What to Buy in Japan

Best Things to Buy in Japan

What are the most popular and trendy things to shop in Japan? If you are planning a trip to Japan and need a bit of help to decide what to buy in Japan while visiting, here is a complete list of must-buy Japanese souvenirs including traditional Japanese handicrafts, delicious Matcha snacks, beauty products, and inexpensive clothes. Let’s check out the best things to buy in Japan to bring home 🙂

*Please note that this article contains affiliate links.

1. Japanese Cosmetics Products

Japanese beauty products are renowned and popular worldwide today as they are highly praised for  great quality and affordable price! From high-end brands like Shiseido, KOSE and SK-Ⅱ to inexpensive brands like CANMAKE, CEZANNE and KATE, Japanese beauty companies offer a wide range of cosmetic products. One of the best places to shop Japanese cosmetics products is drugstore, and a variety of products can be found there, often with discounted prices. Besides skincare and makeup products, Japanese sunscreen products are also highly in demand.

Related Article ▶Best Japanese Drugstore Beauty Products

>>Shop Japanese Cosmetics Products Online with FREE Global Shipping!<<

Regarding to Japanese cosmetics, you should definitely check out The Best Cosmetics Awards which is held annually by the popular beauty portal website, @cosme. The awards reveal the rankings of the most popular cosmetics products of the year as well as the long-time beloved beauty products. These rankings could be a huge help if you are looking for the best Japanese beauty products out of 1000s!

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▶ Best Beauty Products in Japan: Japanese Cosmetics Ranking
▶ Best of Beauty: Award Winning Japanese Cosmetics

2. Electronic Products

Japan is known as the world-leading country for producing cutting edge, high-tech products including electronic gadgets. Japanese electronic products are very popular to shop among foreign visitors who seek for trustworthy Japanese quality. Also many products are sold much cheaper in Japan than in abroad, and sometimes you can catch really good promotions. Popular electronic products in Japan are cameras, rice cookers, electronic toilet seats, headphones, etc.

Related Article ▶ 5 Best Electronics Stores in Tokyo

Akihabara is definitely the first choice for electronics shopping in Japan as the numbers of shops and department stores, and the selection of products are top-notch. English speaking shop assistance and tax free shopping are also available at most of big shopping malls such as Yodobashi Camera.

3. Inexpensive Clothes

A store of UNIQLO, popular Japanese fast fashion retailer

Japan is one of the best countries to travel for fashionistas. Some of Tokyo’s districts such as Shibuya, Harajuku and Ginza offer the world’s finest and the most trendy fashion pieces. Along with luxurious brands, there are also many shops where you can complete your look with very small budget.

Shops like UNIQLO, GU and WEGO are Japan’s top fast fashion retailers and hugely popular among all generations as they offer a wide variety of fashion items. If you are a fan of brands like H&M, ZARA and Forever21, you may love these Japanese clothing brands listed on the articles below!

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4. Japanese Snacks and Sweets

Food is a great attraction in Japan and it must be a favourite part of the trip for many tourists. If you wish to take some tastes of Japan to home, don’t forget to shop some dry food. While travelling Japan, you may notice that there is a overwhelming selection of snacks and sweets in convenience stores and supermarkets in Japan including chocolate, crisps, cookies, candies, chewing gums, rice crackers, etc.

Two most popular snacks for souvenirs in Japan are KitKat and Pocky, which are also sold overseas, but not as big selection as in Japan. Starting from the pre-eminent matcha flovour, KitKat and Pocky are sold with various flavours here in Japan including seasonal flavours, unique flavours and regional flavours. There might not be enough time to try all during your trip, so make sure to shop some for taking home!

Related Article ▶Best Japanese Snacks to Buy

5. Anime/Manga/Game Products

When it comes to Japanese culture, anime, manga and game play a very important part in modern days. Japan is a dream destination for anime/manga/game geeks, and without doubt, there is a wonderful selection of merchandise available for them.

Akihabara, the Mecca of Geeks, is top spot for hunting anime, manga, game products as there are numbers of related stores offering a vast selection of merchandise including figurines, games, books and even vintage items. The shopping complex, Shibuya PARCO is a new heaven for anime geeks, housing several stores including Nintendo Tokyo and Pokemon Center on its 6th floor called Cyberspace Tokyo.

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6. Starbucks Tumbler

Starbucks Japan Sakura merchandise collection

The world’s most popular coffee company, Starbucks is hugely popular in Japan. As well as their delicious beverage and food, the Starbucks Japan merchandise is highly on demand. Along with regular tumblers and mugs, there are regional limited collection collaborating with several cities in Japan including Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hokkaido and Okinawa, and also seasonal collections such as Cherry Blossom, Christmas and New Year themes which are sold only for limited time.

