TOP 5 Places To Shop for Souvenirs in Japan

by - Monday, September 26, 2016

Because of the wide variety of awesome products, shopping for Japan-made goodies, souvenirs, and all other things (you never thought you'll need) can be a little overwhelming #whenInJapan. So if you only have limited days to amble around the metropolitan and in frenzy of last minute shopping, here are my top suggestions to score some souvenirs!

(stationery, school supplies, makeup, skincare, kitchen needs, bathroom needs, phone accessories)
LOFT is a variety store in Japan that sells not only trendy items but also household and everyday commodities. It is a one-stop shop brimming with so much stylish and high quality items. From stationery, phone cases, makeup, travel goodies to home necessities, name it and they got it!

And oh, this is where I usually buy makeups and school supplies. What's great about LOFT is that they also sell beauty brands that can't be found in most drugstores (e.g organic brands, La Roche-Posay, Bioderma, etc).

Images via Loft

(art supplies, stationery, school supplies, home essentials, makeup, skincare, phone accessories, kids' toys)
I discovered and fell in love with LOFT first before I was able to visit a TOKYU HANDS branch (yes, finally!). Tokyu Hands didn't disappoint as it reminds me so much of Loft except that it's bigger and the range of products, tempting products I must say, are much wider. Being a creative lifestyle store, Tokyu Hands is also bursting with so many Japanese-crafted items.

The Arts Section is very huge and you will definitely scream like crazy when you get to see the shelves of Copic markers all perfectly laid out. Both Loft and Tokyu Hands maintain small to medium-sized stores within malls and big standalone stores Japan-wide, you won't have a problem looking for one! Go!

Image via Copic Japan

(clothing, makeup and skincare, furniture, food, school supplies, home essentials, organizing and storage)
MUJI also known as (無印良品) Mujirushi Ryohin translates as 'no mark/brand quality goods'. Like the other two lifestyle stores, Muji offers a wide variety of products - clothes, household goods, furniture, and food - except they are designed in a minimalist way.

Simplicity reigns supreme here. Muji prides on recycling and avoiding waste in production and packaging. Hence, you'll notice that most of the stuff sold (notebook, shirts, kits) and paper bag used have minimal to no design prints at all.

So, what to buy in Muji? Muji is known for their own skincare line, their makeup bags, and travel-sized bottles.

Images via Muji

(all around shop: from house essentials, food, stationery, school supplies, toys, to food, etc.)
Japan is known as one of the most expensive countries in the world. So I guess it really can't be helped if you find the other 3 store suggestions too spendy. Even if the Japan-made products are stylish and high quality, I know they aren't exactly cheap especially if you're buying for a lot of friends and relatives back in your home country.

If you want to shop in another lifestyle store yet this time with a cheaper price point, 100 Yen Shops are the places to go! Hyakuen Shoppu a.k.a 100 Yen Shops are  another batch of chain stores that sells a variety of items at ¥100 (excluding tax). Famous stores includes: The Daiso, Seria, and Can•do.

Image via Cando website

Please note that most of the items sold in 100-yen shops are not designed nor made in Japan. Also, while a charger that will last you for years will probably cost you so much; a 100-yen charger, earphones, or flashlight might only serve you for a short period of time.*

Here's what I got from Can•do! The washi tape holder and cutter is made in Japan btw (日本製). In the photo: washi tape dispenser/cutter, DIY phrase-stamp maker, green ink, dual sided black marker, 4 colors sticky memo, colored paper set.

(all funny, weird, and quirky things; hard to find things; geeky and otaku stuff; novelty, books, etc.)
If you're interested in geeky, quirky Japanese stuff then a trip to Village Vanguard store is a must. The store is packed from the ceilings to the walls with character goods and toys, party goods and prank gifts, wigs, stationery, toy camera, some beauty items, books, manga, and a whole bunch of everything Japanese stuff that you don't need but will actually buy anyway!

Image from Village Vanguard

Oh, have I mentioned that Village Vanguard is actually a bookstore? Haha! The concept is to be an "Exciting Bookstore". If you're not totally a book person the idea of a bookstore will probably bore you, yes, but Village Vanguard beg to differ. Their store is always booming with different loud songs in every section (yes, crazy!). It's a little chaotic inside btw. It's like a maze inside that it's a bit difficult to get out. But no, getting lost inside a store chock-full of weird stuff is so fun!! You gotta see it to believe it!

VV is known for their abnormally large-sized Japanese snacks (gigantic Pocky); hard to find Manga and Character collectibles (I bought my Attack on Titan cups here); Poop Section (where everything is designed like poop), etc.

Image from

[Edit: September 26 - how do you like the new look of Tell me in the comment box down below!]


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