Japan is known for all things wacky and out of this world. From Robots wrestling in our things to do in tokyo article, to cute adorable food, Japan is truly unique in almost everything they do.
So if you are planning to visit Tokyo in the near future, these are our Singapore Travel Blog‘s top 10 recommendations of Things to buy in Tokyo Japan
1) Tokyo Banana
Ask anyone that has been to Tokyo, and we’re sure they would have seen this delectable snacks around Tokyo Station and in any of the airports in Japan. The Tokyo banana is an extremely popular souvenir, which started off as a standard “Banana flavored” cake. But in recent years, due to its extreme popularity, they have ingeniously produced various limited edition and seasonal flavored products. For the record, we’re absolute Tokyo Banana freaks, and we’ve tried almost every flavor available.
One flavor not to be missed would be the exclusive Chocolate Banana flavor that is available EXCLUSIVELY at the Tokyo Banana Tree Store, located at the Tokyo Skytree.
And girls being girls, I doubt any of you can resist all the adorable packaging and designs of each flavor.
Albeit being a popular souvenir, do note that the expiration dates for these items all ranges between 8-12 days at most. So even though they make a good souvenir, if you’re not going to give them away as soon as you touch down back at home, we wouldn’t recommend it as a gift.
2) Porter-YOSHIDA & CO. LTD / Porter Japan
Slightly (okay maybe not slightly) pricier than its Taiwan counterpart, Porter has made a name for itself in the global fashion marketplace. Famed for its simple, sleek and versatile pieces, their bags can carry you from a day in the office to a night out partying and are generally very durable with some even coming in water resistant versions.
I’ve had the opportunity to own an item from Porter International (Taiwan), and a Headporter Blackbeauty from Yoshida Japan. There is an enormous price difference for items of the similar style, but the quality does match up to the price tag.
Personally, I preferred the items from Porter Japan as the materials are generally better and more durable than the ones from Porter International, and in my opinion, there are more extensive collections and more stylish designs in Porter Japan. Porter Japan constantly work with designers and come up with new collaborations and new designs up in stores but for limited pieces only, so if you see something you fancy, its recommended to grab it, cos it might not be available when you return the day after.
3) Shiroi Koibito Biscuits
When you first open the wrapper of this cookie, it looks like a simple piece of white chocolate cookie. But do not be fooled! These mouthwatering bite sized (literally melts in your mouth) cookie is one of the best we’ve tasted and we’re not even exaggerating. Its hard not to fall in love with this cookie as its uniquely well balanced flavor of sweet white chocolate filling coupled with well baked buttery cookie with just enough crisp on the cookie. I can’t find the words to describe it to you, but just hear it from us, you have to try it. They do come in the white chocolate and milk chocolate flavor, but the hot (and our personal) favorite would definitely be the white chocolate filling.
4) Under Armor
Ok this is very relative. If you are residing in the states, this probably doesn’t apply to you. But if you are like us and come from South East Asia (Singapore), you might want to give the Under Armor in Japan a visit. Under armor, who is still relatively new in SEA, isn’t as establish as it’s counter parts such as Nike and Adidas in the region. However, in Tokyo & around Japan, under armor stores carry a much wider variety of apparels and goods. They even have their “Baseball” collection which is not found anywhere else in South East Asia! We have also found the stuff there to be slightly cheaper than it is in Singapore, but of course, this fluctuates with the price of the currency etc
5) Pokemon Centre & Anime Characters
So I assume you are an avid reader of our travel blog, and you would know how much of a geek Alvin and I actually are, after seeing his amazing proposal in Australia, and how the proposal ring was delivered in a custom-made Pokeball. If you are one of a kind like us, you have to make a trip to the Pokemon Centre and grab a souvenir.
Do not be surprised as you are surrounded by people of all ages, some would even be holding basket full of items waiting to complete their purchase. If youre not sure what to get, the Tokyo Station Pikachu Master would be a great item as a souvenir. However, this is only available exclusively at the Pokemon Centre in Tokyo Station’s Character Street.
Similarly, if you’re a fan of the highly popular Japanese mangas like Naruto or Bleach, you’ll be thrilled as Character Street is lined with almost all the characters made/designed in japan. Case in point, “character street”. There are shops that are selling tees and even umbrellas shaped like a katana, to a full fledged ninja suit.
If you’re restricted by the limited number of days and thus you are unable to make a trip to Disneyland to grab some collectable pen or keychains, fret not! There is a 3 storey tall Disneystore in downtown Shibuya that definitely has all the right souvenirs for you or your friends.
This newly opened Disneystore has everything from stationary to bags, clothes, household appliances and utensils, cushions and tsum tsums! Do pop by and burn a hole in your pockets!
7) Japanese cosmetics/skincare from Matsumoto Kiyoshi
I am ashamed to admit that vanity is a sin and I am guilty of it. Then again, who isn’t? What better place to get Japanese brand skincare and cosmetics than Japan itself!? Matsumoto Kiyoshi is definitely a must visit place for me when im in japan, and I almost always successfully empty my wallet after visiting the shop.
At Matsumoto Kiyoshi, you can find prestigious brands such as SKII, Albion, Kose, Kanebo, Shiseido, Ettusais and etc, going off at 30% or lesser, and tourists get additional tax refund. *HURRAY* If you’re a Japanese cosmetic brand user, or have been meaning to try the brand but contemplated purchasing because Singapore’s retailing it at *&^ prices, (I know, really) you have to visit this place.
8) Kaminarimon Goods
Whether youre following a tour or googled your free and easy itinerary, you most definitely will visit Asakusa’s Kaminarimon Gate. The Nakamise Street that leads you from the entrance of Kaminarimon Gate to Sensoji Temple is the best place to get some traditional Japanese souvenirs, for instance, wind chimes, magnets, Japanese pouches and handbags and traditional Japanese snacks. Prices for the souvenirs sold in Nakamise Street are lower than those in departmental stores.
9) BAOBAO by Issey Miyake
I’ve a couple of BAOBAO bags by Issey Miyake, 1 of which was a gift and the other is a limited edition piece I got from Japan a long time ago. But recent years, For all the times I’ve visited Japan, I’ve been trying to get my hands on a new BAOBAO bag. The popularity of these geometric designed bags skyrocketed in the past few years, and every single time I’m searching for it in departmental stores or boutiques, the shelves are literally empty with only an “out of stock” signage, and details for you to come back tomorrow during opening hours to join the queue and try to get your hands on one. I have absolutely no idea how early people start queueing for these bags, but I assure you if you’re able to get your hands on a limited edition one, you’ll be able to fetch a hefty premium by selling it online as these bags go for appx 30% lesser in Tokyo/Japan.
If you’ll like to get one, you can increase your chances by trying the boutique store at Terminal 1 South Wing, level 3 of the Narita Airport. The store’s rather new, so not many fans have got wind of this boutique. So get yours now before they’re all out!
It has been reported that there are at least 200 different flavors of Kit Kat in Japan. Yes, you read that right. So ditch the standard supermarket flavor back at home and get yourself some unique flavors exclusively from Japan!
While we have yet to have the pleasure of tasting all 200 flavors, we’ve tasted a fair share of interesting and odd flavored ones and I do think that it does make a pretty sweet souvenir for friends and families as these flavors are sold only in japan, and most flavors are seasonal, so you’ll probably have to go back and visit a few times to try them all!
We hope this has been useful and don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family heading to Tokyo Japan so they’ll be able to bring you back some awesome souvenirs!