Vintage Shopping in Hiroshima

If you like to shop, and I know I do, Hiroshima city center has no shortage of clothes stores and a dedicated shopper can easily while away many hours, perusing the selections on offer on Hondori- Hiroshima’s  main, covered shopping arcade.

Prices vary from shop to shop. The style of clothing in many shops, however, reflects the current season’s trends and you will find yourself coming across the same shaped skirts, trying on similarly customized shoes, and seeing the same color themes surfacing in much of the stock in these shops. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the latest styles and I will admit to having items in my closet that you would find gracing the pages of any current fashion blog. But, there is a big space in my heart reserved purely for vintage.

Every wardrobe needs a few vintage pieces. Some timeless classics that can be worn any time, or any decade, despite the current popular fashion fads. On first moving here I thought that Hiroshima was noticeably lacking in the vintage shop department until one day I stumbled  upon the fifth floor of Sunmall. It has not one, not two, not three but four stores selling quality used and vintage clothing, shoes and accessories at really reasonable prices: Union Rag and it’s sister shop Rag Moo, Yellow, 3びきの子ねこ (which translates as Kitten Miki) and Thank You Mart. (Click the shop names for Japanese websites and contact information).

These stores stock wonderfully retro pieces from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s and I found the clothing on sale to be of a very high quality. It has that slightly worn and thoroughly loved look that great looking vintage should have without the little rips and smell of dust that unfortunately accompanies some.

Union Rag, and it’s adjoining shop Rag Moo, have by far the biggest and most varied stock including a fantastic footwear collection featuring the ever popular Doc Martens and Converse. There’s also a great belt and bag selection so you can finish off your outfit in decades old style. For more feminine pieces and cute accessories have a poke around 3びきの子ねこ, and if you’re on a budget check out Thank You Mart where everything is only 390 yen (tax is added at the till).

For male shoppers, never fear, each shop also has a section for men’s vintage including an excellent rack of old school Adidas Original jackets in Yellow at ridiculously low prices. Or if your wife or girlfriend has dragged you shopping against your will, there is a large electronic race track set up in Yellow that customers can play for free which should keep you entertained while she gets her vintage fix.

 

Ciara

From the small, green island of Ireland I made the big trek to Japan to teach English in elementary schools, explore the curiosities of this country and attempt to learn to speak Japanese. When I'm not teaching I can be found in an arcade playing the Taiko drum game, adventuring around the country or trying to cram kanji into my brain.

5 thoughts on “Vintage Shopping in Hiroshima

  • December 18, 2012 at 3:57 pm
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    I love these shops. Bookoff used to have a lot to offer but they have just had a refit and now everything is really expensive. There is also Blue Earth in Itsukaichi and Hardoff in Hatsukaichi. They are both recycle shops but they also have plenty of clothes at a good price. If you love the joy of finding that bargain, they are the best places to spend you time when shopping for a great deal.

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    • December 18, 2012 at 4:17 pm
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      I actually love Bookoff too! They have a 200 yen section and I got loads of stuff for school in there. I’ll have to have a look for this Blue Earth Place. Thanks for the tip!

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      • December 28, 2012 at 4:37 pm
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        No worries. There is also a Blue Earth on Hon Dori. But not as good as the one in Itsukaichi. You can also find a shop called Second Street on the same road as Blue Earth in Itsukaichi. If you are facing Blue Earth, Second Street is about 700 meters to your right. Good luck. Hope you fill your wardrobe. 🙂

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  • February 2, 2013 at 6:19 pm
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    Thanks for all those tips – good to have a few places to investigate. There’s a Book Off Bazaar in Midorii – out of the way, but worth the journey to get there. It’s similar to the one in town but with a clothing area maybe four or five times the size, there’s a wonderful if confusing range of stuff.

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