The rumors are true. Japan is mecca for all things second hand designer.
According to the locals, inventory comes mostly from girls/professional (not sure if sex) workers with rich businessman boyfriends who gift them regularly with bags and other luxury items.
Sometimes they sell when scorned from failed relationships or when they prefer a different style.
So a lot of the bags on display are almost new. Some even with tags.
I knew this even before our trip so I made it my goal to leave with at least one.
Our journey begins in OSAKA.
In OSAKA, I found two areas that sell 2nd hand designer bags and watches.
They're on opposite sides of this bridge where the famous Glico landmark is located:
On one side is Namba Center:
You'll know you're on the right track when you see these on the floor:
Although Namba Center is made up mostly of restaurants, you'll still find a few here and there. Just enjoy walking around the area and you're sure to bump into one.
On its opposite side is Shinsaibashi.
This is the heart of shopping in Dotonbori, Osaka.
Aside from loads of retail stores (mostly local indie brands and chain stores like Wego), you'll find several 2nd hand designer shops along its streets as well.
There's smaller ones and bigger/more known franchises such as Brand-Off Tokyo.
They carry mostly Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Chanel + Rolex and Cartier watches.
I wasn't able to spend much time in Ginza so I'm not sure but it's lined with a lot of designer shops that are still worth a visit especially during sale season!
And I heard that if you look around, you'll find more 2nd hand designer shops on its side roads.
I came across several in Shibuya. Actually the key to finding these shops is to just walk around the area. There's A LOT of them and they' aren't hard to find.
I liked the Brand-Off store right beside Don Quixote just a block away from Shibuya Crossing.
There's also a Komehyo and Daikokuya in the area.
Aside from these super stores, also make sure to pop into little vintage stores along the way which is good for spotting vintage YSL, Celine and Gucci bags. Price ranges from around $100-$200USD only.
At the end of Takeshita Street is another Brand-Off boutique located beside Lotteria.
This was where I bought my YSL Easy in black patent.
TIP: Always make it a point to present your passport to enjoy tax-free shopping!
Guess how much I got it for??? Only 9K!!!
Scroll down to see it in action. :)
As you walk away from Takeshita towards Cat St, you'll find even more shops.
There's this one which specializes in menswear. You'll find everything here from CDG Chucks, Margiela, Rick Owens etc! Tops, Bottoms, Scarves, Bags but all for men.
My favorite is RAGTAG!
The bags at RagTag are a bit on the pricier side bit in topnotch condition. Almost new in fact.
Unlike the other shops that carry mostly LV, Chanel and Hermes, at RagTag you'll find lots of other brands such as YSL, Miu Miu Hervé Chappelier, Givenchy, etc. They also carry designer shoes and clothes for both men and women.
This was where I got my Nightingale in cracked leather...
I spent most of my time at Flying Tiger so I wasn't able to really explore much of Shinjuku before our show at Robot Restaurant but I did manage to spot several shops along the way. Bigger ones like Komehyo and judging from the window displays, their inventory looked promising.
More Japan Adventures coming soon!
OSAKA ⇨ KYOTO ⇨ YOKOHAMA ⇨ TOKYO