Sunday, 1 July 2012

Mimika's Tokyo Shopping & Beauty Tips! Part II

This is part II of my long overdue Tokyo shopping and beauty tips post! Last time I shared some of my personal favourite shopping areas and stores in Tokyo with a particular focus on clothing and accessories stores (see HERE for part I). This part I will focuse on shopping for cosmetics and skin care products! Ikyu yo!

For more tips on shopping and beauty in Japan, check out my Tutorial Section!

Please also check out my Facebook page Japan Travel Tips on everything and anything you need to know about visiting Japan!)

1) Drug Stores

Japanese drug store is the paradise for all beauty lovers! They have everything you can think of - from cosmetics to skin care to tools, often at great prices. They also have a wide range of Japanese brands, from higher end like Shiseido to everyday brands for highschool girls like Canmake. Japanese Drug Stores is a must go for me everytime I go to Japan. For tourist, they accept most credit cards and of course cash! You won't believe how much money you can spend there! It can be dangerous! lolz

Where to buy:
Most drug stores has tons of drug store brands cosmetics/skin care products. Some of the bigger stores includes Matsumoto Kiyoshi, Kokumin, and Sun Drug.

Recommended Brands:
Kate, Majorlica Majorca, Perfect Whip, Shiseido Maquillage, Lunsaol, Esprique, Visee, Sala, Integrate, Tsubaki, Deja-vu, tons and tons of them I don't even know where to begin..... I recommend flipping through Japanese magazines before you go!

Shopping Tips:
  • I personally find drug stores in Ueno and Ikebukuro to be cheaper. However, most places are still cheaper than if you get them outside of Japan. My recommendation is that if you are going to Ueno or Ikebukuro on the way, get your items there. Otherwise, just buy whatever you need whenever you see them!
  • For those who like to maximize their time in Japan, some drug stores in Kabuki-cho opens 24 hours.
  • Drug stores don't do tax refund and Japan does not have tax refund at airport for tourists.

2) Department Stores

There are tons of higher end Japanese brands that do not appear in Drug Stores. Such as some high end lines of Shiseido, Jill Stuart cosmetics, Ipsa, Shu Uemura, RMK, etc etc. They are mostly only available at Department Stores

Where to buy:
Most department stores has a floor (normally on ground floor) that carries most major brands. Some of these department stores include Isetan, Lumine, Takashimaya, Mitsukoshi, Matsuzakaya, etc.

Shopping Tips:
  • Most department stores offer tax refund that DOES NOT include skin care and cosmetics unfortunately
  • Ask nicely for samples if you are not given any, because in most cases you should be given tons of samples

3) Airport Duty Free:


Save your purchases till the last to enjoy tax free shopping! Most major airports (such as Narita and Haneda) has cosmetics stores at duty free that carries some major Japanese brands, although not as much as department store for sure. I personally love Shu Uemura and since department store does not provide any tax refund, I save my purchases till airport duty free.

Shopping Tips
  • if you want to make sure the brand you want is actually available, check out the aiport duty free website first. Most major Japanese airports have a website for their duty-free shop. I think for Narita Airport you can even order before your trip and just pick it up. Although I haven't used it personally
  • if you really really want a certain item that is limited edition or anything out of the ordinary, don't wait till the airport, just get it at the department store as airport normally only carries the regular

4) Discount Stores

Discount Stores are like your regular super market but but sell items at a discount. There are a number of them in Japan. Donki-hote is one of the most popular and has a lot of locations across Japan. There is also a Donki-hote in Kabuki-cho that opens 24 hours with some drug store brands, although the selection is smaller than drug store.

Shopping tips:
  • Some Donki-hote are open 24 hours such as the one at Shinjuku Kabuki-cho, literally shop till you drop!
  • Donki-hote stores are VERY narrow and crowded, be warned and don't carry a big backpack with you otherwise you'll push everything to the ground when you walk pass! The Donki-hote at Kabuki-cho has several floors so if you can't find what you are looking for check out the other floors too.
Hope you enjoy this shopping tips post! Check out Part I of my Tokyo Shopping Tips on shopping for clothes and accessories here!


  1. Mimika's this is so helpful n I agree w what u say!!!! Thx for the post!!!!

  2. Awww I want to go to japan soooo badly!

    Samantha (Nail Art Couture)
    Drop by and Enter my Julep Intro Box Giveaway

  3. This is fueling my need to go to Japan!!! Found you through the Blog Love Therapy Blog Hop.xx


  4. I totally miss my local drugstore right now - the grass is always greener on th other side. A nice informative post :) I always shop at my local instead of the larger ones these days - they are a lot pricier and the point system isn't as good! I do find that you don't get much discounts with donkis compared with non-beauty stuff too.

    1. I would really love going to local drug stores :) But I guess they are mostly outside of tourist area? I tried to went out of the way to some less visited areas less time when I was in Tokyo, Sugamo and Sasazuka. Feels very different and I like it!

      Thanks for the tips on Donki too!

  5. I always thought Japan is an amazing country to visit and travel. The culture is soooo interesting. I have to say I dig your blog! LOL
    Found you through the BLT Blog Hop, following you! =D

  6. I find you from Bloghop . Great blog!
    Kisses from Panama :)
    * *

  7. i've nominated you for a award
    check it out

    1. Thanks a lot for your nomination :) I am so flattered!

  8. I just found your blog through the BBU blog hop, I love your Tokyo posts! That store looks amazing!

  9. thank you soooo much, i have note every thing you wrote here.. for my coming trip in august..



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