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Cooking knives in Kappabashi area, kitchen and restaurant supplies
KitKat museum in Tokyo, Japan
family seal, Kamon
Itoya, stationary store in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
Stationary Cafe in Tokyo, Japan

Shopping

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Central shopping districts in Tokyo & Osaka

Japan has no shortage of shopping experiences. Tokyo Station/Marunouchi, Shinjuku, Ginza, Roppongi, Aoyama, Omotesando, Shibuya, Akihabara, Asakua, Shinsaibashi, Nanba, and Umeda all have great shopping districts. Chris Rowthorn’s “Truly Tokyo” and “Inside Osaka” have detailed information on each district. 

Central shopping districts in Tokyo & Osaka
Shopping malls 

Shopping malls

There are many trendy shopping malls and independent boutiques across Japan. The following are the most well known and best rated. 

 

*Note: In addition to the options below, Tokyo Station, Umeda/Osaka Station, and other large stations usually have underground shopping streets connected to the department stores in the area.

 

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Department Stores 

Traditional Department Stores

Shotengai

Shotengai

Old fashioned shopping areas called Shotengai generally developed around train stations. Shotengai literally means “street of shops.” You can find an endless selection of mom-and-pop shops serving takeout food. Most independent stores and restaurants offer their selections for affordable prices. These places are staples in Shotengai because they help students get tasty snacks after school and busy families quickly prepare their dinner. “Dig Japan” has an article on unique Shotengai. Paolo from Tokyo shows you Fried food shozai shops, popular in Shotengai.   

Popular mega shops

Popular mega shops

Mega-shops can offer just about anything you can think of, however some have specialty focuses like travel accessories, tableware, or cosmetics. 

 

  • Ito Yokado offers affordable household products

  • Don Quijote is a huge discount store for household products, sweets, and snacks

  • Loft sells cosmetics, bags, and accessories

  • Muji has a wide-range of stationery, travel goods, and clothes

  • Tokyu Hands is known for its DYI materials, travel goods, and kitchenware 

  • Nitori offers interior decor and tableware products

  • Costco Costco is not a usual tourist stop in central Tokyo. But if you can swing by, it’s interesting to visit. You can use your membership from the US. But they only accept Master cards or cash.  If you are a Kitkats fan, you’ll love huge boxes of Kitkats. 

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100 Yen shop: Japanese dollar store

100 Yen shop: Japanese dollar store

There are a few different nationwide chains of the Japanese “Dollar Store.” Some of the most popular are Daiso, Seria, Can Do, Le Plus. “Time Out” has more information and recommends some top options to try.

Electronics, games, cameras

Electronics, Games, Cameras

JW-Web Magazine has an excellent essential guide for Electronic mega stores, including major electronic stores. I also recommend checking out the “Japan-Guide” and “Matcha” for an Akihabara area guide. Nakano Broadway has its website. Both Akihabara and Nakano Broadway are highly revered places for games, second hand games, retro games, and Anime merchandise. 

 

For vintage or second hand camera shopping, “Japan Travel” and “Eye Explore” have good lists of recommended stores in various districts in Tokyo. Bellamy Hunt, AKA “Japan Camera Hunter”  has excellent tips for serious camera shoppers.        

Unique Shops

Japanese Cookware

Kappabashi in Tokyo and Sennichimae Doguyasuji in Osaka are considered to be the best places for cookware. In Kappabashi, there are over 170 shops lined up, making it a popular stop for restaurant owners and chefs. You can find everything from high-quality cooking knives to beautiful plates. Many international tourists purchase plastic food models as a souvenir. Asakusa Station website, Sennichimae Station website,  and “Live Japan”  have good Kappabashi guides. 

Textile, Fabric, Arts & Craft Supplies & Stationery

The shops below have such a wide variety of products, and their selections are outstanding. 

Yuzawaya is the largest DIY craft shop in Japan. They carry over 20,000 kinds of fabrics and over 5,000 different colors of wool yarns.  You can find everything from dance & stage costume supplies to seasonal home decorations. 

 

Shimojima 

This shop is expetized in wrapping products, from ribbons to elegant bags. They offer over 100,000 items. You can find perfect products for your birthdays, school events to nice business gatherings. 

 

Okadaya 

This shop has been offering hight quality textiles, wool yarn and many other handcraft goods for over 90 years. 

Gift Wrapping Supplies, Stationary

Timeout has a list of 100 unique shops in the Tokyo area. Some of my favorites are:

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Unique Shops
Tax Free Shopping

Tax Free Shopping

You will find more and more shops that offer tax free shopping. Japan has new regulations on tax free shopping for international visitors to enjoy shopping experience. Please see the details in JNTO or Live Japan perfect Guide for what you need to know when you go shopping.

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Activities & Interests

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Useful Tips & App

Torii, traditional Japanese gate or arch in temples and shrines
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