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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 ask for a discount.  You could get 10%-30% off sticker.

JAPAN REGION AND NTSC MEDIA

While most games systems these days are region free, DVDs and computers tend not to be. Japan is region: and NTSC video format, so bringing your favourite movies with you may not be a good idea as they probably wont play. One option is to rip them into a different format and put them on portable media like an ipod. Software is available online, but you should make sure whatever you do is legal for your locale.

POWER CONVERTERS

Check with your computer’s manufacturer first when looking to buy a power adapter. There are cheaper manufacturers with universal power supplies available but to make sure that your power supply and laptop are matched correctly, ask for advice before you leave for Japan.

Incidentally, Japan uses the 2 flat pin sockets (15A 100V 50Hz) without an earth component similar to America but because the current is different, American products may not work properly.

USB MULTI-TRAVEL PLUG

If you have any equipment that can be powered by USB, consider buying a multi-country travel plug with USB connection for in Japan and any international travel you may wish to do. It can be a life saver for cameras, mobile phones, ipods etc. Number of countries and socket adaptors vary with maker and product.

Here’s an example product found on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Swiss-World-Travel-Adapter-Port/dp/B000PIXQGC/ref=pd_sbs_ce_title_3/203-5213620-1310315

VIDEO CAMERAS

You can pick up a non-HD video camera from 25 – 40,000 yen for an old style DV tape and some reduced hard disk models from Best Denki. A good Sony HD camcorder will probably cost around 100,000yen (top end models are 400,000yen). Most makers have instructions in English in the product’s menu system, the box, or can be sent as per your request in the post.

One area of possible confusion may be the flippant use of similar acronyms.

–          HD = High Definition

–          HDD = Hard Disk Drive camera (not tape or memory card)

A quick Google search should produce more specific tips and product recommendations.

GAMING SYSTEMS

Japan is the birthplace of many game machines including Sony, Playstation, Nintendo, Sega, etc. If you are wondering whether to buy a handheld system (Nintendo DS or PSP) at home or abroad it may depend on what offers you can find around you. DS’s and PSP’s have English language options and can play games from around the world. The new PSP’s can output to NTSC TVs too. DS’s are capable of playing foreign games too and the only real minor issue is that you’ll need to buy a local power adapter when you return home.  One major difference is that Japanese versions of handhelds are offered in different color variations.

If your Japanese language skills are lacking, you should buy games from abroad. Japanese games tend to be of a certain variety and many of the sports and shooting games common in the west are replaced by RPGs. Some Japan-bought games do have English language options but unlike DVD videos, it isn’t always clear on the packaging so it is recommended that you buy via the internet.

RECOMMENDED STORES

Apple Store

The Tenjin location is forever busy.  If you need to get your computer serviced, make sure to arrange an appointment before schlepping to the store.  Reservations can be made over the phone and on their website.  They also have multiple full-time English speaking genius bar employees.

Apple Store Tenjin

〒810-0001 福岡県福岡市中央区天神2-3-24天神ルーチェ

Store Hours: 10:00 – 21:00

092-736-6800

www.apple.com/jp/retail/fukuokatenjin/

Yodobashi

Franchise locations of this mega electronics store are throughout the prefecture.

Yodobashi Hakata

Hakata-ku, Hakata eki Chuo Machi 6-12 Fukuoka

Store Hours: 9:30 – 22:00

TEL: 092.471.1010

www.yodobashi.com

Bic Camera

As the name suggests, you can find an excellent range of cameras and camera equipment at Bic Camera.  There are multiple locations throughout the prefecture.  Check the website for your nearest location.

Bic Camera Tenjin

1-25-1, Imaizumi, Chuo ku, Tenjin, Fukuoka

Store Hours: 10:00 – 21:00

www.biccamera.com

TEL: 092.732.1112

Deo Deo

Another one of Japan’s many super electronics stores which sells appliances, televisions, mobile phones, and gaming equipment.  Check the website for a location near you.

Deo Deo Kitakyushu

〒803-0845 福岡県北九州市小倉北区上到津三丁目3番3号

Store Hours: 10:00 – 20:00

www.deodeo.co.jp

http://standard.navitime.biz/edion/MapAreaSpotList.act?map=true&acode=40 (store locations, Japanese only)

Yamada Denki

This store sells a huge range of electronics including but not limited to: appliances, computers, televisions, air conditioners etc.  Check the website for a location near you.

Yamada Denki Hakata

812-0007 福岡県福岡市博多区東比恵3-33-16

Store Hours: 10:00 – 21:30

www.yamada-denki.jp

http://www.yamada-denki.jp/store/contents/pref_41.html (store locations, Japanese only)

 

HOME GOODS

Many of you may have inherited outdated or irreparable furniture and appliances that need to be replaced.  Unfortunately, furniture in Japan can be pricey.  Luckily, most stores offer delivery service with the purchase and there are a quite a few retail options available to help save money.  Here are a few locations with stylish and affordable home goods.

RECOMMENDED STORES

Francfranc

Products tend to the higher end but the quality is quite good.  This franchise store has multiple locations throughout the prefecture and all offer a selection of furniture, bedding, drapery, bath goods, kitchen utensils and home décor.  Check the website for a location nearest you.

Franc Franc Canal City

〒812-0038福岡県 福岡市博多区祇園町9-2 キャナルシティ博多 イース

TEL: 092.283.5099

http://www.francfranc.com/jp/shop/francfranc/hakata-francfranc/

http://www.francfranc.com

MUJI

Known to most Japanese as Mujirushiryouhin (“No Brand Goods”), this store stocks a nice array of muted/white/gray/pastel bedding, bath goods, cookware, small appliances, furniture and storage products.  Prices tend to be mid-range and quality is generally considered better than most in a similar price point.  There are locations throughout the prefecture.

MUJI Canal City

福岡県福岡市博多区住吉1-2-1 シアタービル4F

Store hours: 10:00 – 21:00

TEL: 092-292-8592

http://www.muji.net/ie/modelhouse/hakata/

IKEA

The first Kyushu location opened April 2012 and includes its standard food court and play area for the kiddies.  IKEA, well known for its Scandinavian minimalist home interior products, offers goods scaled down for the Japanese consumer. The Fukuoka location also offers delivery and installation services for those without handy man skills or a car.

IKEA Shingu

2-9-1 Central Station Kasuya-gun, Fukuoka Prefecture Shingu

〒811-0120 福岡県糟屋郡新宮町中央駅前2-9-1

Store Hours: 10:00 – 22:00

http://www.ikea.com/jp/ja/store/fukuoka