When you visit Japan, shopping is likely on your list of things to do. They have many cool gadgets and cultural items that are often on souvenir lists. To help you find your way and do the shopping part right, we would like to share some much-needed information. You need to know the types of stores that you will find as well as the right way to approach shopping. Here goes.
Types of Stores
Electronic stores – These stores are what you would expect from an electronics store. They carry all different kinds of electronic devices like computers, cameras, and televisions as well as gadgets and accessories. These stores can often be mega stores found near train stations and other such areas.
Department Stores – Department stores offer a range of products and their products are generally of a higher quality than other stores. They also have very good customer service. You will also find dining options in these stores.
Convenience Stores – They offer all the basic essentials as well as food and drink products. They are open everyday all week for your convenience. You will also find ATMs and possible ticket services at these stores.
100 Yen Stores – These are great for those traveling on a budget. They offer a great range of products for the low price of 108 yen. You can buy souvenirs, clothing, gadgets, etc.
Shopping Arcades – This is a site to see and an experience you want to have. Shopping arcades are old streets that are lined with small stores on both sides. Many of these arcades are covered and offer the widest variety of stores you can think of.
Shopping malls and outdoor markets are also all over and are similar to what we’re used in the Western countries.
Shopping hours may vary – Not all stores are open during the same hours. Larger stores and malls may be open for longer while smaller ones may open later and close earlier.
Be friendly and polite – The Japanese are courteous and will greet you when you enter a store. They generally don’t expect a response, but it is nice to at least smile in response.
Consumption tax – You pay a flat rate of 8% tax on all things you buy. There are options to buy tax-free if you are a foreigner and buy a certain amount, but there are terms and conditions that go with that.
Carry cash – The easiest way to pay is with cash. Debit and credit cards are not accepted everywhere and small stores and vendors only take cash. It is best to carry cash with you when you go to shop.
Your shopping experience in Japan is bound to be a lot of fun and you will get a lot of great stuff. If you remember to be friendly and considerate, you have half the battle won. Avoid bargaining and carry cash. Keep these things in mind and enjoy your shopping in Japan.