The internet has made shopping almost too easy these days. With the sheer number of websites catering to your every need, there’s pretty much no reason to go out shopping anymore. With the current Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak still ongoing, why would you even want to step out of the house? Plus, if you can't make it to Japan and you're having a major case of FOMO, you can purchase some of your favourite Japanese items online, from skincare products to tasty snacks.
Whether you’re looking to kill some time or let loose with a little retail therapy, we’ve compiled a list of online stores covering an assortment of interests like groceries, fashion and even Japanese souvenirs. Some of these businesses also ship internationally – so credit cards at the ready...
RECOMMENDED: Check out the best shops for souvenirs in Tokyo
Looking to purchase a kimono online? Salz is a Japanese-based online kimono shop that's all in English. You’ll find a number of kimono as well as accessories such as obi sashes, tabi socks and more. Salz carries a great range of modern kimono featuring updated patterns including plaid prints reminiscent of flannel shirts, colourful galaxies, fun polka dots, star patterns, and even kimono with prints from famous artists such as Gustav Klimt. Best of all, Salz ships worldwide.
Zozotown is the largest online fashion store from Japan and carries a wide range of brands for both men and women. Browse through over a whopping 7,000 brands including the likes of Nike and Adidas to high-end fashion including Balenciaga and Alexander Wang. The only downside is that Zozotown doesn't ship internationally. Luckily for fashion die-hards, there are some official proxy services like Buyee, which will place orders on your behalf and ship them to you overseas.
Good news for fashionistas: Shibuya’s mecca for stylish teenyboppers can also be conveniently accessed online. The website even has a built-in auto-translator, making your shopping experience that much easier. Shoppers can browse through Shibuya 109’s vast number of brands, which is almost as overwhelming as walking through the mall’s fashion-packed floors. Do note Shibuya 109 only ships within Japan.
Serious fashion hounds based in Japan will want to check out the United Arrows online shop which carries a number of in-house fashion labels including Beauty & Youth and United Arrows & Sons, plus other well-known Japanese and international labels such as Humanmade, Ambush and APC. The store carries both men's and women's fashion as well as children's fashion, homeware, and beauty, too. Come summer, the platform also offers yukata (lightweight casual kimono) that are often worn to summer festivals. Currently, United Arrows only ships within Japan.
Kokoro is your all-inclusive Japanese product store which carries mainly beauty, skincare and a select number of food items and health supplements. The best part is, Kokoro categorises its best-sellers into a convenient list with helpful user reviews so you know what products are worth a purchase or not. Kokoro also ships worldwide, which means you can always stock up on your favourite Japanese beauty products with just a click of a button.
If you've been to Japan, you’ve probably passed by the drugstore Matsumoto Kiyoshi on more than one occasion. Good news is Matsumoto Kiyoshi is just as available online, meaning all your favourite Japanese skincare, cosmetics, health supplements and food items can all be purchased through the web. Unfortunately, shipping is only in Japan, but the website has an English-language option and is great for when you can’t make it out to your local drugstore while you're here in Japan.
Lifestyle & Souvenirs
No visit to Tokyo is complete without a browse through Tokyu Hands, and now you can shop at the massive DIY store from the comfort of your couch. Tokyo Hands carries a massive selection of goods whether you’re into stationery, crafts, or home- and kitchenware. The web shop is all in Japanese, but can be easily navigated using auto translation. If you don’t have a shipping address in Japan, just head to the official partner website where all the items that can be purchased and shipped internationally are listed.
Looking for some tasteful souvenirs? Look no further – the Moma Design Store website offers some of the coolest souvenirs and collectibles around. This is one of the few online stores where you can pick up coveted items such as Yayoi Kusama's pumpkin merchandise and Takashi Murakami’s plush flower pillows. There’s also a ton of cute stationery and more artistic pieces for the home, including lighting and furniture. Unfortunately, the web shop only ships within Japan.
You’ll be able to deck out your kitchen with the best Japanese tools around thanks to Global Kitchen Japan. The Japan-based website ships globally and offers a world of Japanese tableware and kitchen appliances. Whether you’re looking for a donabe (earthenware pot) to cook rice, a kitchen knife or even a professional ice shaver for making kakigori (shaved ice dessert), this store’s got it all. The helpful descriptions also list down the key features of every item, care tips, and a bit of brand history.
If you’ve left Japan without the chance to pick up some fun fake food samples, this online store has got you covered. You can order almost anything your heart desires, whether you’re looking for a life-sized replica of your favourite Japanese dish or more functional items such as a dry-sardine-shaped tie clip, USB flash drives that look like nigiri sushi, or a ramen phone stand. The online shop even allows for custom orders where you can create your own personalised fake food sample. Items can be shipped globally and are all handmade in Osaka, Japan.
Food & Drink
If you’re living in Japan and need to order groceries, this English-friendly natural food delivery service might just be your best friend. It can be especially difficult to find quality vegetarian food products in Japan, but Tengu Natural Foods imports a great selection of veggie-friendly food from across the globe, as well as organic products from across the country. Avid bakers can pick up baking ingredients, while you can also order frozen food, herbs and spices, and just about anything you need for your kitchen. Unfortunately, orders can only be shipped within Japan.
Your one-stop-shop for all things tea, this online ochaya is the ideal place to stock up on quality Japanese tea as well as equipment like tea cups, pots and small sweets to accompany your teatime, such as matcha cookies and yokan (jelly made from red bean paste). Orders can be shipped worldwide, and if you’re having trouble deciding on what to get, the English-friendly website has a handy chart explaining which tea is ideal for each occasion.
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