Large department stores can be found in downtown Tokyo, Osaka, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Nagoya, as well as adjacent to train stations in these such large cities, and sell a wide variety of goods. They are well-staffed, and customers can buy famous brands, enjoy the hospitality of Japan shopping in the form of services such as careful packaging, and shop tax-free by completing the procedure just once. Department stores often have similar layouts, with cosmetics on the first floor, groceries and foodstuff on basement floors, and restaurants on the top-most floors, and generally open from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., though restaurants may be open until 10:00 p.m.
Train station buildings/shopping centers
These stores are adjacent to train stations, where you can find restaurants as well as stores that sell clothing, stationary, candies and confections. They generally close between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., so it is convenient to do your post-dinner shopping here. If you’re looking to buy “kawaii” goods, these stores are popular among young Japanese women who buy the latest trendy, casual fasion. Please be aware that each store may have its own tax-free procedure.
Outlet malls contain over 100 stores that sell items that have ended production or last-season goods from brand-name companies and luxury manufacturers. They are often located a little ways away from the big city centers, so be sure to check directions and access if you’re on a personal visit. Although it may take a full day to make a round trip to an outlet mall, the unexpected deals are well worth the effort.
Much like London’s Regent Street or Paris’s Champs-Elysees, visitors can experience Japan shopping at popular streets and downtown areas such as Ginza, Harajuku, Shinsaibashi, and Tenjin. Most stores are open from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., and some stores can’t be accessed without checking a map or a guidebook. Many stores in Tokyo and Osaka offer tax-free shopping.
Visitors can also enjoy Japan shopping at supermarkets, which sell daily necessities such as groceries or clothing. Candies and sweets, medicine, fruits, and sneakers are popular at these stores, and some supermarkets are even open from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. If you’re looking to buy souvenirs that you will use soon, supermarkets are a good place to go, and though they are not often found adjacent to train stations, they can be found anywhere in Japan.
Drugstores can be found anywhere in Japan, from train stations to nearby hotels, and many visitors buy souvenirs in bulk such as pharmaceutical products or paper diapers. Many drugstores offer tax-free services.
Select shops sell Japanese and foreign goods and apparel that each store presents with concepts such as “trendy”, “kawaii”, or “classy” in mind. Especially popular among young Japanese men and women, these stores sell cool, fashionable goods, and are found in downtown areas like Harajuku, Shibuya, and Ginza, as well as outlet malls and shopping centers.
Found all over Japan, convenience stores operate tirelessly from early in the morning to late at night, where you can buy sweets, snacks, drinks, meals, and other convenient items such as stationary. Most convenience stores don’t have large stocks of goods, and items can be found at similar prices no matter which conveience store you visit.