Category Archives: Second Hand Stores


IMG_4002Be prepared to get pleasantly surprised if you get a chance to visit this small
hipster neighborhood called Shimokitazawa.  This bustling area is full of cheap eateries, gadget shops, vintage clothing, retro furniture and a ton of performance venues.


This area is a lot of small alleyways waiting to be explored, so take your time and enjoy.  It focuses on second hand stores with a lot of character.  I got 2 great skirts for 800 yen!

The train station divides the area in a northern and southern part, with the north having an edgy, but sophisticated urban touch to it.
Vintage stores, and coffee houses are  found in abundance.  If you see the Canadian flag hanging in an alleyway here, you may have some amazing poutine if that is something you like.

The southern exit  is where the going out scene takes place.  Live music venues, IMG_4004restaurants and bars, tattoo shops, as well as some gaming and arcade centers.

Shimokitazawa is only four minutes from Shibuya station on the Inokashira lines.  Or 7 minutes from shinjuku on the Odakyu line.  Merri Kever, July 2015

Second Hand Stores – A List

This fabulous list is from Jane Keller, submitted in September 2013.  Wow!  Some of these are covered by Yokota Travel already.  They are linked.  Many are not.  If you go to one and want to do a write up for Yokota Travel, please do so.  Include a general description of what they sell, hours, and bonus points for a photo.  Submit to editor @  Together we know a lot!

Recycle Shop, 35.73635N, 139.356946E

Kasi Kosh Thrift Store, Ome, 35.78741N ,139.303463E,

Hard Off, SE of base on Highway 7, 35.729801N, 139.360799E

Shineishoji Thrift/Junk Shop, where Highways 5 and 16 meet, 35.775277N, 139.340692E

Treasure Factory Thrift Store, Musashimurayama, 35.746597N, 139.391261E

2nd Street Thrift Store, Akishima, 35.697896N, 139.373244E,

Hamura Recycle Shop, 35.75528N, 139.3208E

Daiei, Mushashimurayama, 35.735723N, 139.378807E (grocery & 100 yen store)

Daiso/Turtle Grocery, Musashimurayama,  35.749268N, 139.383182E (grocery & 100 yen store)

Jumble Store, Tachikawa, 35.712672N, 139.428922E,

Oikura Discount Shop, Hanno, 35.854048N, 139.328052E

Hard Off, Hachioji, 35.664244N, 139.352387E,







“Game” Recycle Center: Thrift Store

recycle-center entranceAt the southernmost tip of Yokota Air Base  recycle-center inside 1is a hidden gem of a thrift shop (aka “recycle center”). It shares a building with an arcade, and it’s easy to miss. However, I can tell it’s going to be one of my favorite places to shop. A ¥100 clothing section is just to the left of the door, and that’s just the beginning. The large clothing section is very reasonably priced, with most items going for around ¥500 or ¥600. The back wall is lined with furniture, and the right hand side of the store is completely filled with toys, knick-knacks, ceramics, and electronics. If you pickup anything from the knick-knack section, be sure to pay at the counter nearby; clothing and knick-knacks are separate stores.

recycle-center signWhen approaching the Recycle Center, you will probably see the sign for the arcade, “Game”, before you notice the recycle symbol on a nearby sign. Turn into the Game parking lot and drive under the archway to reach the Recycle Center parking lot. On your way to the parking lot, you’ll see a double glass door on your right; this is the entrance to the recycle center. GPS Coordinates: 35.724409,139.346576. Roxanne Ready, August 2013.

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Hard Off: A Chain Second Hand Store

photo-83If you like thrift stores then you will love Hard Off. Located in various locations around Japan, Hard Off is a chain second hand store that sells a variety of gently used items. You will be amazed at all the treasures you can find at these stores such as furniture, clothes, electronics, toys, baby gear, dishes, sporting goods, purses, jewelry and much much more.  Need a surf board or shelves for your storage unit? Dying to have a designer purse? Then visit Hard Off  to see if you can find one for a discounted price and still in great condition.

The nearest Hard Off is out the east gate and about a 8-10 minute drive depending on traffic. It is open daily from 10:30 am-7:30pm and has ample parking space. photo-86 They do accept credit cards and yen.  There is an area to try clothes on.  Just remember to take off your shoes. If you find a piece of furniture that won’t fit in your car they will hold it for you for a few days. Thus allowing you time to borrow your friend’s van to come back and get it. However, you will have to pay for it before they will hold it. They will write you a receipt which you will show upon pick up.

Note that this second hard store is actually three stores in one; Hard Off, Hobby Off, and Off House.  Purchases must be made at the appropriate cash register depending on what “store” or section you found your item. If you aren’t exactly sure which cashier to use the workers will direct you. To purchase an item from upstairs use the checkout located on the second floor.

photo-84Have items you want to get rid of? Bring them to the Hard Off and make a little bit of money. After inspecting your items they will offer you an amount for what you have brought in.  If you agree with that offer you will be required to sign a piece of paper and then they will give you the money for your items. Some have said they were not offered a lot, but it is worth a try.  GPS: 35.72987,139.360812

photo-85DIRECTIONS: Turn right out the east gate. Drive on this road and then turn right at the fifth stoplight, which is Route 7.  Continue on Route 7 for .5 km thru one stoplight. The Hard Off will be on the right. -Renée Booe July 2013

