Hopefully, you are all doing well.
I am sure you have all heard about how Japan, especially Tokyo, is very expensive. While this can be true for everyday things like fruit and vegetables, there are ways to save your yen!
- Discounts on meat after a certain hour: This I found out by accident. I was shopping at a local grocery store by my dormitory called Santoku at ten at night because I didn’t have any food to eat for tomorrow’s breakfast. I was strolling around the store marveling at why this store was open till late hours of the night when I happened to notice that some of the meat had sale stickers on them. I quickly counted my yen and was able to score great deals on meat that was supposed to be “not fresh” and by then was considered “old”. Bah! I threw my new purchases in the freezer and was able to eat a protein rich meal for pennies on the yen. (You get my point!)
- Lawson’s 100: Is a small grocery store that sells most of its products for 100 yen. That’s a dollar! This includes a small batch of potatoes, a few slices of lunch meat, large yogurt containers, and even a small bunch of small bananas. Each for only 100 yen! While this is a great place for juice and other things, it is always a great idea to compare prices with other grocery stores as they sometimes offer the same product for slightly less yen.
- Don Quijote the department store: This is Japan’s equivalent of Target or a Walmart. Not as wide of a selection or big of a store but still crammed full of lots of important things like cosmetics, toiletries, basic clothes, home goods and select groceries. The prices here are usually affordable as the store is stuffed full of eager customer’s and tons of merchandise in eye catching packaging. Japan is know as a makeup and skin care hoarders play ground for good reason! Also, in Winter they offer large sweet potatoes that have been roasted for only 150 yen, just peel the skin off and you have a tasty snack that keeps your hands warm and your belly full.
- Miniso: This little store is always fun to check out as they offer merchandise that always cost less than 600 yen, most of the things I pick up are 300 or even 200 yen! A great place to pick up hard to find notebooks with more than 50 pages in them (honestly, its expensive if you find them in other places), common cell phone chargers, tote bags, and wide assortment of neck pillows and umbrellas at great prices. The store from the outside looks expensive as it has white shelves and light wood floors, with a very organized interior. I didn’t even go into till about a week into being in Japan, thinking it was going to be expensive!
- Peacock: Yes, this is a pretty bird but it is also a little secret of mine! This store is like a TJ Maxx in the USA. It offers products like shoes, bags, scarfs, underwear, bras, socks, and clothes at reduced prices. For men, women, and children even though most of the store carries women’s merchandise. A great place to buy fashionable trendy items at affordable prices without having to get on the train.
- GU and Uniqlo: While Uniqlo owns GU they essentially offer similar products. But GU is the more trendier and slightly less expensive version of Uniqlo. The target markets for each store are different so the merchandise is aimed to appeal to different possible customers. Good deals can be found in their sale sections which are usually in a corner of the store with no real large sign mentioning sale items. Uniqlo even offers jeggings in many patterns and my all time favorite black pair. The sizes,amazingly, fit a variety of bodies,they are my go to place for pants, and by pants I mean jeggings. Just keep your eyes peeled for good deals and look in the men’s department for items as they are usually slightly less expensive.
These places can all be found near or around Takadanobaba Station and near Waseda University. A great place to shop and save money!
Until next time,
The picture below is the off price retailer, Peacock. It is located in the second floor of a grocery store but well worth the flight of stairs.