What to buy in Japan?

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  1. Hey guys! I'm going to Japan in a few weeks (for my honeymoon!) and wondering what you recommend on buying to bring home. At the moment my list consists of a kimono (preferably silk, vintage). What else do you suggest as a unique purchase that I will love forever (unlike, for example a snow globe lol).

    For reference, I'm going to Tokyo and Osaka, with day trips to Mt Fuji, Kyoto, etc.
    I'm obsessed with clothing, and of course love designer shoes and handbags, but read on the other thread that there's not point buying European designers in Japan.
    Also, I'm probably Japanese sized in terms of height (5ft), but not size (a curvy US2-4)

    Let me know if you have any suggestions!!:biggrin:
  2. Two words: Tokyo Hands. Not fancy things but floors and floors of everything you never knew you wanted to buy and more. I'm talking like the cutest office supplies and housewares on the planet. Except they have everything.

    Really all 100 yen stores are awesome. Japanese packaging and design for the simplest things are the best. I think one of my favorite Japanese purchases is a bottle of nail polish remover I got at a 7-11 because it's so damn cute.

    And go designer shopping even if you don't buy anything because customer service in Japan is unparalleled and something you need to experience. Go to Isetan and Mitsukoshi and just try on clothes.

    Also even the stores that exist all over the world have some pretty unique, cooler things than what we get in the U.S. (not sure where you live), for my taste at least. I got some pieces at Opening Ceremony in Tokyo that could be considered more modern or even "wacky" by some people. Fashion tastes are less conservative there than even in places like NYC.

    I went to town shopping in Tokyo. The tax rebate program at the department stores is really easy and quick too, just make sure to have your passport. Luckily I was there for work and we had sea containers to send back so I may have snuck a trunk full of my personal shopping... :whistle:
  3. Was in Japan recently and shopping was really fantastic! I second Mudodabolsa's suggestions and here are some other suggestions:

    - Cosmetics. Didn't get any, but there is a wide array to select from at many different price points. The Shiseido boutique in Ginza might be a good starting point.

    - The Japanese make beautiful prints, and they have fabrics used for wrapping lunch boxes (there is a name for it, but can't recall now) which can be used for decoration instead. There is a beautiful shop near the temple in Asakusa that offers a wide variety of different / modern designs to select from.

    - In Kyoto there is a market that is open only one Saturday a month. If your trip coincides with the market, please do not miss it! There are many vintage traditional yukata to select from, and at very reasonable prices. The market also sells vintage / antique glassware and other knick knacks that would be meaningful reminders of your trip.

    - Kyoto again. There are many shops selling beautiful tea cups, bowls and other glassware, so take the time to browse if you enjoy this sort of thing!

    Hope this is helpful! Have fun on your trip.
  4. Cosmetics! The brand "Three" is really great! For sale only in Japan, Taiwan and Thailand. Their foundation is really breathable and look really natural...

    I'd personally go for the JDM (Japanese Domestic Model) watches from Seiko. They are sensational time pieces.

    I am heading to Osaka with the family this May...can't wait.
  5. I recommend checking out the Japanese drugstores, they sell a huge array of makeup. Personal faves : cheap face masks, dollywink eye makeup and sunscreen

    As for designer stuff, commes des garçons is really affordable in jp. So is issey miyake
  6. Definitely spend a night food tripping along dotonburi in osaka! Ichiran ramen, osaka osho gyoza, matsusaka beef and king crab!!! Visit Don Quixote for snacks to bring home-flavorerd kitkats, tiramisu chocolate covered almonds, royce chocolates, etc.

    Japanese cosmetics, hada labo is a great brand, read up on the different varieties for one that suits your skin type. Matsumoto kiyoshi are huge drugstores everywhere for all kinda of cosmetics-i love dolly wink mascaras and liquid eyeliner!

    Issey Miyake baobao bags are popular but its sold by lottery so you need to be at the shop at opening. You can check on MCM, there's a boutique in Ginza.

    Also dropby Uniqlo for quality basics :smile:
  7. Thank you guys these are all such great suggestions!! :heart::heart:
  8. Definitely grab the crazy flavored Kit-Kats! Brought a bunch back for my office and people are still asking for more green tea ones or cheesecake ones!
  9. Or Sake!
  10. We are going to be in Kyoto for a week i had seen the market was there during our stay will definatly check it out we went Japan last year but mostly sightseeing and retro game shopping for my boys this year my daughter and i will shop..I wanted a Samantha Verasa bag didnt get one will this time.
  11. Does Tokyu Hands sell scrapbooking items i will be in there this trip .
  12. Anyone done any jewellry shopping id like a charm bracelet with tokyo tower temples any thing like that.Many years ago i spent several months in Akasaka as a student i saw a beautiful bracelet at hotel near where i stayed but could not afford it.I dream of one as a trip souvenir .Will be in Kyoto and Hokkaido as well hope to find one.
  13. Bump...Any new suggestions? Heading to the Tokyo area later this year. Also curious about resale shops that may buy bags outright to compare what I might get selling there vs. in the US...and of course to browse what some of them have for sale also.
    bellebellebelle19 likes this.
  14. - Sunscreen. The Japanese are SERIOUS about their sun protection and hence their products are probably the most advanced and innovative in the market. And the prices are rather reasonable and definitely cheaper than what you'd get them for in the US, even Amazon.
    - Do you live near a Uniqlo? Actually, even if you do, I suggest you still go, since there are some pieces/styles that never make it to the US. Plus it's likely cheaper than if you bought stuff in the US.
    - Seconding the suggestion to go to Matsumoto Kiyoshi. It's probably best to do research beforehand as it can get overwhelming, you might end up spending hours in there. People have already suggested Dolly Wink mascaras, Japanese eye makeup (including false lashes) in general is of better quality than their western counterparts. Brands that are available in stateside would also generally be cheaper, including Shiseido and SK-II. In the case of the latter, they sometimes sell past-season special edition packages (in the limited edition seasonal bottles) at a discount, so it's worth a look. Even shampoo in Japan is better, from what I've heard, since the Japanese consume is very particular and expects higher quality than other consumes. I've had colleagues snap up ginormous bottles of Japan-made shampoo to take home.
    - Tokyu Hands is also a must-stop, as someone already suggested. Fair warning, you WILL spend too much time there.
    - If you're into coffee, then you can also look into coffee-making tools. Kalita is a famous Japanese brand for coffee enthusiasts and from my experience is cheaper in Japan.
    - As with Uniqlo, Muji is still worth looking into, even if you have them where you live. The selection of items is huge, relative to their international stores, especially in the food/snacks department.
    - Random foodstuffs you can take home as gifts: flavored Kit Kat (green tea, sakura, sake, etc.), Royce Chocolates, Tokyo Milk Cheese, Pocky.
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