Guess how many vintage shops there are in Koenji, go on, guess! If you follow us on twitter (we’re tokyo_telephone), then you’ll already know the answer, but for those of you that don’t: our last count was somewhere around 70. Yes, that’s right, about seventy shops selling vintage clothing just in Koenji alone, let alone the rest of Tokyo… It really is a vintage-lover’s paradise, and I urge anyone with even a passing interest in all things old and exciting to get to Koenji as soon as possible to have a good old rummage around.

With that in mind, we risked life and frozen limbs in the arctic temperatures last week to put together this post featuring forty-one amazing vintage shops in Koenji. It’s sadly not a definitive list, just over half actually, but I hope gives you a flavour of what’s around here, and the pickings are particularly rich in menswear and 1960s style dresses. I’m pretty sure you already know about Spank! and KitaKore and I’ve already talked about some other vintage stores previously, so this is a small (!!) selection of some of our other favourites…

vintage tourism tokyo shopping mori men koenji kawaii fashion dolly kei

Sokkyouhomepage – A charming selection of practically antique clothing that’s almost like taking a tour through someone’s house.

vintage tourism tokyo shopping mori men koenji kawaii fashion dolly kei

(Clockwise from top left)

Hoy-Hoy Stationhomepage

Now Or Neverhomepage – Now Or Never has a great choice of menswear, such as heavy jumpers, Vietnam-era embroidered sukajyan and some interesting silver jewellery too.

Yurihomepage – Excellent Americana.

Trunk

vintage tourism tokyo shopping mori men koenji kawaii fashion dolly kei

Bamboo Horse

Nomad – Truly unique collection of old motorcycle helmets and related biker goodies.

Peep Cheephomepage – Fabulously retro 1960s-era clothing, a must-see for all fans of this golden fashion age.

Kuro Benzhomepage – I’d quite like to live in Kuro Benz; it’s right up my street (almost literally!) and is one of the best places to pick up studded leather jackets, furry hats and cheesy cardigans. Love it.

vintage tourism tokyo shopping mori men koenji kawaii fashion dolly kei

and Phebhomepage

Cordhomepage – Proof that it always pays to investigate upstairs!

Bernethomepage – Lovely ladieswear that’s sure to tickle the fancy of anyone who likes leather bags and long skirts.

vintage tourism tokyo shopping mori men koenji kawaii fashion dolly kei

Oshare Gaijin – With a name meaning ‘stylish foreigner’, you’re guaranteed to come away with a smile on your face.

Morning Sun

Zoolhomepage – Zool is a vintage behemoth, with 6 shops just in Koenji adding up to a vast vintage catalogue.

Jacob’s Ladderhomepage

vintage tourism tokyo shopping mori men koenji kawaii fashion dolly kei

Ionio & Etnahomepage – One of our new finds, a gorgeous little shop selling true antiques and things made from reclaimed wood. A really stunning place!

Hikari – A Koenji institution, kind of like a teenage girl’s closet exploded and filled a shop.

UK Extrahomepage – A nostalgia trip for me & Samuel! I love all the old school blazers, even though I hated mine at the time…

Mad Tea Partyhomepage – A proper must for dolly-kei girls and boys, and fans of teacups and Masonic regalia too.

vintage tourism tokyo shopping mori men koenji kawaii fashion dolly kei

Vividhomepage – One of the most interesting concepts for a vintage shop; everything has been made in Japan, a change from all the imports!

Encore

Safarihomepage – With three separate stores in Koenji, including one specialising in Ralph Lauren, Safari is making a name for itself.

vintage tourism tokyo shopping mori men koenji kawaii fashion dolly kei

S.Ohomepage - Menswear paradise, with a great choice of clothing to keep you warm this winter.

Re’allhomepage – You had me at the huge pile of shoes outside! Also great for vintage Ralph Lauren jumpers and Italian handbags.

D Clothing: Noel by Hug – homepage – D Clothing is kind of amazing, and between the three stores (D Clothing, Noel and Hug) you’re sure to find something to treasure.

Kikihomepage – A really cute little vintage shop, even if I am always a bit freaked out by the giant Barbies in the window!

vintage tourism tokyo shopping mori men koenji kawaii fashion dolly kei

Dai-daihomepage – Under the same umbrella as Green Dot, Dai-dai is great for ladies who love the playfulness of Spank! with a more vibrant colour selection.

