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!
The Time of Discounts
|Clothes, Bags & Accessories||Consumer Electronics||Furniture|
New Year Sale
End of Fiscal Year
Beginning of School Year
Peak of moving houses
Kodomo no hi
Respect for the Aged Day
|Nov||Labor Thanksgiving Day|
End of Year
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 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.
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:
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.
As a local rule, a leading Japanese EC company, Rakuten, does a Rakuten Super Sale every three months during March, June, September, and December.
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