Renee Lodens on Tokyo

While we may have just missed cherry blossom viewing season, Tokyo is beautiful any time of year. When in the city, here are a few Tokyo shopping tips to keep in mind.

Renee Lodens on Tokyo | Tokyo Shopping Tips | Travelshopa
  • Most stores offer tax-free shopping to tourists spending over ¥5000. Don’t forget to have your passport on hand while shopping.
  • Carry some cash with you: not everyone accepts credit cards (especially markets and small stores)
  • Bargaining may be the norm across most of Asia, but it’s not the done thing in Japan. The only place I suggest you try your luck is a flea market.
  • Buy a vintage Kimono from a flea market.
  • Tokyo is short on space so many shops are above/below street level. There is so much more than meets the eye.
  • Cherry blossom viewing (hanami) season is generally the very end of March/early April.

Shopping Precincts in Tokyo

Shopping in Tokyo is like opening your very own shopping bento box. You never know what you're going to get. In the city where fashion is art, and design is diverse, expect cutting-edge fashion and stores, talented local artisans, and lust worthy homewares. Rather than trying to see this vast city in one visit, select an area and spend the day there.

Shopping in Tokyo | Where to Shop | Travelshopa


Ginza has been named as Asia’s most upmarket shopping precinct, and is home to the city’s classiest boutiques and department stores. Tucked in between malls like Tokyu Plaza, Mitsukoshi and Dover Street Market Ginza and the newest addition Ginza Six are a number of independent stores and local brands. The main roads in Ginza are closed to cars on Sundays, making the whole area a shopping paradise.


The welcome of malls and department stores can make Shinjuku a little overwhelming. Here you’ll find local and global threads at Isetan, and lots of specialty stores in the surrounding streets.


Shibuya is the epicenter of all things shopping in Tokyo. Just paces from the famous enormous intersection are dozens of department stores, a busy pedestrian area filled with shops Center Gai and the iconic cylindrical building Shibuya 109. A fay here will ensure you have your retail fix.


The zelkova tree-lined avenue, Omotesando, has been named the Champs-Élysées of Tokyo. Located in Shibuya and Minato, Omotesando is home to many international brands and local labels. Less crowded than Ginza and lacking the department stores, the streets are filled with beautiful boutiques.


Harajuku is most known to be the center of teen culture in Tokyo. The area has a great selection of vintage stores. Head to the streets off Takeshita Street for the best boutiques and local wares.






Meet the Artist: Sound Portraits, JP Jones

Sound Portraits by Jp Jones | Meet the Artist | Travelshopa

Image via JP Jones

JP JONES is an international contemporary artist and acclaimed musician, whose work has taken him all around the world. After being blown away by his latest work SOUND PORTRAITS, which was exhibited at the Camilla Boutique, Paddington, I was intrigued to learn more about the Welsh artist's creative process and the inspiration behind his work. Here, the new father shares his love of Caravaggio, why he unifies art and music, and how he celebrates his favourite classic songs.

My first art love was… Caravaggio. I loved the drama he created in religious scenes. His use of light and dark felt way ahead of its time. His understanding of perspective was almost back to front but felt correct. I get that! His work just stuck out to me when I was studying renaissance painters at school.

The turning point in my career was… when I took my ‘invention’ to a deaf school in London. I got the deaf students to make sounds into a microphone enabling them to see their own voices. I also played songs and they were able to watch the sound patterns of the laser’s reflection. It was an amazing experience to watch people who can’t hear seeing sound for the first time.

Can you tell us a bit about your artistic process? 

Sound portraits started after I watched a kids tv show! On the show they had cut both ends of a soup can and stretched a balloon over one end. They shone a torch through the other end and spoke into the can. When the balloon vibrated it created a light projection on the wall.

I then developed my technique by putting mirror on a speaker, and shining a laser beam on to the mirror. When the speaker vibrated to music it caused the mirror to move and the reflection of the laser created a sound projection on the wall. A literal visual representation of sound!

Sound Portraits by Jp Jones | Meet the Artist | Travelshopa

"A great work of art is in the eye of the beholder. A piece of art can be perfect to one person but not to the next." Jp Jones

A sound portrait is… a painting of the laser’s reflection to sound. I project the moving sound patterns to songs and words like “I love you” on to canvas and paint them. Sometimes incorporating portraiture and Celtic symbols that relate to the particular sound. I always start a sound portrait by building a structure (home) for the sound patterns to live inside. The colours I choose for each piece happen when I hear the sound over and over. I close my eyes and feel the colours.

I work with… acrylic paint, spray paint and oil pastels. I also make solar etchings where I photograph the sound patterns and transfer the photo on to solar plates and expose them to light and then etch the plates on a press.

The inspiration behind my latest series… was to create a group of paintings of songs that changed my life in one way or another. I wanted to affect the viewer as I was affected as a listener. Making each song speak in the same way on canvas as it does on record.

My latest series is… a celebration of classic songs. Rock and roll meets art.

