If you search for a “recycle shop near me”, you’re likely to get endless hits on Google Maps. But which are the best? Moving to Japan for a post-graduate program, for a two-year work contract, or for a lifetime decision to live there for good also means moving to a place you can call your home. Most apartments for rent in Tokyo are furnished before you move in, but if you like to add more pieces of furniture to make your space more homey and personalized, you may consider furnishing your home with second-hand pieces.
Where to Find the Best Recycle Shop Near You in Tokyo
Tokyo never runs out of everything kawaii (cute) and awesome, including the best second-hand furniture stores you can visit for your next shopping trip. Try and check these furniture stores filled with pre-loved treasures and find things you didn’t know you absolutely need. And if you live in Saitama, check out this article for the best recycle shops in Kawagoe!
1. TOKYO RECYCLE Imption
下北沢店 〒155-0031 Tokyo, Setagaya City, Kitazawa, 2 Chome−6−11 生井沢 ビル 1F
Tel/Fax: 03-5429-9415 / 03-5429-9416
If you are looking for vintage second-hand furniture from household appliances, audio equipment to collector’s items, you must visit the Tokyo Recycle imption located in Setagaya City.
The stores are recycling not only second-hand furniture from Japan but a wide variety of items such as fashion accessories, gift items, branded goods, precious metals, and a lot more foreign items, as well. The store opened its first shop in Kamiyaga, Setagaya-Ku in 2011 until it expanded and opened five more stores.
They do not only sell second-hand items, but they also purchase and even offer second-hand goods for rent.
You can check out on sale items and purchase online through its website https://tokyo-recycle.net/, and you can also follow them on Instagram at @tokyorecylce_imption.
〒153-0063 東京都目黒区目黒3-11-5 アオキビル1Ｆ
Everyone loves the atmosphere of all the SoneChika store in Meguro. If you are looking for second-hand furniture that will take you down memory lane, this is another must-visit thrift shop for you.
SoneChika is active on its social media presence and its Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr pages are constantly updated with photos and blogs about their ongoing sale and about the items available in the stores.
You can follow them on the following platforms below:
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sonechika/?hl=ja
3. 2nd STORE RECYCLE THRIFT FAMILY
10-３ Sakaecho, Nerima City, Tokyo 176-0006
“リバリューとエコロジー” or “Revalue and ecology” is the heart of this second-hand shop in Nerima City. They purchase scraps and pre-loved items at reasonable prices and sell the collected second-hand items at low prices. Aside from household appliances such as washing machines, microwave ovens, and fridge, they also sell second-hand video and digital cameras, branded items, accessories, commemorative coins, and stamps for collector’s items.
2nd STORE RECYCLE THRIFT FAMILY also offers consultation about management and disposal of pre-loved items home. The store also services Toshima-Ku, Nakano-Ku, Bunkyo-Ku, Shinjuku-Ku, Itabashi-Ku neighborhood.
4. Jungle Stock Tokyo
4 Chome-2-5 Hatanodai, Shinagawa City, Tokyo 142-0064
Tel: 03-6325-7631 / 03-6459-5439 / 03-6303-0078
You can also visit the Jungle Stock Tokyo. It doesn’t look like a jungle at all but with the myriad of items and treasures you can find in its stores, you’ll definitely feel like you are lost in the jungle.
The store offers free delivery of purchased items within the suburb areas – from Nishi-Oyama to Shibuya, Ookayama to Kawasaki, Flag stand to Oi, among others.
You can also check the available items on their website at https://jungle-stock-tokyo.wixsite.com/junglestocktokyo or follow them on Twitter at @JungleStockToky.
5. Recycle Shop Mogu Land
3 Chome-1-7 Nishiwaseda, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 169-0051
Kawashima Building, 1st floor, Wasedatsurumakicho, 544, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, 162-0041
This super cheap, warehouse type shop in Waseda has all the home appliances you may need, from the fridge, washing machine, microwave, to study table, sofa, single bed, among others.
They have the largest number of home appliances like refrigerators and washing machines among all their affiliated shops, and the cheapest prices!
You can visit them on their homepage.
Why Go to Second-Hand Stores?
