Here’s How You Can Save Money While Shopping in Japan

Hint: Keep an eye out for sales and bargains!


If you’ve traveled to Japan often enough, you’ll realize that the cost of living in the country is quite expensive. You’ll even find yourself spending more than what you had anticipated when it comes to shopping for clothes or merchandise. One way of getting around this is to always be on the lookout for sales and bargains held at certain times of the year.


In this article, we share with you when and which items you can buy for a cheaper price. Happy shopping!


Sale Calendar


 

Month Season Event

The Time of Discounts


Clothes, Bags & Accessories Consumer Electronics Furniture
Jan Winter

New Year

New Year Sale

SALE
Feb Valentine's Day SALE
March Spring


Hinamatsuri

White Day

End of Fiscal Year

April

Beginning of School Year

Peak of moving houses

May

Golden Week

Kodomo no hi

Mother’s Day

SALE
Jun Summer


Father’s Day
Jul

Tanabata

Summer Sale
Aug

Obon

Ochugen

SALE SALE
Sep Autumn

Respect for the Aged Day

Silver Week

Oct

Sports Day

Halloween

Nov Labor Thanksgiving Day
Dec Winter

Christmas

End of Year

Oseibo

SALE


For a list of the holidays in Japan, check out our article
here.


Clothes, Bags, and Accessories

 

In Japan, there are two big sale seasons within a year: winter clothes in January and summer clothes in July. It is not a coincidence that the sales are set after people get a bonus from the companies (usually, twice a year, in December and in June). Most apparel brands join the sale but promote in different ways. Some shops even hold a pre-sale, so it’s best to check the sale period of your favorite Japanese brands.

 

The winter sale might be held on a larger scale since it is done during the middle of the New Year holidays and because winter clothes cost more than summer clothes. This is when the shops prepare their fukubukuro (lucky bags packed with sets of merchandise, which you can neither choose nor look at prior to buying, sold at greatly discounted prices), and when the Japanese kids receive otoshidama (special pocket money given by parents and relatives at the beginning of the year).

 

Consumer Electronics

 

Consumer electronics are usually discounted during the New Year period. In addition to this, many electronic retail shops hold their sale at the end of the fiscal period, from February to March and August to September. It’s also worth noting that older models are discounted whenever new models are released.

 

Furniture

 

The fiscal period also matters for the furniture companies which means they likewise do sales from February to March and August to September. The months of August and September are typically the season of releasing new models. What’s more, around May, after the peak season of moving, the unsold stocks are discounted.

 

Japan also gives you other options for where to buy merchandise other than retail stores:


 

Online shopping

 

The sale seasons of Japanese online shopping mostly follows the international calendar. In November, there are few big sale campaigns such as the Black Friday sale on the 4th Friday of November, the Cyber Monday sale which takes place on the Monday after Thanksgiving holiday, and recently, China’s “Single Day” sale every 11th of November.

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As a local rule, a leading Japanese EC company, Rakuten, does a Rakuten Super Sale every three months during March, June, September, and December.

 

Flea market

 

If you’re the type who loves vintage clothes, you should definitely try exploring flea markets. There, you’ll find many second-hand antique items in relatively good quality and other cute handmade merchandise. The dates for peak seasons vary, but they’re usually from April to May and November to December.

 

Pro-tip: More flea markets can be found in the Kansai area compared to Kanto.

 

Provided by Karaksa Media Partner


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