As most of Murakami’s main characters are Tokyoites, it’s only natural that they go on plenty of shopping trips throughout his novels. Like with bars and restaurants, however, Murakami rarely reveals the name of the exact store they visit. Luckily, there are several exceptions.
Here’s a list of six places in Tokyo you can shop from Murakami’s novels:
1. KINOKUNIYA (BOOKSTORE)
Kinokuniya, just outside of Shinjuku Station’s East Exit, appears a few times throughout Murakami’s work.
K of Sputnik Sweetheart mentions picking up a few books here before going to see a Luc Besson movie. In 1Q84, Tengo stops here before his meeting with Fuka-Eri at the Nakamuraya Cafe, just across the street. In the nonfiction memoir What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Murakami recalls buying some paper and a fountain pen here shortly after deciding to become a writer.
This is a massive bookstore but for English and other foreign language books, try the 7th floor.
2. TOKYU HANDS
Near the end of Dance, Dance, Dance, the unnamed narrator runs into the police officer who interrogated him in Akasaka just outside of Tokyu Hands in Shibuya.
Tokyu Hands is a must-visit for anyone coming to Tokyo. The department store sells nearly everything, from souvenirs to stationary to bicycles. Even if you don’t intend to buy anything, it’s a lot of fun just to window shop. There are a number of Tokyu Hands branches throughout Tokyo but this one in Shibuya is perhaps the most famous.
3. WAKO BUILDING
In The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Toru Okada and his neighbor May Kasahara work part-time outside the Wako department store, surveying the baldness of men they see walk by. They don’t actually go inside the building during the novel, but Wako is one of Tokyo’s most iconic department stores. Inside you can find plenty of places to buy luxury goods in addition to some cafes and restaurants.
Nearby the Wako Building is the Sony Building, but at the time of writing it’s under renovation until the summer of 2018. This, of course, is one of the establishments the narrator of Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of The World visits on his ‘last day.’
4. KINOKUNIYA (SUPERMARKET)
Not to be confused with the bookstore of the same name, the Aoyama branch of the Kinokuniya Supermarket makes a couple of appearances throughout Murakami’s work.
In Dance, Dance, Dance, the unnamed narrator makes plenty of visits to the Aoyama Boulevard supermarket. “You may not believe this, but the lettuce you buy there lasts longer than lettuce anywhere else,” he claims. Hajime of South of the Border, West of the Sun is also a regular customer.
5. NATURAL HOUSE
Natural House is another fancy supermarket that’s located just down the street from Kinokuniya on Aoyama Boulevard. Though he doesn’t actually visit over the course of the novel, we know that Hajime of South of the Border, West of the Sun is quite familiar with the place, as he brings it up in small talk with the mother of his daughter’s classmate.
Natural House specializes in organic food which is still incredibly hard to find in Japan. To give you an idea of this supermarket’s usual clientele, a single grapefruit here goes for around ¥500!
Yet another fancy Tokyo supermarket. This particular one is in the posh Hiroo neighborhood and appears in two works by Murakami.
At the end of Sputnik Sweetheart, K spots Miu driving in her car near the intersection right by Meidi-Ya. In the short story Drive My Car from the newly released Men Without Women compilation, Kafuku does some grocery shopping here.