Shopping in Japan: From a Guy’s Point of View

by Emma Hackwood


Flight Centre’s Tyson Harrington recently travelled to Japan, and gives us an overview of some of the great shopping this country has to offer. Whatever you are looking to purchase, Japan has a great mix of traditional and modern. From the electronics to the clothing, he dishes the goods and tells us what he couldn’t return home without:

One of the most exciting things about travelling to another country is the opportunity to shop for a variety of experiences. Typical souvenirs are always fun to bring back for friends and family and you may also be able to find some great deals on things you just can’t get at home.

Japan is an excellent place to shop for all of these reasons.

From newer, modern malls, to small family run shops, there is something for everyone.  Here are a few of the more popular items people look for:

Kimonos and Yukatas:

Beautiful robes made of cotton, silk or synthetic materials.  They are available in a wide range of colours and patterns.


Most countries in the world have their own signature alcoholic beverage. Japan has sake, which is made from fermented rice. It is typically served warm during the winter and cold during the summer. Japan is also known for its excellent beer. In terms of non-alcoholic drinks, there are many interesting varieties of carbonated beverages and fine teas, both of which make great gifts.


This is always an interesting thing to bring back. Japan has some amazingly unique sushi dishes, tea sets and sake sets.

Anything Ninja:

While you can’t take them in your carry-on luggage, ninja swords and throwing stars are popular souvenirs for Western tourists.  There are some plastic swords for children but the metal versions, although not sharp, are still weapons and must be kept in a safe place once you get them home. People sometimes mount them on a wall or mantle piece as decoration.

While it’s always thoughtful to buy souvenirs for loved ones, you might want to buy a little something special for yourself as well. Japan has fantastic shopping for modern clothing.  Although finding your size may not always be easy – especially if you are particularly tall. If you can find your size, you’ll find your style. Cutting edge styles of shoes, jeans, shirts, skirts, dresses and blouses are available for prices that are comparable to North American shops.
Clothes aren’t the only thing that is cutting edge in Japan. The Japanese are always ahead of the game when it comes to electronics, and you are often able to get new technology well before it is available in North America. I purchased a synthesizer (keyboard/music unit) when I was there in the spring, and that particular model still isn’t available here in Canada. For other electronics like cameras and MP3 players, shopping in Japan will surely get you a few months ahead of the Jones’.

Whatever you are looking to purchase, Japan has a great mix of traditional and modern.  It is this mix of new and old that makes Japan such a fantastic place to visit.

Looking for more information on travelling to Japan? Contact Tyson Harrington, an international travel consultant with Flight Centre based in Vancouver, BC who can be reached at 1 866 606 9095.

Japan is highlighted on the Flight Centre travel map

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