This post is entirely dedicated to one of the biggest concerns, Shopping in Japan? Where you can buy gifts, magnets, food and where not. Often buying gifts for everyone can be extremely expensive, but don’t worry I will give you some advice. Know that everything you find in souvenir shops can also be found in department stores and at a lower price. Check my 15 days itinerary in Japan to know everything about my Japanese trip.
Let’s start with the weak point, the food because I love Japanese cuisine. Although most products can be found in any Asian supermarket, it is convenient to buy certain ingredients in on another kind of shops.
DAISO is a chain of supermarkets at 100 YEN (1 euro approx) which in this case is very useful. Here I recommend you buy:
- Bags of chips of every flavor, those with a gyoza flavor are my favorites.
- Seasoning for rice and spices
- Te matcha powder
- Strange cookies (te matcha flavors in particular)
- Pasta and soups
SEVEN/ELEVEN is another chain of mini supermarkets, which you will find in every corner of the city. Here you can buy:
- Mochis (stuffed with daifuku typical beans, but they are very good), it last 3 or 4 days.
- Melon pan and low-quality pastry but cheap and good.
- Sandwiches of all kinds, the eggs sandwich is delicious.
In general, I would avoid buying soy, which you can find here, algae, and fresh ingredients.
GIFTS AND SOUVENIR
Gifts for everyone are always the worst nightmare of travelers, often as souvenirs, we spend more money than for ourselves. Some advice on how to ease this concern.
In many HOTELS you will find beauty masks and bath salts for free, without exaggerating, you can always get someone. In DAISO I suggest you buy: gift magnets, fans, chopsticks, socks, and lucky cats.
DON QUIJOTE is a chain of department stores, often 7 or 8 floors high where you can find from food to technology. Prices are not like DAISO but they are certainly cheaper than other stores. The best Don Quijote is located in the city of Osaka and in the Shibuya district of Tokyo. So what to buy:
- Kit-Kat of every flavor, I bought more than 20 different 200yen packs per pack. The advice is to avoid the boxes, which are more expensive 800yen per pack.
- Costumes for parties, for adults you will find plenty of choices, for children it is more difficult.
- Beauty products, the Japanese consume many, here are very cheap.
MANGA AND VIDEO GAMES
Another reason why Westerners travel a lot in Japan is for manga and video games. But where can we buy without spending so much?
The mangas are very cheap, there are lots of comics shops scattered around Kyoto and Tokyo. Prices start at 100 YEN (approx. 1 euro) and reach up to 500 YEN. Near the Kyoto station, I suggest you go to COMIC SHOCK.
As for video games and technology I honestly don’t recommend buying, unless it is for collecting. Before buying, always check the JAPAN USE ONLY label that most video games have. The best neighborhood to buy is Akihabara, in particular, Mr potato.