Sound Portraits by Jp Jones | Meet the Artist | Travelshopa
Sound Portraits by Jp Jones | Meet the Artist | Travelshopa

My favourite subjects to paint are… the personal recordings. When people record “I love you” and I paint their words. The most poignant commission I did was when a lady’s husband had died and I painted the last answer machine message he left her. She has that message on her wall forever.

When I feel I’m stuck… I usually go into my music studio and write songs.

My creative influences… change all the time. At the moment I’m massively influenced by artists such as Retna, Gregory Siff and Danny Minnick. And all music. Always!

My top 5 songs right now…

Daughter – Loudon Wainwright lll

Sweet Thing – Van Morrison

Flim – Aphex Twin

Good Fortune – PJ Harvey

Flagship – Jason Isbell

Sambag: The Final Bow

SAMBAG first burst into the Australian fashion scene in 1996. Following a trip to New York the Creative Director, Sam Wagner, created a small range of bags that she sold at Sydney’s Paddington Markets. With the support of a strong customer base, Sam quickly extended into shoes and later apparel, and in 1998 the brand debuted at Mercedes Australian Fashion Week. Sadly, this month Sambag is closing its doors - both on and offline. Thank you Sam for 22 years of timeless collections. Your presence will be missed. Here are our picks of what remains of the some of Sambag's most iconic styles, on FINAL SALE until all stock is sold.

SAMBAG | Travelshopa

Image: Sambag

R&R Sweatshirt - Military Olive | SAMBAG | Travelshopa


R&R Sweatshirt – Military Olive
Lola Loafer Velvet-Green | SAMBAG | Travelshopa


Lola Loafer Velvet – Green

Quinn Pyramid Studs Sandal-Navy | SAMBAG | Travelshopa


Quinn Pyramid Studs Sandal – Navy

BROOKE Woven Suede Wedge - Navy| SAMBAG | Travelshopa


Brooke Woven Suede Wedge – Navy

R&R Shirt Blouse - White| SAMBAG | Travelshopa


R&R Shirt Blouse – White

Aria Suede Loafer with Accesory-Khaki | SAMBAG | Travelshopa


Aria Suede Loafer with Accesory – Khaki

DENNI PAISLEY Print Platform-Navy | SAMBAG | Travelshopa


Denni Paisley Print Platform – Navy

Winnie Ballet Leopard | S A M B A G | THE ESSENTIALS: LOUNGEWEAR | Travelshopa


Winnie Ballet – Leopard

R&R Pleated Skirt - Midnight Blue | SAMBAG | THE ESSENTIALS: LOUNGEWEAR| Travelshopa


R&R Pleated Skirt – Midnight Blue

R&R Camo Jacket - Military Olive| SAMBAG | THE ESSENTIALS: LOUNGEWEAR| Travelshopa


R&R Camo Jacket – Military Olive

Lola Linen Loafer-Navy| SAMBAG | Travelshopa


Lola Linen Loafer – Navy

 Bluella Suede Hobo - Chocolate | SAMBAG | Travelshopa


Bluella Suede Hobo – Chocolate

R&R Crew Neck Top - Grey Melange | SAMBAG | Travelshopa


R&R Crew Neck Top – Grey Melange
Aria Embossed Loafer with Accessories | SAMBAG | Travelshopa


Aria Embossed Loafer with Accessories – Red

R&R Camisole-Black| SAMBAG | Travelshopa


R&R Camisole – Black

Mother’s Day Wish List

Mother's Day is a day to thank mothers and special women in our lives for their unconditional love, unwavering support and complete devotion to the family. Besides some kind words, quality family time, and a big family hug, this Mother’s Day why not spoil your 'mother' with something she's really had her eye on.

Mother's Day Wish List | The Edit | Travelshopa
Mother's Day Wish List | The Edit | Travelshopa


Linen Sheet Set with Pillowcases

Mother's Day Wish List | The Edit | Travelshopa


Alfie Nightshirt – Bankers Stripe

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2018 | The Edit | Travelshopa

Samantha Wills

Dream with me Hoops

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2018 | The Edit | Travelshopa

Parlour X

Trench Cape Beige- Junya Watanabe

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2018 | The Edit | Travelshopa

2 Duck Trading

Classic Market Basket

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2018 | The Edit | Travelshopa

Everyday Cashmere

Breton Stripe Sweater

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2018 | The Edit | Travelshopa


Women’s 3/4 Jacket Raincoat Zig Stripe

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2018 | The Edit | Travelshopa

St Agni

Corfu Woven Slides – Vintage Tan

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2018 | The Edit | Travelshopa


Posillipo Navy & Gold Suede

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2018 | The Edit | Travelshopa



Mother's Day Gift Guide 2018 | The Edit | Travelshopa


Persian Rose

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2018 | The Edit | Travelshopa


Chyka Home

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2018 | The Edit | Travelshopa


Romantic flowers

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2018 | The Edit | Travelshopa

Claiborne Swanson Frank

Mother and Child

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