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  • Writer's pictureDavid Cheung

Shopping in Japan


Japan is a shopper's paradise, with an abundance of unique and high-quality products that are hard to find anywhere else in the world. From traditional crafts to cutting-edge technology, Japan offers a wide range of shopping opportunities for tourists. Here's everything you need to know about shopping in Japan:


Tax-Free Shopping

One of the best things about shopping in Japan as a tourist is that you can enjoy tax-free shopping. If you're a non-Japanese resident, you can get a refund on the consumption tax of up to 10% when you spend a minimum of 5,000 yen (approximately $50) in one store.


Look for the "Tax-Free" sign at the store, and make sure to bring your passport with you to show that you're a tourist.


Shopping Districts

Japan is home to several shopping districts that offer a wide variety of products, from high-end designer brands to unique souvenirs.


Here are some of the best shopping districts in Japan:

  • Ginza: This upscale district is known for its luxury brands and high-end department stores.

  • Shibuya: This trendy district is popular with young people and offers a wide range of fashion and beauty products.

  • Harajuku: This district is known for its street fashion and pop culture products.

  • Akihabara: This district is famous for its electronics and anime merchandise.


Traditional Crafts

Japan has a rich cultural heritage, and there are many traditional crafts that are still produced today. From pottery to textiles to lacquerware, there are many unique and high-quality products to choose from.


Some popular souvenirs include:

  • Japanese ceramics, such as pottery from Kyoto and Arita.

  • Traditional textiles, such as kimono fabric or tenugui hand towels.

  • Lacquerware, such as bowls and trays.


Japanese Snacks and Sweets

Japan is also known for its delicious snacks and sweets, many of which are unique to Japan. From Kit Kats in unusual flavours to mochi rice cakes, there are many tasty treats to try.


Some popular souvenirs include:

  • Japanese Kit Kats in flavours such as green tea, wasabi, and sake.

  • Mochi rice cakes in various flavours, such as strawberry and matcha.

  • Japanese candy, such as Pocky and Hi-Chew.


Etiquette

When shopping in Japan, it's important to be aware of the local etiquette. Here are some tips to keep in mind:


  • Always bow and say "arigatou gozaimasu" (thank you) when making a purchase.

  • Avoid bargaining, as it's not common in Japan.

  • Take your shoes off when entering a traditional Japanese store or home.

  • Don't eat or drink while walking on the street, as it's considered rude.


Shopping in Japan is a must-do for any tourist. Whether you're looking for high-end designer brands or unique souvenirs, there's something for everyone.


Be sure to take advantage of the tax-free shopping, and don't forget to try some of Japan's delicious snacks and sweets. With a little bit of etiquette and an open mind, you're sure to have a wonderful shopping experience in Japan.

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