Below, we list down 10 stores you need to visit once you step foot on the Land of the Rising Sun to buy things for yourself or your loved ones, or maybe just to browse and look around. Though each store carries different products, dedicate enough time for these stops as the many floors will have you losing track of time.
LIST: 10 Must-Visit Shopping Stores in Japan
1. Don Quijote
From tasty local snacks and strange candy to holy-grail skincare items and unconventional homeware goods, discount store Don Quijote has it all. Browse floors upon floors of the store’s diverse inventory all priced affordably. Each region in Japan has its own mascot, too.
Just be careful: Time seems to pass differently when you’re browsing the store’s diverse inventory of Japanese items and you might feel invincible with the affordable prices, so it’s best to dedicate a reasonable amount of time to just look around. It’s pasalubong central for many tourists and you can rest easy knowing that staff are well-equipped to handle packing and tax-free transactions.
Time is always so tight on travels especially when you want to do so much during a short break, and we totally get it. We’ve listed other stores that carry different items all under one roof and Loft is no different as it carries multitudes that will satisfy your wants and needs. You can even grab pasalubong for loved ones back home! It’s got seven floors, each one filled with stationery, health and beauty goods, household items, business and travel products, and an entire space dedicated to art and culture. The biggest one is Loft Shibuya, but all Loft branches are pretty comprehensive as well.
3. Tsutaya Books
You might think a bookstore isn’t exactly worth a visit, but bookish fiends know the bookstore is where it’s at, and if you need convincing, look no further than Japan’s Tsutaya Books. The bookstore houses standard books and publications, but it’s also home to an in-depth collection of art books, vintage texts, and exhibits that highlight traditional Japanese culture. Though deeply immersed in Japanese sensibilities, the bookstore’s archive is global, with texts and art books from all over the world.
Ginza Tsutaya Books is located at 6-10-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan. See list of Tsutaya Books branches.
4. Bic Camera
If electronics are more your thing, you can’t miss Bic Camera when you’re in Japan. Home to appliances, personal computers, and of course, cameras, each branch offers a well-stocked inventory of each and every tech need you can think of. Any branch is good to visit but if you’ve got spare time and want to lose yourself in a sea of gadgets, then you have to go to Bic Camera Yurakucho, the biggest branch in Japan.
Bic Camera Yurakucho is at 1 Chome-11-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 100-0006, Japan and is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. See list of Bic Camera branches.
5. Uniqlo Ginza
There’s hundreds of Uniqlo stores in the Philippines already, but the Japanese lifewear brand’s stores in its home turf carry exclusives you won’t find anywhere else. The Uniqlo Ginza in Tokyo is the biggest in the world with 12 floors and boasts the widest range of lifewear goods from the go-to brand.
Apart from the trust basics and fun shirts, you can also customize Uniqlo goods with Japan-exclusive embroidery designs, get measured for the best innerwear at the tenth floor, get a suit custom-made, and even enjoy coffee and snacks plus purchase flowers after a day of shopping.
Uniqlo Ginza is located at 104-0061 Chuo City, Ginza, 6 Tokyo, Japan and is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. See list of Uniqlo branches in Japan.
Style and interiors vary per country and it pays to get design inspo from Japan while you’re already there. Retail company Nitori is the largest furniture and home furnishing chain in Japan, so there will be no shortage of goods and options to choose from.
Bringing home bigger pieces like a couch set might be difficult because of shipping limitations, but our fingers are crossed you can take home the smaller stuff in your luggage. And hey, if you can’t take anything home, you can always just browse and reimagine your living space.
You’ve probably heard of the Japanese-inspired mall Mistukoshi nestled in Bonifacio Global City. While it’s a great destination for all things Japan, you have to drop by the OG. Known as Isetan Mitsukoshi in Japan, the luxurious department store chain is home to a wide selection of brands and countless food options both locals and tourists love. Management and highly knowledgeable staff take pride in its top-notch customer service, or Omotenashi.
If you’re not in the mood to shop or dine, the department store also has an art gallery and theater and hosts seasonal exhibits and showcases.
Founded more than 100 years ago in 1904, stationery specialty store Itoya is planted in the trendy district of Ginza in the city of Tokyo. It’s paradise for stationery fiends on the hunt for quality-writing materials and paper, specialty items, and rare supplies that would be hard to find back home. Look for the huge red paper clip and you’re set to enter the stationery haven.
There are two stores—the bigger G.Itoya with 12 floors and the smaller K.Itoya with 7 floors across the street—with goods divided by theme or type by floor. Whether you’re a diehard paper collector or you’re there for a fun knickknack to take home, options abound as stylish and functional items line the walls and display shelves, all organized by use, type, or color. Our favorite would have to be the second floor dedicated solely to letter-writing wares, where you can write and actually mail letters via the Ginza Post Office.
If you get tired, head up to the 12th floor for a light snack.
Itoya Ginza is located at 2 Chome-7-15 Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan and is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. See list of Itoya branches.
We know you know Japan is a major hub for all things stationery with its specialty pens, artisanal paper, and ergonomic materials. If you’ve been to Itoya but still want more, then drop by Sekaido. It’s slightly more manageable with just five floors, but we say slightly only because we know it’s highly likely you’ll end up spending the entire day just looking at everything paper, pens, and more. Each floor is home to a category of item to make browsing easier so at least you can budget your time accordingly.
Sekaido is located at 3-1-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0022, Japan and is open from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
10. Tokyu Hands
Tokyu Hands, now called Hands, is a one-stop-shop for everything you could possibly need. Think of it this way, if Sekaido, Itoya, and Daiso had a lovechild, it would probably be Tokyu Hands as it carries not just high-quality stationery, it also has home goods, living ware, bags, and small gadgets to make your life simpler. There’s also a heavy emphasis on all things DIY, so if you’re a crafter and you love a good project done with your hands, this is definitely the place to be.
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* Minor edits have been made by theeditors.