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What to Buy in Tokyo

what to buy in Tokyo - nice stationary

When visiting Tokyo, you’re likely wondering what are the things to buy in Tokyo. You’ll find a variety of unique and locally made products that you will not find anywhere else. While there is great shopping all over Japan, we found the most variety in Tokyo. Though Tokyo is often the first stop, and it makes most sense to buy everything at the end so you don’t have to lug it around, it really is best to do most of your shopping in Tokyo. There are a few unique things to buy in Kyoto, Osaka and Hakone as well. Pack light and bring an extra suitcase because you’ll want to buy everything in Tokyo! Here is a list of what to buy in Tokyo, including some items you can buy across Japan.

Tokyo Quick Links

  • Tokyo Travel Guide
  • Best Areas to Stay in Tokyo (coming soon)
  • Best Hotels in Tokyo (coming soon)
  • Best Things to do in Tokyo (coming soon)
  • Best Restaurants in Tokyo (coming soon)
  • Best Cafes and Bakeries in Tokyo (coming soon)

Kitchen Knives

Kitchen knives are very popular to buy when you’re visiting Tokyo. There are entire guides on what Japanese knives to buy when you’re visiting Japan, including this guide. The best place to shop for Japanese knives is on Kappabashi street in Tokyo. Kappabashi street is the street where chefs travel to find the best knives from all over Japan.

Stationary

The stationary in Japan is beautiful. Browse stationary displayed on multiple floors by visiting Itoya in Ginza. You can also find Itoya at the Narita Airport, before you head through security.

Pens

Japan is renowned for its high design, creativity and quality and that includes its pens. You can find a wide variety of pens in stationary shops like Itoya.

Tokyo Banana

Tokyo Banana is a popular candy that can be found in many train stations and convenience stores. It is best to buy while you’re in the city shopping because if you wait until the airport you’ll have to buy a large amount.

Ginza Strawberry

Ginza strawberry is another popular sweet in Tokyo. It can be found in many train stations, convenience stores and markets while you’re out exploring the city. It is best to buy this in the city as when I went to purchase it at the airport I actually couldn’t find any though I was in a rush.

Kit Kats

Kit Kats are one of the most popular gifts to give from Japan. This is because there are many unique flavors of Kit Kats available only in Japan. You can find Kit Kats at the Kit Kat store, as well as in the airport, at convenience stores and in the train stations.

Ceramics

You can find beautiful ceramics for sale in Tokyo. Some we bought were ceramic chopstick holders that we found at Tsukiji Fish Market.

Skincare

There is a bunch of incredible Asian skincare you can buy when you’re in Japan. There is so much, it’s a bit overwhelming especially since most of the descriptions are only in Japanese but researching what to buy ahead of time will help you figure out what to get. I bought a few things from Etude House, and this is what I found during my planning research.

Etude House

Etude House was a clear favorite for Korean brand skincare. They have a store in Osaka I went to, but department stores also carry this brand and you can get good samples and freebies when you purchase.

Skincare at Drug Stores/ Chemists

Going to a drug store / chemist will have an impressive range of skincare. Some favorites mentioned online included Kose Speedy Cleansing Oil, Hada Labo Premium Lotion, Rosette Ceramide Gel, Pure Smile Sheet Masks and Lip masks.

Makeup Brushes

Hakuhodo and Chikuhodo are iconic Japanese makeup brush shops and they both have stores dotted around Japan, including Tokyo.

Yodobashi Camera/LOFT

Both Yodobashi Camera/LOFT have excellent makeup and skincare sections with lower-end brands. This includes CANMAKE, Majolica Majorca, Creer Beaute, Hada Labo, Kose, Pure Smile, Lululun, K-Palette, Diamond Lash, Dollywink, Rohto and Biore Sunscreens.

Umbrellas

Umbrellas are a popular item to buy in Japan because they have many fun designs. Some form a Sakura pattern when it rains.

Whiskey

Smaller Whiskey distillers like Ichiro are easier to find here. Suntory and Nikka have a ton of offerings available for Japan only. If you like whiskey but are unfamiliar with Japanese whiskey here is a Japanese whiskey buying guide.

Local Sake

There is a lot of great, local sake avaialbe in Tokyo.

Jeans

Japanese denim jeans are famous for their quality. Some famous brands in Japan are blue, samurai jeans, Oni, Pure Blue and Iron Heart.

Sneakers

Japan is also famous for it’s wide variety of sneakers. Onitsuka Tigers is one brand that you don’t see often outside of Japan. Other famous brands are Adidas and Nike.

Anime and Manga Merchandise

Tokyo is the epicenter of anime and manga culture. Tokyo has a wide variety of anime and manga merchandise.

Maneki-Neko (Lucky Cat) Figurines

The Maneki-Neko cat figurines are believed to bring good luck and fortune. You can find them in the markets in Tokyo.

As you leave Tokyo, the things you bought in Japan will serve as tangible mementos, each carrying the great memories you made during your trip to Tokyo. Friends and family will love all the gifts you bought them in Tokyo as you truly cannot buy many of these gifts anywhere else. Many of these gifts are the best gifts for the people that have everything and need nothing. They will truly appreciate you thinking of them while on your trip to Tokyo.

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