The Jakarta Post
Shoes in awindow display at a Kick Lab's store (Kick Labs's website/-)
Sneakers are always big in Japan, especially Tokyo. Japan’s sneaker culture is said to begin around the 90s, and never dimmed since. Go to Shibuya, the shopping district in Tokyo, and you’ll find a plethora of shoe shops displaying the rare, recent and exclusive collections of sneakers from various brands, domestic and international.
If you’re a devoted sneaker collector and have plans to go to Japan, check out some of our suggestions below on where to splurge and sneaker hunt.
This shop excite sneakerheads with the latest and exclusive shoe models from big brands over the last twenty years, and it’s even named as one of the world’s best stop to buy sneakers. Located on Meiji Dori, sandwiched between Shibuya and Meiji-Jingumae station, Atmos’s exclusive models include Reebok Classic Bounty Hunter Packer Shoes and ASICS ×UBIQ GEL-LYTE V "Hazard” which is discounted to ¥ 15,400 from its original price ¥ 22,000.
Where: 2-31-1 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
(Read also: 5 local shoe brands you can brag about)
Still in Shibuya, Kicks Lab is the place to find exclusive models that are not released in Japan. The shop also claims to be the place to find rare products, something that earns them the respect of sneakerhead communities. Kick Labs displays multiple famous shoe brands, such as Airwalk, Vans, Gravis, as well as boots like Redwing Shoes, Timberland and also UGGS Australia. It also has collection of other non-shoe products from Jasomarkk, Oakley, Retaw and Sneaker.
Where: 4-28-18 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Sometimes, you just want to buy the latest collection without having to bother to find the unique model. If so, head to ABC Mart to get releases from commercial brands. This shop is a shoe heaven, especially for those whose shoe sizes are big and want to look for sensibly-priced sneakers. This shop can also be found elsewhere in Japan, although other branches may have less collection compared to the Shibuya branch. They also display special brands, such as Hawkins, Vans, Nuovo and cult favorite Saucony.
Where: 1-9-18 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
You’re maybe a fan of certain commercial brands, but since now you’re in the country, don’t miss this Japanese brand's flagship store and find out why this shoe brand is popular in the country. Onitsuka Tiger sneakers are known for their expensive price when you try to get them outside Japan, and since there are a lot of fakes out there, it's best to get them at the place they were first invented.
Although Kiks Tyo is originally a clothing brand founded by DJ Shinichi Izaki, the store has evolved into selling accessories and footwear alongside its clothing products. Kiks Tyo is also widely known in both US and Europe.
Where: 1-22-3 Shibuya, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo
Sneaker-shopping pro tip: The Japanese use centimeters in most of their sneaker size guide, so don’t forget to measure your feet size in centimeters to get the right fit. Also, pay attention to size suggestions as some unique models like the Nike Huarache series require you to get one number up from your normal size. (asw)
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