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Shopping in Japan can bring about a mixture of emotions. It can be exhilarating with all of the options or it can be overwhelmingly disappointing because of the VERY limited sizing, high prices and inconvenient locations. Hopefully this guide will ease some of your shopping anxiety.


Phrases you might say

Excuse me  Sumi-masen  すみません。

Can I try this on? Shichaku shitemo ii desu ka? 試着してもいいですか?

I need a larger / smaller size  Motto ookii / chiisai saizu arimasen ka?  もっと大きい/小さいサイズありませんか?

Do you have this in a size (X)  X saizu wa arimasu ka?  Xサイズはありますか?

How much does this cost?  Ikura desu ka?  いくらですか?

Where is the fitting room*?  Koi-shitsu wa doko desu ka?  更衣室はどこですか?

I’ll take this / that  Kore / sore** o itadakimasu.  これ/それをいただきます。

*There are actually two ways to say “fitting room,” you can either use koi-shitsu or, you guess it, fittingu-ruumu (フィッティングルーム).

Phrases you might hear:

Irasshaimase!  いらっしゃいませ!  Welcome!

Ikaga desuka?  いかがですか?  How is it?

Genkin ka kurejittokado, dochira ni nasaimasu ka? 現金かクレジットカード、どちらになさいますか?  Cash (“genkin”) or credit (“kurejittokado”)?

Ikka-tsu barai de yoroshii desuka?  一括払いでよろしいですか。  Do you want to pay in one payment?***

***In Japan, credit card payment can be made in lump sum or in separate payments.  Unless you are unable to pay the whole amount at once, it is strongly advised that you always pay in lump sums as paying in separate payments can result in heafty interests.

Books, Recycle Shops, and 100 Yen Stores

BOOKS If you’re a voracious reader, you might find English print media options a bit difficult to track down in Japan.  There are actually quite a few bookstores throughout the prefecture but only those regularly frequented by English-speaking customers, offer products in English.  If you’re determined to find material in print, there are a few …

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Foreign Foods

Unfortunately, grocery stores tend to be quite limited in their foreign food offerings especially in the dairy section (Mystery cheese anyone?).  Luckily, there are a few food stores offering international foodstuffs in Fukuoka prefecture.  Here are some options. RECOMMENDED STORES Kaldi Kaldi’s coffee brand is what usually attracts most Japanese visitors but this store also …

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Internet Shopping

With the rise of online outlets, I’m sure every person who reads this has at least browsed if not purchased multiple items via the Internet.  It can truly be an asset especially in a country that tends not to have many international products.  Beware, customs charges are somewhat high and shipping costs can almost double …

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Clothing: Sizing and Tailoring

SIZING CLOTHING Japanese manufacturers produce goods on a sizing system unique to this country.  Clothing tends to run small to account for the petite sized Japanese consumer.  Therefore, in many of the stores that are technically imports (e.g. Gap, Zara) you may find that you need to go a size up to accommodate for these …

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Retailers, Department Stores, and AEON Malls

RETAILERS There are an incredible number of stores in and around Fukuoka—too many to list here.  However, for the international customer looking for sizes similar to those found at home, Fukuoka is lucky to have a plethora of International brands.  Below is a list of notable outlets available in the prefecture that should help you …

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Electronics and Home Goods

ELECTRONICS Japan is well known for its high quality electronics and the many places to pick up a new gadget.  All stores offer a wide range of products and pricing. NOTE: It’s fairly common knowledge that customers can haggle in electronics stores.  If you’re on the market for a new television try your luck and …

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