Scrap Studiohomepage – Okay, more furniture than clothes, but where else can you buy a genuine old school desk for such a reasonable price? Perfect for creating a vintage home!

Chiruruhomepage – Fabulous variety of retro clothing and homewear, and I was sorely tempted by some telephone-shaped buttons.

Super Old 

vintage tourism tokyo shopping mori men koenji kawaii fashion dolly kei

Gasolinehomepage – A super-amazing place to by that perfect vintage leather jacket, and even more biker bits & bobs than you can shake a stick at.

JuRianhomepage – I was kind of in two minds to include JuRian as they sell some new items, but I’m sure mori girls and dolly-kei lovers will fall head over heels.

Mousehomepage – I really love Mouse! It’s a little creepy, but there’s a really fantastic selection and Samuel even found an old fencing jacket there, along with some Vivienne Westwood rocking horse shoes – alas too small for me!

vintage tourism tokyo shopping mori men koenji kawaii fashion dolly kei

Jinjerhomepage – Brother shop to Green Light, Jinjer (as well as being right next to a temple) has probably the best selection of old Dr Martens boots in the world.

Whistler

Chart – A really huge selection of shoes and neckties just on the first floor – menswear heaven!

Yakusokuhomepage – An adorable little vintage shop, with an emphasis on handmade items too.

Phew! So there you have it – a mere glimpse into the wonderful world of vintage available in Koenji – seen anything that’s piqued your interest?

vintage tourism tokyo shopping mori men koenji kawaii fashion dolly kei

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32 Responses to A Masterclass in Vintage Fashion Shopping – Koenji, Tokyo

  1. bunny bissoux says:

    This is like a wonderful christmas gift from you to me. I can’t believe I live here and yet I have no idea where the heck at least half of these places are. I think I need to go on a proper exploratory shop very soon. If I still can’t find places, I’ll be requesting your assistance to drag me round all 70.

    and a belated Merry Christmas to you both xx

  2. Jessica Jane says:

    I second all of the above. Yikes indeed! Well done you, and thank you, for compiling such a comprehensive list!!!

  3. Rebecca says:

    @ bunny bissoux – Hello! Hope you had a lovely Christmas! We’re both a bit gross and ill, but when we’re not infectious let’s meet up :)
    So glad you like the vintage list, and let’s def have a potter around soon!

  4. Rebecca says:

    @ Jessica Jane – Hello! :) So glad you like the list… I was rather surprised at the final total of shops, wowzer! ;)

  5. Rachel says:

    hi people usually say that the vintage clothes stores in japan are overpriced
    I live in Australia and the vintage stores here are quite reasonable and cheap so i was wondering if you could tell me the price range of the vintage clothes in japan

  6. Leanne says:

    Gobsmacked!! Great job guys – so much info here for vintage lovers.

  7. Rebecca says:

    @ Rachel – Hi, thanks for getting in touch!

    Hmm, that’s a good question. Firstly, I woud say that vintage shopping is totally different from thrift and even second-hand shopping, so I would never really expect a bargain as such. However, once you consider that pretty much everything has been imported, it’s all in very good condition (nothing smells bad!) and the shop itself is kind of a work of art… I do consider it to be good value.

    Specific prices depend on the shop, the clothing style, and of course the exchange rate! If you’d like me to do some more digging around for you, I’ll see what I can do :)

  8. Rebecca says:

    @ Leanne – Thanks, and that’s not even all of them!

    I’m already looking forward to a bit of Koenji shopping with you next year ;)

  9. Rachel says:

    Thanks for your quick reply! :)
    Do you know how i can get to koenji from harajuku?

  10. Rebecca says:

    @ Rachel – Hello again! Koenji is on the Chuo line…

    If you’re unfamiliar with the JR, then take the Yamanote line from Harajuku towards Shinjuku. At Shinjuku, change to the Chuo line towards Nakano, and it’s the station after Nakano. Hope that helps! :)

  11. Loved the vintage marathon! Can’t wait to get to Tokyo again, haven’t been there since the early eighties!!!
    My book, Affordable Couture, will be out late August or September.
    What camera did you use for the pix in this post? Just your iPhone or do you have a good digital camera?

  12. Rebecca says:

    @ Affordable Couture – Hi Linda, thanks for the comment!
    I hope my Tokyo advice makes it into print, haha. If you need a guide, Samuel & I do offer that service, so let us know if we can help you out.

