If you want to shop like the locals in Tokyo, avoid the trendy touristy places like Akihabara, Shibuya and Omotesando and seek out a traditional shotengai (shopping mall). The shotengai are typically located near train stations and offer just about everything you would need at reasonable prices. Located in the Shinagawa District of Tokyo you will find perhaps the most famous of these shoutengai known as Musashi Koyama or as the locals call it, Musako.
Musashi Koyama opened in 1956 and stretches half a mile with approximately 250, mostly privately owned shops. The covered shopping arcade is just off of the Musashi-Koyama Station, on the Tokyo-Meguro Line.
Inside the thriving shotengai, you will find ¥100 shops, sushi restaurants, cafes, clothing stores, appliance stores, real estate offices, video arcades, pharmacies, pachinko parlors and shops selling all sorts of goods including Japanese pastries, vegetables, books and kimonos!
Interestingly, the shotengai is frequented mostly by locals who know that the further you walk away from Musashi Koyama Station, the cheaper the goods offered seem to become. But the mall also attracts people from adjacent areas in search of privately owned shops, which are quickly disappearing from the Central Tokyo landscape.
Although Musashi Koyama may not be on most people’s travel itineraries when visiting Tokyo, for those who dare to visit, it does afford an opportunity to experience a real slice of Tokyo life and perhaps walk away with one or two bargains in the process.
Web page: http://musashikoyama-palm.com/