Thereas something very unusual about the range of things for sale at Takashimayaaeverything from beautiful, fresh flowers to a curious selection of teas to luxurious cotton bathrobesabut somehow it all makes sense. Itas as if Takashimaya set out to sell only things that no one could possibly need, presented in such a way that you wonder how you could ever live without them. If you do buy something, youall also get to walk away with one of their eye-catching geometric shopping bags, so you can rationalize your splurge that way.
Though Fifth Avenue boasts a famous roster of department stores--Saks, Bendel's, Bergdorf's--each of which has its undeniable charms, none is as quirkily eccentric as Takashimaya. The New York branch of this Japanese company features a frankly nutty collection of departments: There's a gardening department (anybody you know need a spade?) on the main floor and a travel area upstairs featuring Baedekers and cashmere blankets, vintage watches and rolling suitcases. One whole floor is... More »