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JapanTravel Tips



Japan Shopping Guide

In a country that manufactures a large percentage of the entire world's consumer goods, and that structures its entire national existence around the marketplace, it is no surprise that shopping takes up a good proportion of most visitors' time.

The Japanese themselves love shopping, and look upon a visit to big department stores in the major cities as recreation. The stores encourage this by offering child-care service, giving away free food samples in their grocery markets and delicatessens, holding art shows and demonstrating native and foreign crafts.

Among the valued items sought as souvenirs are digital cameras, DVD players, portable MD players, watches, kimonos, pearls, ceramics, bamboo ware, woodblock prints and curios. All of which are available in specialty shops or department stores.

Shopping Hours

Shops and other sales outlets in Japan are generally open on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays as well as weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Department stores, however, are closed during one weekday, differing by store, and certain specialty shops may not open on Sundays and national holidays. Please note that department stores close at least one hour (7:00 p.m.) earlier than most other stores.

Tax-Free Shopping

Bring your passport with you for tax-free shopping. Duty Free shopping is possible only at Japan's international airports. But authorized tax-free shops in urban shopping districts cater to tourists with English-speaking staff. Time permitting, compare prices at these shops with those for comparable products at discount stores or bargain markets before you make the final decision. Some tax-free shops are found in Tokyo's International Arcade and Kyoto's Handicraft Center. You can be except from Japan's 5 percent 'consumption tax' if your purchase comes to more than 10,000 yen for certain items.

Electrical Appliances

Take care when buying electrical or electronic products. Be sure the circuits are, or can be, adjusted to use with your home country's power system.
Video systems differ from country to country, so confirm that the system is correct for your use.


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