According to the statistics released by the Japan Tourism Agency, the most popular souvenirs among tourists from overseas are consumable goods such as , a wide variety of snacks, sake, cosmetics and medicines. Sweets and snacks are a common Japanese souvenir because of the variety of designs and flavors that bring a feeling of the season and local areas. Sake also has been attracting more attention along with the increase in the popularity of Japanese foods. Cosmetics and medicines are popular because of their trusted quality which passed strict Japanese standards. These consumable goods, which had not been tax free, will be added to the list of items eligible for tax exemption with the new tax system starting in October.
All tax free shops in Japan that have applied to the Japan Tourism Agency will be given a logo (Japan, Tax free Shop) and a website with frequently asked questions and a store search function will be launched when the new system starts in October.
The requirement for tax exemption is, as it was in the past, is the purchase of general goods including electronic appliances and clothes worth over 10,000 yen at the same shop on the same day by the same person. For consumable goods, tax exemption will apply for purchases above 5,000 yen but below 500,000 yen at the same shop on the same day by the same person.
To apply for tax exemption, simply show your passport to the cashier and sign the covenant of purchaser. The process is much easier now because the tax exemption is applied at the point of purchase. However, please note that consumable goods are wrapped according to government regulation and if you open them while you are in Japan, sales tax will be charged when you depart the country. Please see the Japan Tourism Agency website for details.