ABAB is a department store in Ueno which is almost entirely devoted to young ladies’ fashions. This store targets ladies in their teens and twenties with cheap but fashionable clothes and shoes. Unlike most Japanese department stores, this one does not organize each floor by genre. From floors 1 to 6 there are a random and diverse mixture of fashion boutiques, shoe stores, and accessory shops which are all crowded in together. Aside from the fashion, on the 7th floor there is a branch of the Sweets Paradise café and there is a Daiso 100 yen shop. There is also a supermarket in the basement and a small bakery on the 2nd floor.
On the 1st floor you can find three shoe stores, one “Bye Bye” clothing boutique, and stalls selling hats, scarves, gloves, sunglasses and other accessories.
There are more fashion boutiques on the 2nd floor but also lingerie, mixed accessories, cosmetics, shoes, bags, socks, and leather goods. There is also a Komugikko bakery which sells bread, sandwiches, and a variety of sweet and savory pastries.
On the 3rd floor there are three boutiques selling lingerie, but also stores selling casual clothing, formal and party wear, as well as shoes and boots.
The 4th floor has boutiques selling casual and smart casual clothes, shoes, jeans, and also L-size clothing. The MIJ Factory Harajuku store on this floor is a novelty shop selling mainly stickers but also badges, key holders, cell phone straps, and bags.
The 5th floor has a number of casual clothing stores aimed at teenagers, but also party and formal wear, a lingerie boutique, and two variety goods stores selling cheap character goods, stationary, and cosmetics.
There are three stores on the 6th floor. Doredemo sells inexpensive clothes and accessories, Palette Square sells cheap cosmetics and skincare products, and Leg Make specializes in socks, tights, stockings and leggings.
On the 7th floor you can find a branch of the Daiso 100 yen store where you can find a huge range of stock including bathroom items, household cleaning products, kitchenware, interior goods and even gardening tools which are all at ridiculously cheap prices. Sweets Paradise on the same floor is a café and cake shop serving a wide variety of desserts and also light meals such as soups, salads, pasta, and curry. Here you can also get all-you-can-eat buffet lunch deals making it a good venue for budget meals.
In ABAB’s basement (B1 level) there is a supermarket which has fresh fruit and vegetables, seafood, meat, every day groceries, drinks, snacks, and a delicatessen where you might be able to find something cheap for lunch such as sandwiches, bento lunch boxes, salads, or rice balls.
Tax-free Shopping at ABAB
Many of the shops and boutiques at Abab have a tax-free service for overseas visitors. These shops will display the tax-free sign. If you spend more than 10,801 yen (tax included) on general goods or more than 5, 401 yen on consumables (which includes drinks, food, batteries, and cosmetics) at these shops then you are entitled to claim back the consumption tax. In order to claim your tax discount you should go to the Tax-free Counter on the 6th floor and bring your purchases, receipts, and your passport. Consumable goods will be sealed and must remain so until you have left the country. You will receive your money back in cash. The Tax-free Counter is open from 11.00 to 20.00.
Abab is a 3 minute walk from Keio Ueno Station and 5 minutes from JR Ueno Station and Ueno Subway Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza and Hibiya lines. Here is a map showing the location.
Opening Hours: 10.00 – 21.00
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.