The 3 Major Department Stores in Tokyo

Tokyo has a number of department stores. Tokyo department stores are excellently crafted with the best infrastructure. The first department stores were established hundreds of years back. The departmental stores here in Tokyo today are huge and have everything in them from clothing, electronics and restaurants to fun games. In short you can say entering any of the department stores in Tokyo is like exploring a whole new world of its own. Let us now talk about the 3 Major Department Stores in Tokyo.


Mitsukoshi, Ltd. is a very popular international department store which has its headquarters in Toyko, the capital city of Japan. It was founded back in 1673 by Mitsui Takatoshi but was declared as a departmental store in 1904. Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings is the owner of Mitsukoshi Holdings. It also owns a very popular department chain store named Isetan. Mitsukoshi is believed to be the first departmental store in Japan.

History of Mitsukoshi

Mitsukoshi was founded in 1673 . Back then they would sell kimonos door-to-door. After ten years of struggle they finally set up their first store. This helped both the shop keeper and the customers as they could now purchase things simply from the store then and there. Nowadays an interesting fact about this department store is that the metro station which lies adjacent to it is named after it and is referred to as the Mitsukoshimae Station.

In the month of August in the year 2007, an announcement was made which stated that Mitsukoshi would soon merge into Isetan which is another major store in the country. After another announcement on March 26, 2008 the department store was finally unlisted. On 1st April, 2008, it joined hands with Isetan and both department stores merged together under one company which is jointly held.

Mitsukoshi Departmental Store, Ginza

Mitsukoshi, Ginza located in Tokyo is the first and the main store of the departmental chain. It has been constructed in Renaissance-style and is also observed as a historical building by the Tokyo metropolitan government. This is why apart from shopping, visitors can come to the store to enjoy the brilliant architecture. The department store showcases Japanese culture at its best and welcomes visitors with a lot of warmth.

Other important branches of the stores are in places like China, Rome, Orlando Florida and  New York.

In 1930, Mitsukoshi had launched its first store in Korea in its capital Seoul but soon after its liberation in 1945, it was taken over by Samsung and was renamed as Shinsegae.

The Taiwan stores are named as Shin Kong Department Store as it is a collaboration between Shin Long Group and Mitsukoshi. It’s first store opened in Taipei in the year 1991.

Ginza Mitsukoshi at Night


Isetan is a Japanese department store. It has branches all over Japan and in other places in South East Asia with its main branch in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Isetan was founded in 1886 by Tanji Kosuge. Later Isetan and Mitsukoshi merged together under one company which holds both these department stores.

History of Isetan

It started as a Kimono fabric shop in the back in the district of Kanda back in 1886. It established in the form of a store of a department in the year 1924 after the Kanto Earthquake. It then launched its main store in Shinjuku in the year 1933. Finally, in 2008 Isetan merged with Mitsukoshi under one holding.

Now, it has been acclaimed internationally for being a well-known department store. The flagship branch was remodeled in 2013 with the purpose of giving it a more modern look.

Isetan Shinjuku Department Store

Isetan Shinjuku is the flagship store of the entire chain of Isetan Department Stores. It is located a few blocks east of  Shinjuku Station. The department store is huge and elegant which reflects the status of the store.

The main building focuses more on women’s clothing. The store has nine stories and two basements. The first floor consists mainly of cosmetics and accessories such as handbags, watches, scarves, sunglasses and so on. It also has some big brands such as Gucci, Prada, Veneta, Fendi being some of them. Then we see that floors two to four have all kinds of women’s clothing. The clothing style varies from luxurious to casual and traditional to modern. You’ll also find some big global designer stores such as Armani, Chanel, Dior and Saint Laurent. You’ll also find Japanese designer stores such as Issey  Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto. The next two floors are devoted to housewares and the other are are children’s goods. It also has a small section which consists of Japanese Crafts. Then on the seventh floor the store has restaurants of different cuisines  such as Japanese, Chinese, Korean and other Western cuisine. The last two floors have men’s clothing in addition to other items for men.

Isetan has several branches in Japan. Apart from that it has its branches in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Singapore.

Shinjuku Isetan


Takashimaya Co., Ltd is a Japanese company which has been operating as a department store. It has a wide range of products, varying from wedding dresses to electronics. The store was founded on January 10, 1831 in Kyoto, Japan. The name of the founder was Shinshichi Iida.


The store in Kyoto was 3.6 square meters initially. It was opened in Kyoto in 1831. The owner had started a sole proprietorship business and sold kimonos. The second store of Takashimaya opened in Kyoto in the year 1893 followed by a third one in Tokyo in 1897 and then in Osaka in 1898.

Takashimaya then started investing in the Stock Market and export business which expanded its growth further. After opening several stores through out Japan by 1933 two of its stores were damaged in 1945 by the fire bombings in Toyko and Osaka.

In the year 1958, Takashimaya came up with its first international store in New York City but eventually closed in 2010 as Takashimaya chose to shift its focus on Asian markets. Takashimaya opened its first American style sunburn shopping centre in southwest of Tokyo in 1969.

It then faced some major ups and downs and finally announced that it would merge with H2O retailing and thought of setting up a department store which would be the largest of all in Japan. However, things didn’t happen the way it was planned and in 2010 it was declared that they cancelled their plans of merging together.

Takashimaya, Osaka

The place Namba in Osaka is a complete shopping hub. It is the first flag store of Takashimaya and is standing tall for over a century now. Takashimaya Osaka is sure to give you a complete shopping experience with variety of stores such as fashion brands, gift stores and even some best restaurants, this store has it all.

The store also has some important customer services such as free Wi-Fi and rental cell phone battery chargers.

Takashimaya Shinjuku Department Store

It is located on the south side of Shinjuku Station. It offers its customers a wide range of luxury items and can be compared to Mitsukoshi. Takashimaya Shinjuku takes up the bigger share of a massive 16 storey building while the smaller part is occupied by a DIY and hobby store named Tokyo Hands.

Takashimaya has its stores in Shanghai, Taipei, Singapore and Bangkok but they aren’t owned fully by Takashimaya and but are joint ventures.

Thus, these were the three most well-known department stores in Tokyo. Do not miss out on any one of them if you ever visit this wonderful city.

Takashimaya Shinjuku

Did you enjoy today’s article on the 3 major department stores in Tokyo?  Have you been to any of them? If so, please leave a comment and let me know which one you visited and where.   Also, if you haven’t done so already, check out the last article on the current governor or Tokyo, Yuriko Koike here. 

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