Shinjuku Marui Honkan is a department store in Shinjuku that mostly caters to women in the 25 to 30 age bracket, though it also has a menswear floor. Part of a retail chain concentrated in the Tokyo region, Marui is a more budget-oriented collection of shops focused on younger fashion compared to the opulent Isetan Shinjuku across the street and Takashimaya Shinjuku.
If you’re not familiar with Marui, its logo OIOI is a mnemonic and word play device that references the company name in kanji characters, 丸井. The first character can be read as maru (and can mean circle) and the second as i (and can be represented with a vertical line). The two are stylized and repeated as OIOI, which also refers to the digits in the company’s phone number and website.
Shinjuku Marui Honkan is a few minutes’ walk east of the East Exit of Shinjuku Station. It’s located on top of Shinjuku-Sanchome subway station, which is served by the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi and Fukutoshin lines as well as the Toei Shinjuku Line.
Shinjuku Marui Honkan consists of nine floors including one basement. Unlike most other department stores, the basement is not a deli counter floor; it features women’s shoes and cosmetics. There are tax refund counters on the basement, first and eighth floors.
The first floor at Marui is mostly women’s accessories such as handbags, wallets, hats, scarves and stoles. There’s also a florist, cafe, bakery and fragrant lotion shop.
On the second floor, you’ll find Japanese deluxe handbag maker Samantha Thavasa, clothing retailer Bluelabel Crestbridge, a luxury brand by Tokyo-based garment giant Sanyo Shokai, as well as Snidel, a midrange apparel brand known for its smart-looking coats. Womenswear shops continue on floors three through six, including global brands Banana Republic, Mary Quant and Jill Stuart.
On the fifth floor, European lingerie maker Triumph International has a range of underwear designed exclusively for Japan. They include plush, stretchable panties, stockings and haramaki belly warmers featuring Daruma dolls and other Japanese design motifs.
Also on the fifth floor, STUDIOI has a section with rental hakama (traditional attire for events such as university graduation) that also features yukata, which are lightweight cotton robes often worn at summer fireworks displays and after bathing.
On the sixth floor, Sempre Studio offers a playful, eclectic range of household goods including stylish wall clocks, incense holders and dishtowels. It also has rice bowls, plates, cups and chopsticks stands with traditional Japanese designs that make for good souvenirs.
The seventh floor is the menswear section and features a retail outlet by Takeo Kikuchi, a renowned industrial and fashion designer who began his brand in 1984. The company focuses on classic Ivy-style clothing and vintage accessories such as tan-leather brogue shoes, scarves, watches and briefcases.
The eighth floor of Shinjuku Marui Honkan is centered on accessories, bags and watches. Angers Ravissant is another popular housewares shop, similar to Sempre Studio on the sixth floor, which carries everything from stationery to watches, pens and leather cases. One souvenir option here is tenugui, traditional Japanese cotton hand towels printed with design motifs, such as cherry blossoms and bamboo, that recall the Edo Period (1600-1868).
Aside from the Honkan building, there’s also Marui Men and Marui Annex shops with more clothing options in the area surrounding Shinjuku-Sanchome Station.
Shinjuku Marui Honkan (OIOI) Location Map
Shinjuku Marui is open every day from 11:00 to 21:00
(20:30 on Sundays and holidays)
Article by Tim Hornyak. All rights reserved.