Especially, the seasonal collections are extremely popular as numbers of Starbucks products are themed in cute pink cherry blossoms, and in red Christmas colours. The products are likely to sell out quickly once released! Check links below for geography series’ city mugs and tumblers and the Sakura collection both absolutely limited in Japan.

Related Articles ▶ Best Starbucks Japan Tumblers

7. Matcha Products

Matcha power

Matcha (finely ground green tea powder) has become one of the most popular food products in the past decade as its delightful flavour and health benefit fascinate people across the world. In fact, Matcha is mostly produced and traditionally consumed in Japan, so you can enjoy Matcha products in various different ways in Japan.

Numbers of cafes in Japan serves unique and original Matcha desserts including Matcha parfait, Matcha pancakes, Matcha ice cream, and more. Two best cities to explore Matcha flavours are obviously Tokyo where a huge numbers of cafes offer trendy and creative desserts, and other is Kyoto, the home to the finest Japanese tea leaves and numbers of authentic teahouses.

Of course, Matcha products are available at many shops. Along with the ground powder itself and green tea, Matcha snacks are highly popular items to shop for souvenirs, such as KitKat, Pocky, and many more. They can be found at convenience stores, supermarkets, drugstores and souvenir stores in Japan. The widest variety of Matcha snacks can be found at DONKI (Don Quijote) which usually has a Matcha corner.

Related Article ▶ Yummiest Matcha Snacks You Can Find in JAPAN!

There not only food related to the Matcha ingredient, but also some cosmetics products are made with Matcha recently. Did you know Matcha does some good effects for our skin? Some cosmetics brands in Japan offers high quality skin care products containing Matcha as a beauty ingredient.

8. Traditional Japanese Products

Let’s not forget about the beauty of traditional Japan. A wide variety of authentic handicrafts and artworks can be found in Japan, especially in countryside or historical cities like Kyoto or Tohoku area.  Beautiful and commendable Japanese cultural souvenir crafts are sold at local souvenir stores including pottery, glass, dolls, lacquerware and kimono dress. Small gifts like chopsticks, Furoshiki (multi use cloth) and Sensu (folding fan) can be found at many stores and they are very handy to take home!

Related Article ▶ 5 Most Praiseworthy Japanese Traditional Crafts

You can also get traditional Japanese products while visiting historic sites in Japan. At many Japanese temples and Shinto shrines, traditional lucky charms such as Omamori and Ema are sold for good luck, and each one has usually different meanings, which are extremely special and admiring.

Related Article ▶ Japanese Lucky Charms in Shrines and Temples

9. 100 Yen Products

DAISO store with a wide variety of items

Who doesn’t love it when everything can be bought with ONLY 100 yen at the whole shop?? 100 yen shops are Japanese people’s favourite place to shop, and now numbers of brands can be found including DAISO, Seira, Can DO, etc.

When we think about 100 yen products, we might be skeptical about the quality since they are literally CHEAP.. however recent products of 100 yen shops in Japan are truly impressive that you wouldn’t believe they cost only 100 yen. Here are list of 100 yen shops you can find in Tokyo and valuable items you can find at DAISO, which is the largest 100 yen shop franchises in the country.

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10. Unique and Funny Items

If you are looking for something cool and unique (and maybe weird) stuff simply to make your friends/family laugh, Japan is the country you should shop. Thank to the huge Otaku (geeky) culture, there are many unique items sold. Once again, Akihabara is the best area to shop Otaku items as there are numbers of stores related, offering very strange items. Not only unique items, but if you are a anime, manga or gaming lover, Akihabara is also the best place to find rare items such as figures, toys, games, manga and more.

Related Article ▶ What to Buy in Akihabara

A variety of unique, creative and useful products are sold at variety stores in Japan, including stationery, households, interior goods, handicrafts and beauty products. Some of the most recommended shops to hunt cool and high quality Japanese products are LOFT, Tokyu Hands and MUJI, which all have branches across the country. For discounted products, Don Quijote and DAISO are the best shops.

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11. Medical and Health Care Products

pills and supplements

Drugstore is one of the most recommended places to shop in Japan as you can find a wide variety of products including Japanese cosmetics products, snacks and medical products. Popular medical products to shop in Japan are medicines, eye drops, supplements, sunscreens and hair&body care goods.

You can find drugstores pretty much in every corners in Japan, especially in big cities, and if you have a headache or catch cold while travelling, you can pop by at your nearest drugstore for a quick relief. Buying medicines in Japan could take a bit of hesitation if you are a foreigner and don’t understand the language, so take a look at these links below which introduce Japanese medicines which are commonly used or surprisingly useful.

