Happy New Year, madames and sirs! I went to Osaka-Kyoto-Nara-Kobe Japan trip last year and just want to share my mini shopping adventure.
Japan is known for its quality products that’s why prices are oftentimes expensive. But there are also budget-friendly shops wherein you can get extraordinary and rare items as pasalubong / souvenirs or score a little something for yourself to bring back home. You can buy snacks, cosmetics, stationeries, dishes, towels, toys etc for a cheap price. I went around Dotonbori, the busiest area in Osaka, Japan, and succeeded with my search for affordable shops! Maybe you can visit one or two when you fly there.
You can find it in Shinsaibashi, a long shopping street. This might be very familiar to us Filipinos since we also have it in Manila. However, the ones in Japan offer more variety of items compared to their branch in Manila. It’s composed of three floors and the best part is, everything is 100 yen per item. Just bought some snacks and cute character microfiber cleaning cloth for eyeglasses or lens.
100 YEN SHOP
This small corner store also adapted the discount store model selling a wide range of products like household goods, kitchenware etc. for a 100 yen each. The inner Titas of Manila in you will be thrilled!
Beauty bloggers or enthusiasts, beauty drugstores are scattered all over Osaka and it’s heaven on earth. They have everything you need: cosmetics, skin care, hair care, health stuff, medicine. Hoard products here and get them tax-free when you reach a certain required amount. My haul includes Lu Lu Lun facial masks, Salonpas air spray (Yes they have that! Got the bigger bottle because it’s a need.), a local eyebrow pencil, and face powder from Shiseido’s sister company brand.
KUIDAORE TARO SHOP
Along the food lane of Dotonbori, you’ll find this souvenir shop featuring Osaka’s iconic clown mascot, Kuidaore Taro. Snacks, keychains, ref magnets, fake food souvenirs and character socks are all here. Octopus and blowfish are one of the essential ingredients used in Dotonbori dishes so I really had to buy these squishy keychains! Not to mention, the Takoyaki printed Hello Kitty socks.
(This photo is from www.pineappleislands.com)
Definitely not a shop, but you’ll probably get addicted to it just like me. Gashapon are coin-operated toy dispensers usually ranging in price from ¥100 to ¥500, and the themes vary from licensed games, anime and kawaii plushies. Getting gashapon or capsule toys is one of my best memories in Osaka. Excuse the child-like me but it’s like receiving surprise gifts from Santa on Christmas! BTW, I got these from different places in Osaka.
Behold, the shopping store of all shopping stores! You can shop unique flavored Kit Kat and Pocky, Wonka bars, Nissin Cup Noodles, make-up, electronics, clothing, costumes for parties, second hand branded bags and wallets, and so on. Fill up your luggage with these goodies and don’t forget to claim at the tax-free counter. There are 2 Don Quijote shops in Dotonbori, the other one has a big ferris wheel on top of it and the other one is just around the block as well. Remember to allot time if you want to shop here since it’s about 6-8 floors high and there’s a long line towards the cashier.
(This is my mom getting ready to hoard.)
KANSAI AIRPORT DUTY FREE
If you’re into liquor, fragrances, cosmetics, jewelry and fashion items, Kansai Airport Duty Free has a ton to offer. As for me, I’m geared towards snacks and sweets and airport remembrance! For your last minute shopping, take home chocolates such as Royce and Tokyo Milk Cheese biscuits for less.
Save this list as a shopping guide for the next time you are bargain hunting in Dotonbori. Don’t forget your wallets and passports, and remember to just take what you need. :)