I have this problem whereby I like to leave shopping right till the last minute when traveling. I dislike lugging a lot of stuff around while on the road and it is also easier to expense when you leave the heavy spending towards the end. There is no other country better to do last minute shopping than in Japan and I am going to guide you on how to do some kickass last minute shopping to get all the souvenirs you need from Japan, without traveling further than an hour away from the airport.
If you are flying from Tokyo Narita Airport, consider staying for one night at an airport hotel like the Narita Tobu Hotel Airport. The four star hotel is located just 4 minutes from Narita International Airport Terminal 1 and 8 minutes from Terminal 2 by motor vehicle. In fact, you can walk to the airport from the hotel if your luggage is not too heavy. It just takes about 15 minutes.
The best thing is, there are free hotel shuttle buses provided, taking you to and from the hotel to nearby shopping attractions from 10.10am till 8.10pm, departing from the hotel, with the latest return bus from 8.45pm at AEON mall. Yes, there is an AEON mall near the airport, just around 3o minutes drive from the hotel!
My suggestion is to take a bus ride from the hotel to Don Quijote and then take a later transfer bus to AEON after you are done shopping at Don Quijote. From there, you can then take a bus back from AEON to the hotel and then from the hotel, straight to the airport to catch your flight if you are in a rush. Alternatively, walking from Don Quijote to AEON takes just around 10 minutes.
What are there to shop in the the Narita area near Tokyo Narita Airport?
I really mean everything. I travel frequently to Japan and there are a few must-visit stores which I always go to in Japan to get all my shopping done. All these stores can be found in the town centre at Narita where AEON mall is located.
This is one of the most famous discount outlet store in Japan, with flagship stores in Shibuya and Shinjuku. Guess what? There’s a Don Quijote near Narita Airport! You can get everything from cosmetics to household products to toys to snacks at this mega discount chain. The best thing is, shopping near the airport towards the end of your trip means that you can go totally wild, sweeping the racks.
Recommended buy: seasonal Kitkat and other Japanese snacks; colourful socks and random souvenirs.
I love shopping at Japanese supermarket. There are all sorts of fresh fruits and produce which are sold at exorbitant prices in Singapore, but you can get them at a fraction of the prices in Japan. Usually, it is tricky to try buying such fresh items to bring back to Singapore, but with an AEON supermarket near the airport, you can buy highly perishable items like Japanese musk melons, strawberries and vegetable since you can be flying off within the next few hours or the very next day.
Recommended buy: fresh fruits and vegetables produced in Japan; snacks; sushi, sashimi and other food to consume on the way back.
UNIQLO,GU and other fashion wear brands
UNIQLO needs no further introduction. The prices are generally the same everywhere in the world, but in Japan, tourists get a tax refund which makes the prices slightly cheaper than elsewhere. The UNIQLO at Narita is located within walking distance from AEON mall.
Nearby, you will also find GU, another similar fashion wear chain like UNIQLO which offers good quality wears at reasonable prices.
There is also a chain selling business suits (Aoyama) as well as one selling children’s cloth (Nishimatsuya). Both of these chains have outlets in Narita, walking distance from AEON mall.
You may be familiar with Yoshinoya because they have stores in Singapore, but have you heard of Sukiya? It’s more popular than Yoshinoya and is the leading gyudon (beef bowl) chain in Japan. You can enjoy a small beef bowl from just 290Y (~S$3.70) or top up to a mega bowl with lots of ingredient at just 850Y (~S$10.80). Yes it is really so cheap!
There is a Sukiya within walking distance from Tobu Hotel. Check with the hotel reception for the walking direction.
Daiso needs no further introduction. It is located within AEON mall and is the perfect place to grab little souvenirs and snacks for friends and family.
Book Off is Japan’s largest chain of used bookstores with over 800 stores across the country. It’s okay if you can’t read Japanese, Book Off don’t just sell books, but second-hand hobbyist stuff like toys and games as well.
I usually go there to purchase toys and such for my son. Although the items are second-hand, their conditions are as good as brand new and are available for a fraction of the original retail prices. I bought many Pokemon items for my son from Book Off during my last trip to Japan.
MUJI is just about everywhere in Japan and there is one located within AEON mall. Prices are slightly cheaper than in Singapore and you can buy those bulky household items at this outlet near the airport to lug back to Singapore since it is much more convenient!
The AEON mall at Narita is a pretty decent mall with just about all the popular chain stores in Japanese housed within it or just within walking distance from the mall. You can shop till you drop and also enjoy a meal there at one of the many Japanese restaurants and foodcourt there.
After some hardcore shopping, if you have a hotel booked near Narita Airport like at Tobu Hotel, you can take a free shuttle bus back and relax before flying off or sleep for the night to fly off the next day.
Other than free shuttle buses, Tobu Hotel offers an indoor pool, a gym, breakfast and other meal options at reasonable prices:
Rooms are comfortable and with several options for travellers. If you are traveling in a large family or group, it might be worth getting one of their larger family rooms:
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