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Fussa Recycle Center

rc-view4The Fussa Recycle Center is a small second hand store about 10 minutes from the East Gate. The building is an unassuming silver warehouse located down a quiet country road. There you’ll find a small display of dishes and decorative items, a number of bicycles, a few clothes, and a large selection of wardrobes, desks, and tables. The prices are excellent, with dishes in rc-view5the ¥50 range and most of the furniture ranging from ¥2500-¥7500. It isn’t the largest thrift store in the area, by far, but it’s a good place to look for bicycles and furniture, and — when I was there, at least — a lot of metal shelving perfect for use in the tower storage sheds.  Open daily (I think daily) 10am – 4pm.  GPS Coordinates: 35.736341,139.356959.
rc-recylce-center-buildingDIRECTIONS: To get there, take a right out of the East Gate, then take the first right, at the stoplight. Continue down that road until you are just about even with the base hospital on your right, when you’ll see a little country road on your left. Follow that road past some fields until you see a big gray building on your right; that’s the Recycle Center. Go through the little gate and park in the lot, there. (If you miss the final left turn, don’t worry; the road will curve to the left alongside the base, and the Recycle Center will be on your left instead of your right. Just follow the road around the building and take a left, then an immediate left into the parking lot.) When you arrive, you’ll be expected to switch out your shoes for a pair of slippers in the atrium. An elderly gentleman seems to run the place, so be sure to be on your best Japanese manners.  Scroll down for more photos.  – Roxanne Ready, May 2013.

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Kasi Kosh

Kasi Kosh aka “Pink Box” is a three story second hand store worth checking out.  They carry such a wide range of items that shopping there is quite an experience. On the first floor find dishes, packaged tea sets, cooking supplies, fondue sets, kimono, clothes, purses and jewelry.  On the second floor find appliances, vases, bikes, guitars, outdoor supplies, tools and other odds and ends.  On the third floor find furniture, including sofa’s, tables and chairs, dressers, and hutches.  Kasi Kosh is open daily 11am-8pm.  They accept cash and credit.  Phone 0428-32-6591.  There is free parking behind the store.  GPS  35.78736, 139.3034.
DIRECTIONS: Turn right out of the Fussa gate heading North on Route 16.  Turn left onto Route 5.  Kasi Kosh is 3.3 kilometers down on the right.  For parking, turn right just after Kasi Kosh and right again into the parking lot.  – Sarah Straus, October 2012

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Koenji – Second-hand shops and Street fashion

Harajuku is fabulous for the people-watching and accessory shops, but once you’ve been there, tried that, consider Koenji. This neighborhood, between Tachikawa and Shinjuku, is billed as the center of Tokyo’s alternative youth culture. Street fashion, vintage clothes and consignment shops abound here. It was largely untouched by the bombs of World War II, so it’s also great for those who want to stroll through an older neighborhood of Tokyo. Some of the second-hand clothing shops are highly curated. One is devoted to the Little Red Ridinghood look, another to the cutsey-Alice-in-Wonderland look, and a third to the 1950s cowgirl vibe. Some specialize in high-end European clothes, some in embellished t-shirts. Unlike Shibuya and Harajuku, this area seems relaxed and more like a neighborhood than a commercial shopping area.
I explored the area to the south of the train station, specifically Pal Street and Look Street. Vintage stores and little shops line both sides of these streets. As evening falls, strings of red lanterns light up the side streets, luring thirsty shoppers to the many local izakaya (taverns) and specialty restaurants. I went on a weekday afternoon. Some shops were closed but the neighborhood still seemed open for business. I hear the best time to go is after 3pm on the weekend. Some of the trendy stores stay open until 10pm or later.
Next time, I intend to look at the north side of the tracks to find the Kita-Kore building, where pop star Lady Gaga shopped when she came to Japan in 2011. The building has five shops that the New York Times describes as  “equal parts used-clothing outlet and high-end recycling atelier.” Where else are we going to find fashionable body armor, or footwear that combines Nike uppers on traditional Japanese wooden sandals?



Smart Sushi: This is a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant, but the better food arrives by special order. You use a touch-screen overhead to order, and the food comes shooting down the track at you, above the conveyor belt, on a wooden “boat.” Take your food and send the boat back by pressing the glowing red button. Food was standard sushi fare. Cheapest sushi order was ¥120. Near the top of the Pal street mall, a five-minute walk from Koenji station.
Planet 3rd: The decor at this Asia fusion eatery is like The Jetsons meets Sex in the City.  It’s cheerful and hip, with 1950s-style furnishings. For such a cool-looking restaurant, I was surprised to find the prices weren’t shocking. Examples: Thai-spiced chicken mince on rice, with lots of veggies, for ¥930.  Or beef stew with omelette for ¥1000. English menu, with pictures. 2-49-18 Koenji-Minami, Suginami-ku, GPS: 35.70192, 139.6496
TRAIN DIRECTIONS: From Fussa Station, take a train bound for Tokyo. Change trains in Tachikawa to get on the Chuo Line, heading for Tokyo. On a local service train, Koenji is 12 stops after Tachikawa. If you’re on an express train, change at Mitaka to a local Chuo Line train and go five more stops to Koenji. Alternatively, stay on your express train all the way to Nakano and backtrack one stop to Koenji. Total travel time: 50-60 minutes. It’s a short walk from the station to the shops of Pal and Look streets, Exit Koenji station by the south exit and turn right. Walk parallel to the tracks about 300 feet, toward the roof-covered street with a sign that reads “Pal.” Turn left on Pal and start browsing. If you keep going straight after the roof ends, you’ll be shopping on Look Street.

Liz Ruskin, Sept. 2011

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