If you like to shop, and I know I do, Hiroshima city center has no shortage of clothes stores and a dedicated shopper can easily while away many hours, perusing the selections on offer on Hondori; the main shopping arcade.
Prices vary from shop to shop. The style of clothing in many shops, however, reflects the current season's trends and you will find yourself coming across the same shaped skirts, trying on similarly customized shoes, and seeing the same color themes surfacing in much of the stock in these shops. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of the latest styles and I will admit to having items in my closet that you would find gracing the pages of any current fashion blog. But, there is a big space in my heart reserved purely for vintage.
Every wardrobe needs a few vintage pieces. Some timeless classics that can be worn any time, or any decade, despite the current popular fashion fads. On first moving here I thought that Hiroshima was noticeably lacking in the vintage shop department until one day I stumbled upon the fifth floor of Sunmall. It has not one, not two, not three but four stores selling quality used and vintage clothing, shoes and accessories at really reasonable prices: Union Rag and it's sister shop Rag Moo, Yellow, 3びきの子ねこ (which translates as Kitten Miki) and Thank You Mart. (Click the shop names for Japanese websites and contact information).
These stores stock wonderfully retro pieces from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s and I found the clothing on sale to be of a very high quality. It has that slightly worn and thoroughly loved look that great looking vintage should have without the little rips and smell of dust that unfortunately accompanies some.
Union Rag, and it's adjoining shop Rag Moo, have by far the biggest and most varied stock including a fantastic footwear collection featuring the ever popular Doc Martens and Converse. There's also a great belt and bag selection so you can finish off your outfit in decades old style. For more feminine pieces and cute accessories have a poke around 3びきの子ねこ, and if you're on a budget check out Thank You Mart where everything is only 390 yen (tax is added at the till).
For male shoppers, never fear, each shop also has a section for men's vintage including an excellent rack of old school Adidas Original jackets in Yellow at ridiculously low prices. Or if your wife or girlfriend has dragged you shopping against your will, there is a large electronic race track set up in Yellow that customers can play for free which should keep you entertained while she gets her vintage fix.