Shopping for local gems can be one of the most exciting parts of traveling, especially when you go to other countries. Japan is also a true shopping paradise, whether you are looking for high-end fashion boutiques, souvenir shops or bargain deals, the options are endless. Head to the main shopping areas in Tokyo like Ginza and Shibuya where you can find dozens of souvenir shops or department stores, or visit the traditional shotengai for your local crafts and an authentic Japanese shopping experience. However, they can be relatively pricey, especially when you’re on a budget and want to save money for your travels through Japan. Luckily, Tokyo offers shopping spots that offer great deals or discounts, located just in the suburbs of the capital city of Japan. If you want a satisfying shopping experience in Japan while saving money for sightseeing and other activities, a visit to these outlet shopping malls could be a perfect option for you. Here are the best outlet shopping malls near Tokyo!
1. Venus Fort (Odaiba, Tokyo)
Odaiba is a popular tourist spot in Tokyo because it is home to a number of popular tourist attractions such as the huge Gundam statue, game halls and the Rainbow Bridge. Odaiba is great to visit any season; in summer the waterfront offers a cooling breeze and the many indoor activities are a great way to spent the day in the rainy season. The man-made island is visited by numerous people as a giant shopping heaven nearby Tokyo, with a variety of shopping complexes and an outlet mall. Venus Fort is a European-style shopping mall which is home to about 160 shops and restaurants. The first floor is called Venus Family, mainly for fashion brands targeting kids, family as well as pets. Venus Grand occupies the second floor where you can find a wide range of shops such as cosmetics and accessories. The 3rd floor is Venus Outlet, which features outlet shops selling a large selection of items at a discounted price. The art projections of the world’s first digital art museum teamLab Borderless is also within walking distance!
2. Gotemba Premium Outlet (Gotemba, Shizuoka)
If you have time to travel to Shizuoka Prefecture during your stay in Japan, Gotemba Premium Outlet is a must-visit! It is probably one of the most famous outlet shopping malls and attracts around 10 million people every year. What makes it exceptional is the incredible location which offers stunning views of Mt. Fuji, the tallest mountain in Japan! From Tokyo you can take an express bus to the mall or you can take a local train to Gotemba Station from where a free shuttle bus will bring you to the mall. Visitors can enjoy shopping around about 290 shops selling a large selection of items ranging from reasonable household goods to high-end fashion brands. After spending hours shopping around, head to the hot spring facility called Konohana no Yu (located on the grounds of Gotemba Premium Outlets) and take a rest in a refreshing onsen while enjoying the spectacular view of Mt. Fuji! Head back to Tokyo after a full day or continue to Hakone and its famous lake, torii gate and onsen!
3. Mitsui Outlet Park (Makuhari & Kisarazu & Yokohama)
Mitsui Outlet Park is one of the most popular and largest shopping malls in Japan. Mitsui Outlet Parks are located in 13 cities around Japan, and 4 cities overseas in Taiwan and Malaysia. Nearby Tokyo you have three different Mitsui mall. Mitsui Outlet Park Makuhari is a 30 – 40 min train ride from Tokyo, or a 40 – 50 min bus ride from Narita International Airport. Mitsui Outlet Park Kisarazu, located in Chiba Prefecture on the other side of Tokyo Bay, is with 308 shops the largest outlet shopping mall in Japan. The mall in Kisarazu is also easily accessible from Tokyo with direct busses departing regularly from several stations. If you have a chance to go on a day trip to Yokohama from Tokyo, Mitsui Outlet Park Yokohama is a perfect shopping spot located by a beautiful harbor! You can combine a visit to the outlet shopping mall with Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, which hosts a popular Christmas Market each year, and Hakkeijima Sea Paradise.
4. Shisui Premium Outlet
If you have a few hours to kill at Narita International Airport, Shisui Premium Outlet is probably a perfect choice for you! A direct bus service, which takes you to the giant outlet mall in 10-15 minutes, is available from the airport. It is popular especially among international tourists because of the convenient location and the variety of shops including both domestic and world-famous fashion brands such as COACH and GAP. They also offer convenient facilities, including coin lockers, a playground for kids, a food court, and a currency exchange center. Don’t forget to stop by the tax-free procedure counter which is available in English and Chinese and where you can get tax refunds with purchases over ¥5,000 or ¥10,000 at designated shops. You can combine your visit to the outlet with some other interesting places near Narita Airport.
5. Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza
Karuizawa is a peaceful resort area in Nagano Prefecture and a popular summer destination because of the cooler weather. From JR Karuizawa station, it is about a 5-10min walk to Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza which offers a great shopping experience with about 200 shops, cafes and restaurants surrounded by beautiful nature. They boast over 70 tax-free shops, including famous luxury brands such as GUCCI, COACH and BURBERRY. A spacious food court is also available where you can enjoy a variety of meals with your kids at an affordable price. The shops located in the souvenir court sells a wide range of local specialties in the Karuizawa area which are perfect for gifts to bring home. We recommend planning a weekend trip to Karuizawa and the surrounding area; from Karuizawa, the famous hot spring resort Kusatsu Onsen boasting some of Japan’s best hot spring water, can be reached in an hour. If you’re into glamping, the MUJI Campground might be just perfect!
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Outlet malls offer better deals and discounts throughout the year, which makes them an ideal shopping spot for everyone at any time. Especially if you are an international tourist you can save a great amount of money with the tax free shopping options and score your new wardrobe for a bargain! Located nearby Tokyo, these outlet malls offer not only great shopping experiences but also a wide range of services and helpful facilities. Most of them have information desk services operated by multilingual staff, playgrounds for kids, free parking and much more!
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Miho Shimizu is a Japanese freelance writer settled in Shizuoka with her husband and two rabbits. Fascinated with travelling at the age of 18, she has spent most of her long holidays exploring incredible spots around Japan. Also love to listen to music, draw, and read novels over a cup of green tea.
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