Sightseeing ambassadors experience shopping in Japan

Beauty is a common interest in the world. Satisfied with a wide variety of beauty items

In order to experience shopping in Japan, they visited Isetan Shinjuku main store and Mitsukoshi Ginza store, leading department stores in Japan. They split into 2 groups and visited both stores at different times. The most popular among all the sections in the stores was the cosmetics section , which they definitely wanted to visit.

Shopping in the cosmetics section
Looking at cosmetic items intently

As soon as they get to Isetan Shinjuku main store, they start shopping saying, “I heard from my friend that Japanese cosmetics are high quality” (Cintya Fabiola, Indonesia). They shop in different ways, some of them focus on the brands they want and others look around the sections filled with makeup items and skincare products. They are all looking for something special for their own.

Trying out cosmetic items

Being able to actually touch, see and try the products made their experience even more satisfying.

“Japanese young women have beautiful skin and smell good. I wanted to find out their secret and tried many cosmetic items and perfumes” (Berfu Yildiz, Turkey)

Consulting professional staff on beauty
Convinced with the advice from the staff

They appreciated the advice from the staff who have expertise in beauty.

“I have a different type of skin from Japanese people, so I had always wanted someone to explain what type of cosmetics would suit me. Then the shop assistant actively spoke to me. I tried the product that has an extract from Amanatsu (Sweet Watson pomelo, I heard this word for the first time!) blended in and I loved it.” (Synthia Lucia Toth Montoro, Peru)

Taking a photo  in the cosmetics section

“Department stores in Japan carry many brands, so we can choose from a wide variety of options. It was interesting to see that each high-class department store has their own characteristics in the brands they carry. I am satisfied with the items I bought.” (Sabrina Yeung, Hong Kong)

Impressed with the traditional culture which shows the techniques of the professionals

Enjoying Bonsai

Another appealing point of Japanese department stores is that you can see both Japanese traditional techniques and the cutting-edge trends. They were fascinated with beautiful live art, Bonsai, at Mitsukoshi Ginza store. Some of them were taking photos to upload onto their blog or a review website.

Seeing the techniques of traditional crafts

Japanese departments often hold an event where you can actually see the professional techniques of artisans of traditional crafts. On this day they were able to see “Wappa” making, which is a traditional craft for making items including a lunch box by bending a thin wooden board of cedar and cypress. They were impressed by the skillful moves of the artisans.

Looking at plates
Holding chopsticks
Chopsticks popular among “sightseeing ambassadors”

“I want to use it every day.” “I want to take it home for my memory of Japan.” The section for general goods and daily life articles have a lot of excellent Japanese items to satisfy such demands.

“I was determined to buy something that represent Japanese culture. After I looked everywhere, I decided to buy chopsticks. I bought a pair for myself for now and I’m going to give them to my family and friends as a gift next time. The chopsticks that I bought were in a beautiful box and I immediately fell in love with them.” (Berfu Yildiz, Turkey)

Looking at Tenugui (hand towel) with Japanese patterns
Tenugui (hand towel) with Japanese patterns and Furoshiki (cloth to wrap and carry things) are also great for a souvenir.

“Depachika” is a tourist spot in Japan

Visiting a Depachika

The basement floor of Japanese department stores is the “Depachika”, food wonderland. Delicious looking sections selling the current most popular foods, including sweets from five-star hotels and popular restaurants, delicatessen, Japanese sweets from different areas of Japan, Japanese sake and wine from around the world, high-quality fresh products, spread in front of your eyes and you can see Japanese people’s love for food.

Sampling food
“Depachika” has shops that let you sample their food

At some shops on the floor, you can sample their food. The “sightseeing ambassadors” fully enjoyed their experience in Depachika, feeling a bit nervous when sampling and tasting new food and smiling when they found something delicious.

“We can also sample food at shops in our country, but Japan is unique in that you can sample this many types of food!” (Isabella Jedler Forsman, Sweden)

Taking a photo with Osechi dish in the background
Taking a photo in Depachika. What’s in the background is a sample of “Osechi” dish, the Japanese traditional new year dish
Experiencing Japanese food
After shopping, they tried Japanese food on the restaurant floor. Everyone was satisfied with Japanese dishes that used fresh seasonal ingredients provided with colorful presentation

Tax free counter where you can go through tax exemption procedure quickly and comfortably

Tax exemption procedure at the tax free counter
Smiling to see how quick the procedure for tax exemption is

Another thing that surprised the “sightseeing ambassadors” was how comfortable the tax exemption procedure was in Japan. Isetan Shinjuku main store and Mitsukoshi Ginza store have introduced the cutting-edge tax-free system of Global Blue, allowing you to go through the steps for tax exemption very quickly.

“It didn’t take much time and they spoke English, so everything was done very smoothly.” (Rachel van der Meulen, Netherlands)

Communicating with staff with a smile
They have Chinese-speaking staff at the tax free counter

Communicating with the staff at the tax free counter also became an unforgettable memory of their shopping.

“I was happy that there was a Chinese-speaking staff at the tax free counter and I was able to talk in Chinese. I felt comfortable feeling at home for a moment although I was in Japan.” (Liu Xinyue, China)

“One of the staff asked me how we say ‘Hello’ in our language at the end. I was very happy because I never thought I would have this kind of conversation while shopping in a department store. I felt a warm relationship between people that goes beyond a manual.” (Barbora Bakosova, Slovakia)

Completely satisfied with their shopping experience

Starting on May 1, 2016, the amount of general products eligible for tax exemption is going to be lowered from “over 10,000 yen” to “5,000 yen and upward”. Even a small article or a traditional craft that costs around 2,000 yen to 3,000 yen will be eligible for tax exemption if you purchase 2 to 3 pieces, which will be a perfect option for a souvenir. Shopping in Japan will be much more fun and convenient. Let’s enjoy a wonderful shopping experience at a department store in Japan!

Department stores where you can have a wonderful shopping experience, a must-visit place when sightseeing in Japan

“Isetan Shinjuku main store” in Shinjuku, a sub-center of Tokyo, and “Mitsukoshi Ginza store” in Ginza, a very popular shopping area, are leading, long-established department stores in Japan. Isetan Shinjuku main store is a store loved by people who are passionate about fashion. They carry brands that have arrived in Japan for the first time and a variety of collaborated products with top brands from around the world, which satisfy those specialized in fashion. Mitsukoshi Ginza store has “Sophistication of Ginza” and “The most seasonal of Tokyo” as their concept. In addition to the spacious cosmetic section, their select shops that collect fine goods from different areas of Japan are also popular. Their service for visitors from overseas is also satisfying.