Anyone who loves shopping will enjoy visiting Japan. There are so many unusual and different products to choose from that you won’t even see in the shops back home. You can spend a fortune at some of the finest fashion stores in Ginza or drop just a few yen at some of the nationwide bargain stores and 100-Yen shops – it’s all up to you.
Make no mistake; Japan has some weird and wonderful products you will never see anywhere else in the world, like the latest electronic gadgets to the cutest stuffed toys that the Japanese love so much and much more.
Sensu Folding Fans
Japanese fans are world-renowned for their beauty and delicacy. They are also functional, too. A high-quality folding fan made in Kyoto (the ancient capital of Japan) which is the birthplace of Sensu is practical and tasteful, making them the perfect gift, especially if you want to avoid heavy objects in your luggage. There are several types of fans specifically designed for various purposes and ceremonies so make sure you ask the shopkeeper/sales clerk for more details about them.
Everybody knows that buying electronics in Japan is a serious must-do but the epicentre of this sort of shopping is undoubtedly Akihabara, Tokoyo’s ‘Electric Town’. Of course Japan has countless electronic shops but this area of the capital has the greatest concentration of them and you could easily while a whole day away there. This area has the latest gadgets – but not necessarily the cheapest. Still, if you’re hot for a new mobile phone, iPod, MP4 player, DVD player or even a gadget you’ve never heard of before, Japan – and especially Akihabara – is the place to go to. It even has its own underground stop.
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If you don’t speak any Japanese or have a friend to translate for you the best place to buy a kimono is in a large department store. The end-of-season sales are extremely advantageous but don’t forget that, even if the kimono comes cheap in a sale the accessories generally are not. It’s good to know that used kimonos are also available in larger towns that cater to foreigners but it is not advisable to buy from flea markets specializing in used kimonos as prices are bloated and you cannot return the item once bought.
Toys in Japan is huge business and there is an amazing range of many things you would never see outside Japan or indeed would imagine even existed. The average toy shop itself is an amazing place usually they are multilevel and jam-packed with all sorts of wonderful gadgets and fun items for all ages. It’s not all about ‘Hello Kitty’ although bizarrely enough there is a Hello Kitty doctor’s kit complete with fake morphine injections. Not for you? Then try the old favourites like Godzilla, Astro Boy and action toys like Transformers – these never go out of fashion.