You already know I brought home that gorgeous cherry blossom tree, but that wasn’t the only thing that came back with me from Japan.
Japan and especially Tokyo truly is shopping paradise. From cool street wear to stunning handmade ceramics, you definitely can have it all there – if your bank account and luggage space allows it!
Inspired by my own buys, I’ve made a list of things to buy in Japan, and where to get it – happy shopping!
Ceramics – Japan has tons of beautiful ceramics, most of it wabi-sabi style, meaning that lines can be uneven, a bowl might not be perfectly round – appreciation for the imperfect. So beautiful! The flower bowls and plates are from a small shop in the old town of Magome, and the darker bowls and plates are from a really cool store in Osaka called Wad. The kitchen area in Tokyo, Asakusa, is also a great place to find a lot of ceramics, and you can also find some finer pieces in the big department stores. On my last trip I bought some really pretty bowls from Rose Bakery in Dover Street Market, Ginza.
Tech gadgets – Japan is the place to dress up your phone! I managed to find some of the less crazy iPhone covers, but if you’re willing to go all in, you easily can. I found all of them in a store called Bic Camera, but you’ll find tech stores all around. If you want some inspiration, go down Harajuku’s Takeshita Street, where young Japanese girls dress up like you’ve never seen it before – some of the shops there also sell iPhone covers. I also brought back some Polaroid films for my Instax camera with cute stripes.
Beauty – Asian skincare is having a moment, and especially sheet masks are high in demand. I bought the classic purple Lululun mask while I was there, but when I stumbled upon this special edition ‘One’, I had to buy it – maybe because the packaging was so stunning! A lot of daily essentials can be found at 7eleven (yes, really!), that’s also where I found the Kanebo nail polish remover packs (so genius for travelling!). In a department store I found the nail polish strips, the Heroine Make Long and Curl Mascara (great name, right?) is from a drug store and the Uka nail oil is from their own salon. But if you’re into natural beauty products this is a must try. Aesop is not at all Japanese, but I always like to seek out their stores, because there’s usually something good in the area.
Crafts and stationary – I can’t even begin to count how many craft stores Japan has! A famous one is Tokyu Hands, but you can find washi tape pretty much everywhere.
Clothing and shoes – There’s not enough space in this post to cover all of what Japan has to offer in this category, but one of the brands that caught my eye is Le Ciel Bleu, and their new sister brand Irene, where I got this beautiful wide sleeve blouse and cropped pants. The PJ from Muji is the best I ever had, so soft, and fits really well! Came in several colours. The Muji store in Shibuya is supposed to be the best – they pretty much have everything. The Adidas sneaks is a special edition made for a store I found in Tokyo – cool sneakers are to be found everywhere!
Snacks – Japan has a lot of dried fish snacks! Not really my taste, so I went for the sweeter snacks instead … Organic chocolates found at Cosme Kitchen, and granola from Cocolo. Not pictured is the countless packs of Pocky, and a new favourite snack: chocolate covered almonds from Meiji, with the creative name Almond. You’ll find them in convenience stores.
Find more shopping tips in my Tokyo shopping guide.