Shopping in Japan can truly be an exhilarating experience. Visitors from the US or UK have much to look forward to when visiting the lively shopping scene in this vibrant country, although the Japanese people love shopping as much as the visiting tourists. You will be amazed at the variety of things that you can pick up at very reasonable prices.
A visit to Japan would be quite incomplete without a Kokeshi doll, and for many tourists, this is one of the first items on the list. These traditional dolls have been hand-made by woodcrafters for almost 200 years. Made of dogwood and maple, the craftsmen use non-toxic vegetable dyes. The dolls are immensely popular all over Japan. You can purchase these dolls in any of the souvenir shops found in the urban centers.
This bazaar is one of the most popular souvenir shops in Japan. The largest in Japan, it offers a fascinating array of interesting products that are displayed on the impressively designed four floors of the bazaar. The best part is that it is not all that expensive, and it’s an ideal place for tourists looking to pick up something new and different. At the basement of this bazaar you will find interesting and very inexpensive trinkets, and as you go higher towards the top floor, you will find Japanese kimonos done in the traditional style along with antiques. Products in the top floor are more expensive. This place is also ideal for buying second-hand original kimonos that are strikingly beautiful and have been well maintained.
The Oriental Bazaar is situated in Shibuya-ku, on Omotesando Dori in Harajuku and is open till 7 in the evening; and closed on Thursdays.
Although the rest of the world associates Tokyo with stylish gadgets, there is much more to look out for in this exciting and busy city. Walking around Tokyo can get quite difficult and even maddening at times; there are so many streets that you may not know where to look and where to turn. At such times, the best thing to do is to keep an open mind, and not look for anything specific. Just stroll through the busy streets, and you’ll be sure to find something new and unique that will surprise you.
If strolling around on an impulsive shopping spree is not your cup of tea, you can head straight to the Ginza district, an area that is known for its stylish showrooms that display the best of gadgets, awesome stores, modern galleries and traditional shops. The Ginza is a complete shopping experience!
You could also head out to Omotesandro for designer clothes and accessories available in the high end boutiques as well as plenty of shopping centers.
Duty free shopping
If you’re looking for some duty free shopping, you will have to do it in the country’s international airports; however, it is possible to do tax-free shopping at authorized tax-free stores situated in urban areas. In these stores, if you purchase certain goods valued at more than ¥10,000, you will be exempt from the country’s 5% consumption tax. However, don’t assume that the tax-free stores always have the best price—compare costs at the bargain markets and discount stores before making a purchase.