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12. Stationery

Japanese stationery is renowned for quality, design and functionality and become a popular item to shop among tourists in recent years. At stationery stores in Japan, you can find a variety of items including pens, pencils, papers, cards, notebooks, stickers, etc, for home, office and school. Stationery is sold at many places in Japan such as bookstores, shopping malls, department stores and variety stores with a wide selection and various price ranges.

The most famous stationery shop in Japan is Ginza Itoya, which was founded in 1904. The expansive 8-story retailer is located on the shopping street of Ginza district, Tokyo and offers a wide selection of stationery and lifestyle goods including the latest products, luxury items and rare items. Other recommended stores to shop stationery are LOFT where you can find stylish and cool designed items, Tokyu Hands offering quality and creative items, DONKI where you can find discounted products and 100 yen shops like DAISO and Seria, and 3COINS.

Related Article ▶ Best Stationery Stores in Japan

13. Sneakers

When you travel Japan, you may notice some of products are much cheaper than other countries. And sneakers are one of them. At large franchised shoe stores like ABC Mart, you can find sneakers at bargain prices commonly. Japanese shoe stores not only offer low price but also there are many Japan-Limited model kicks including by popular brands such as Adidas, Nike and Onitsuka Tiger.

The best spots to shop your cool kicks are Shibuya, Shinjuku and Harajuku areas in Tokyo, as numbers of trendy sneaker stores are located.

Related article ▶ 10 Best Sneaker Stores in Tokyo

14. Regional Specialties

Besides the products that you can find nationwide, there are regional specialties that are only sold in particular cities and regions in Japan. Japanese people love shopping them when travelling domestic, and a vast selection of products are sold at local souvenir shops. Many products can be also found at stores in stations and airports in Japan, making it easy for last minute shopping before travelling.

Some of the most popular regional specialties are Tokyo Banana (cake from Tokyo), Yatsuhashi (sweets from Kyoto), Shiroi Koibito (cookie from Hokkaido), Shisa (statue from Okinawa) and Mt Fuji themed products. Regional character (Gotochi Kyara) related goods such as Kumamon (from Kumamoto) and Gunma-chan (from Gunma) are also very popular. Gotochi Kitty is a collection of Hello Kitty products in a collaboration with each 47 prefectures of Japan, featuring local symbols and icons.

Related Article ▶ Best Regional Souvenirs in Japan

15. Made in Japan Products

high quality made in Japan watch

If you seek for high quality products, you wouldn’t be disappointed with made in Japan products. From cutting-edge electronics products to traditional handicraft, a wide variety of products are produced in Japan, and they are highly functional and built to last. Producers’ precision engineering and attention to detail have made Japanese products extremely popular around the world.

Watch is one of the most popular made in Japan products and Japanese watch brands such as CASIO and SEIKO are renowned and recognizable across the world. Japanese watch manufacturer focuses on producing highly precise and functional watches with the cutting edge technology.

Another notable things to represent Japanese quality is car. Of course it’s obvious that it’s not a typical option for souvenir and not many tourists come and travel Japan with the intention of buying a car, but let me just tell you why Japanese cars are so great. Japanese car brands such as Toyota, Nissan and Honda are highly popular worldwide. Japanese car manufacturers are known for using materials that are built to last and producing vehicles with high build quality. Due to their continuous improvement and quality control, Japanese car brands gain popularity.

The last to introduce is Japanese whiskey, a type of whisky that is increasingly becoming popular worldwide. Surprisingly there are over 30 beverage companies producing whisky in Japan. If you are a whisky enthusiast, don’t miss a chance quality made in Japan whisky while travelling Japan!

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Thanks for reading! I hope you have enjoyed my list of the best things to buy in Japan! If you are planning to buy souvenirs from Japan, you can get more ideas about Japanese souvenirs from the article below, introducing a variety of souvenirs from traditional crafts to modern products!

▷ 20 Best Souvenirs from Japan

For more idea about shopping and traveling in Japan, you may wanna check out these articles, too!

▶︎Best Regional Souvenirs in Japan
▶︎Best Variety Stores in Japan
▶︎10 Best Activities in Japan

▽ Related Articles ▽

▶︎Akihabara Shopping Guide: 10 Best Shops in Akihabara
▶︎Harajuku Shopping Guide: 10 Best Shops in Harajuku
▶︎Shibuya Shopping Guide: 20 Best Shops in Shibuya

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Written by

"The world is my oyster" A globetrotter 🌎 and hammock lover 🌞 who loves taking adventures to fuel wanderlust. Born and raised in Japan, I have lived and explored countries around the world. As a resident of Japan and based on my travel experience, I'd love to share my knowledge and tips for travelling Japan with my readers. I hope my story will help you plan your trip and have a great time in Japan 🌈