    I actually use a compact DSLR – a bit of an investment, but well worth it :)

  13. [...] a small residential neighborhood known for its shopping and underground culture. There are over 70 vintage clothing stores in Koenji and the neighborhood’s hip residents are documented on local fashion blogs. Koenji is also a [...]

  14. Tiffany says:

    Hi Rebecca!

    Thanks for this awesome blog post – I’m definitely going to refer to it often when I finally am in Tokyo this Nov and go shopping! (:
    Do you know the rough opening hours for these shops?

    Thanks!
    Tiffany

  15. Rebecca says:

    @ Tiffany – Thanks for getting in touch!

    Roughly, I would say that they all open in the afternoon, maybe around 1-ish. Koenji is pretty relaxed! I should also mention that they probably will take at least one off a week – if there’s a specific shop that you really want to visit, it’s worth checking out the shop blogs I linked to.

    Hope that helps! If you have any more questions then of course feel free to ask away :)

  16. Tiffany says:

    @ Rebecca, thanks for your very prompt and helpful reply! That’s great, because I was thinking of only going there in the afternoon, around 3-4 pm onwards. Do you know what time they close? I’m also looking to be there on a Friday as that’s the only window of time I can afford during my short stay in Tokyo (:

  17. jo says:

    I will be in Tokyo in a couple of months. Do any of these shops sell second hand Miyake, CDG, Yamamoto? If not, any idea where I should look? thanks

  18. Samuel says:

    @ jo

    These shops doen’t tend to stock many used brand designers, you are much better off going to 10two in Shibuya as that is the mothership of the brands you mentioned. Failing that Rag Tag, Rinkan and Kind (all have Shibuya shops) will definitely provide you with hours of browsing!

  19. jo says:

    Thanks Samuel, is there a particular area of Shibuya that the shops you mentioned are located in? Or are they seperate all over the area.

  20. Samuel says:

    @ jo

    They are scattered all over the place I am afraid, but if you head up the hill as if you were going to Nude Trump there is a nice little cluster. I would recommend going to 10two near Tokyu Hands for the brands you mentioned.

  21. Rabind says:

    Im going to japan next week, im sure ill stop by at koenji.

    Are all stores in one alley? Can anybody help me with the direction from koenji station? What exit should i take?

    Thanks

  22. [...] is popular for its vintage clothing and used record stores of which there are plenty to browse if that’s your cup of tea. I [...]

  23. Cyrus says:

    I shoped at Mode off before in Japan. Should I expect similar sutff (price and quality — Made in Japan clothing) from all these shop in Koenji?

    And Also this list is ver nice. Thank you for posting it for us. I am Vintage clothing fans.

  24. Samuel says:

    @ Cyrus

    Thank you for getting in touch and your kind words!

    To be honest I think all of the shops here will be of higher quality and thus also have a slightly higher price tag than Mode Off. Mode Off tends to focus on modern Japanese vintage so it is slightly different in that respect as well.

  25. Cyrus says:

    Thank you for your reply. The info is very helpful.

  26. Nai says:

    Hello!
    I am currently on vaca in tokyo, where can I get designer vintage like the good stuff?

    Thanks !

  27. Samuel says:

    @ Nai

    We actually wrote about this in a separate post:

    http://tokyotelephone.com/buying-secondhand-brand-clothing-in-tokyo/

    Happy shopping!

  28. I have learn a few just right stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how so much attempt you put to make such a wonderful informative site.

  29. [...] you what i saw, since i didnt see much of koenji, take a look at this site for more information! http://tokyotelephone.com/vintage-fashion-shops-in-koenji-tokyo/ You can also find the Shimokita guide on that site that is a lot better than what i am writing [...]

  30. [...] a proper article about Koenji but, gentlemen, know that if you ever come to Tokyo, Koenji is by far the best shopping spot for vintage, military and workswear you will ever go to in your life. Maybe I exaggerated. At least in your whole life in Japan. So I’m looking for this shop [...]

  31. maged nessiem hanna says:

    i would like to ask about 40 shinji nakashima family , i lived in their house in 1975 , also i visited them in 1986 , please i want know what about mama son , also the people in the street they know me as a girl now i think she is a woman now her name is tsumegi and her brother lyota and masaro.
    please give my e-mail address i work now in abu dhabi.

  32. [...] of "underground fashion" is more in the Harajuku/Jingumae districts. There are also a large concentration of used/vintage clothing stores in Koenji. A hotel in Shibuya or Shinjuku would be convenient for what you want to see, IMO. I suggest you [...]

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