When shopping in Tokyo in the summer, the key word is ‘efficiency’.

Posted on 04.06.2015


I’ve got a problem with heat, as most of my readers well know. Can’t run summer marathons, can’t work out in the summer for more than 15 minutes (unless it’s swimming), really shouldn’t be outside in the heat exerting myself for more than an hour or so, tops.

Shopping in Tokyo (or doing just about anything, for that matter) can get really exhausting. It’s not exhausting for the reasons you’d think, though: most of it happens because of transportation. The trains. Waiting for the trains. The walking. The crowds of people aimlessly meandering while staring down at their smartphones. These things can actually really wear you out.

Last weekend, we had a few things to do on our days off:
~ go pick up Mark’s shoes at the Shibuya store
~ go to UNIQLO to find a specific t-shirt (also Shibuya)
~ grocery shopping (near home)
~ pick up film from BIC Camera (Ikebukuro, near-ish to home)
~ go to local Zadig & Voltaire shop to find a specific t-shirt (Ikebukuro)

It was something like 30 degrees and 90% humidity. This weather spells disaster for me, so we had to plan it out to do as little walking as possible, and to also spend as much time as possible looking for the things we needed.

So we went to Shibuya first, since it’s farthest away from home. We knocked out UNIQLO and the shoes in about 45 minutes. WIN. We could have gone to the UNIQLO flagship by us in Ikebukuro, but it would have meant an extra 10 minutes of walking (outside), whereas the Shibuya shop was right next to Mark’s shoe store, so it saved us some time. Also, the Shibuya UNIQLO is just about the same size as the one in Ikebukuro.

Then, we swung to Ikebukuro on the way home to go to Zadig & Voltaire and BIC Camera. We chose to do Z&V on the west side first, then walk through the train station to the east side and walk overground to get to BIC (it’s faster that way), and then go underground on our way back, to stop by the import grocery store on the way to our train. We spent about 75 minutes doing all of that, and about 20 minutes with trains between them. Thankfully, the trains and stores are air-conditioned.

Back on the train for 3 minutes back home, hit the grocery store on the way to the house, done.

This entire trip took us about 2 hours. A year ago, it might have taken us about 3 or 4. We spent the rest of the day at home: relaxing, cooking and watching movies. You could really spend all day in Tokyo going back and forth retracing your steps if you don’t know where you’re going, so the best thing you can do sometimes is to plan it out or map it, and take the most efficient route(s) possible. I’m working on getting it down.

IMG_3870Since I was going for easy movement and something that would also be easy to get in and out of when trying things on, I went with the grey skirt again.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to get the most out of the skirts, so have been surfing Pinterest for ideas. I’ve come across the ‘t-shirt and skirt’ idea a few times, done in a few different ways. As much as I’d like to tie the shirt up, this skirt sits RIGHT on my natural waist, and I have to roll it once to get it to be the correct length. Also, I have a (very old) tramp stamp on my lower back, which I try to keep covered, because Japan. So I’ve been going the ‘half-tucked-in’ route, which I think works and still seems relatively flattering.

I wore it with my (now slightly oversized) Tricky concert t-shirt. It was easy, didn’t take any effort, and pretty comfortable too, since the shirt was breezy.

For hot days, I’ll certainly be dressing accordingly. It’s hard to get away with tank tops or camisoles here, so I try to keep them to a minimum. But in this and the coming heat, whatever works is going to be what I wear. We shall see.

Posted in: fashion, Japan, life, shopping