The holidays in Tokyo are a bright and colorful affair! If you are looking for decorations, lights, or other holiday materials there are a few good sources you should know about.
Costco (Wholesale Warehouse)
If you have a lot of gifts to wrap you are going to need a lot of paper, and the best place to buy a lot of anything is Costco. You can get decorations and paper there, but you are looking at bulk sizing, and a small selection to choose from. Unless you are buying something expensive like a lawn reindeer you may be better served elsewhere, but they do stock such things. Please note this is a membership required to shop at Costco. website (English)
Reasonable prices on imported groceries and general merchandise in Japan? When pigs fly! But that was before Costco Wholesale opened its doors here. Afterward, there were only two problems left: not everyone can get to a Costco warehouse very easily, and Internet ordering isn’t available. In a nutshell, TheFlyingPig.Com was launched to overcome these issues.
Foreign Buyers Club
Billed as “Food and Fun from home – direct to your door – anywhere in Japan;” this online international grocery store has been delivering the goods to the broader expat community in Japan since 1988.
100 Yen Stores
You can find 100 yen shops all over Nagoya in sizes that range from multistory standalone buildings to small kiosk style corners in malls and supermarkets. One of my favorites is the Daiso on the 7th floor of the Skyle building in Sakae; they seem to have everything, and that includes holiday materials. Honestly that Daiso is the first place you should check. If it is there, it is bound to be the cheapest place to get it!
Daiso is a most people’s favorite, as they tend to be much bigger than other shops and hence offer a wider variety of goods. website (Japanese)
While not as big as Daiso, these are still pretty big and offer a wide varied of goods. website (Japanese)
These are kind of the low end of the scale. They offer significantly fewer small items, instead, they offer cheap foods. You can get some good seasonings and pre-packaged mixes there cheaply. website (Japanese)
Shimo Jima (Variety, Office Supply, Stationary)
Shimo Jima is a wrapping materials wholesaler, who provides consumer products such as stationery and store decoration merchandise, as well as wrapping goods. The Fushimi/Marunouchi area shop is many floors and holds a good chance of getting the decorations you are looking for, or a great chance if you are looking for “materials” like boxes, ribbons, etc. They are pretty cheap to top it all off! website (Japanese)
You can find Shimo Jima Stores in multiple locations in Tokyo, www.shimojima.co.jp/eng/stores
Sweden’s answer to cheap furniture and knick-knacks also stocks Christmas decorations of every shape and sort to make your home holiday-ready. From candles to baubles and light strings; if you or the elves need it you can probably find it here. website (English)
2-3-30 Hamacho, Funabashi, Chiba
Tel (047)436 1111
Don Quijote (Cheap Variety Store)
Don Quijote stores are huge and seem to stock everything. Christmas decorations may be touch and go depending on which shop you try, but you can assume they will have SOMETHING for you. website (English)
You can find Don Quijote Stores in multiple locations in Tokyo, www.donki.com/en/store/shop_list
Loft (Variety Store)
It is a great store and a fantastic place to kill a couple of hours and find decorations and Christmas lights. There are a couple of locations around including one in Sakae. I recommend the one in Sakae, it is significantly large! website (Japanese)
Tokyu Hands (Variety Store)
I found Tokyu Hands described as “the description-defying Tokyo institution that sells just about everything you could ever need and is loved by everyone who visits,” and I have a hard time arguing that. It is a great store and a fantastic place to kill a couple of hours. There are many locations around Tokyo and Japan; choose one!
Home Centers, more often referred to as “home improvement centers” or “hardware stores” outside of Japan, are where you buy…well, home and garden stuff. You can find tools, plants, kitchen utensils and appliances, furniture, and other items for use in or use on your home or apartment. Around the holiday season, you can find lights, displays, and other assorted holiday decorations at many of these stores. There are many around Nagoya.