In this study, the author discussed the history of Japanese department stores by considering the changes in cultural facilities and store locations. This study was an attempt to study the economic aspect as a cultural formation. Early department stores were located in CBDs, focusing primarily on the merchandising of high-quality shopping goods. In addition to their function as centers of commerce, department stores were also utilized as culture centers. Department stores have changed significantly with the passage of time. During the high growth and the Bubble Economy eras, department stores diversified their merchandising and expanded their store networks widely. Cultural facilities were also expanded to the suburbs. On the other hand, the span from the end of the 1990s to the present was a time of extensive restructuring of department store chains. Large numbers of unprofitable sub-urban stores were closed, with a few even going bankrupt in CBDs. Cultural facilities, however, demonstrated the opposite change. Though numerous museums and theaters in CBDs were closed, suburban facilities like recreation and sports flourished. Culture based analysis and those of economics showed the different understandings to the department stores’ activities. With regards to store locations and merchandising, recently department stores seemed to be back to their original status of the early 1900s. On the other hand, with regards to cultural facilities, department stores tended to loose cultural characteristics rather return to their original modes. Retailing encompasses complex activities and has diverse aspects. To fully understand them, both economic and cultural viewpoints are necessary.