subject to change and/or availability.
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