Cheap finds. You can spend a fair amount of money and you can save a lot at the same time when you opt to visit thrift shops and buy second-hand items like home furniture. You can also try to haggle with thrift shop owners, especially if you are shopping more than one item from the second-hand store.
Good-as-new! Tokyo’s second-hand stores are also touted as the best because the items on sale are actually good as new and are priced reasonably. The fact that these items have reached second-hand stores means they are really durable. You can also guarantee the safety of the items, especially those of electrical appliances because Japanese thrift shop owners handle second-hand products meticulously and their business professionally.
Genuine vintage finds. Most second-hand stores sell vintage items that have lasted for decades and even a century. Most of the pieces of furniture may need some minimal restoration but it’s really all up to you.
Environment-friendly. Most thrift shops are also eco-friendly, especially that many of Tokyo’s second-hand stores are promoting recycling of items. In purchasing second-hand items, you are also promoting an environment-friendly lifestyle.
Tips for Second-Hand Shopping
Make a game plan. You should know what you are looking for. List down the items you need at the moment and focus on those items before you indulge in the myriad of treasures you will get yourself lost into inside the second-hand store. You can even go further into prioritizing which item on the list will demand you more time to examine, and which items on the list can be screened easily. You can save time and energy when you go to a second-hand store with a game plan.
Search for second-hand stores to shop ahead. Make sure you know where to shop, especially in your area, before you head out for your onsite visit. You can add the second-hand stores we have mentioned above in your best places to shop in Tokyo. Do not only look in one place. Make sure you visit as many second-hand stores as you can before you make your purchase, which means you must do this when you have all the time to do so. Do not limit yourself in second-hand stores in your neighborhood. Find time to check and visit those of neighboring places, as well.
Canvass online. Most of today’s second-hand stores have created e-commerce websites and are even active on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Check them out ahead online and mark the items you have your eyes on. You can do your initial inquiries online and send your questions ahead. You can also bookmark photos of the items you are considering to buy.
Give yourself plenty of time. Again, you need more than enough time to check out second-hand stores and to check out different items on your list, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to shop. Examining the items takes time. Checking other stores takes time. Choosing which of the same items to purchase takes time.
Yes, it’s okay to be picky! You can be meticulous in choosing your second-hand finds. Pay attention to the dates of the items or the time when it was first purchased from the original owners. Most second-hand shop owners are hands-on to their customers, so feel free to inquire as necessary. Inspect the items carefully before you decide to purchase it.
Go ahead and haggle. You can always give it a try. Items on second-hand stores are already reasonably priced and expectedly cheaper than when you buy the same items in a mall, but if you are on a tighter budget you can always haggle. Just do it gently and kindly.
Be a kind thrift-shopper. You can be meticulous without sounding too annoying. Be kind to the staff who will assist you and you will be handled well, too. Ask questions politely and be mindful of the staff’s availability. There may be other customers to attend to, so be patient and wait for your turn. Kindness always goes a long way.
Keep an eye on SALE and ARRIVAL of new items. If you want to be among the first to avail of best deals and among the first to get the best of the new arrivals, keep an eye on them. Make sure you are checking their social media pages, as most announcements are already done online. Take note of the seasonal promotions like Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter deals, as well as, holiday sales.
Did You Find a Recycle Shop Near You?
Don’t hesitate to try out the furniture. Sit on the chair or on the couch, open up the drawer, open and close cabinets, lean on the table, and by doing so you can inspect the items for yourself. If you happen to decide to purchase an item with a little damage, at least you can decide right there and then that you’ll have it fixed instead. Trying it out will help you find the second-hand furniture that is still in superb condition.
Do your research ahead of what makes an item of durable furniture. Metal and hardwood furniture usually last longer, so keep these kinds of things in mind before you do your purchase. Look at the types of wood and metals of the second-hand furniture and do some more research about its durability.
Know your measurements. Keep in mind the spaces you need to fill. Consider the size of your home and use it as a reference in determining the dimensions of the second-hand furniture you intend to buy. Most second-hand stores in Tokyo usually have no return policy for second-hand items, so make sure you don’t get the wrong size.
Give it a sniff test. Be mindful of bad odor. Stuffings and fillings of some furniture, like sofas and beds, may smell, so you have to keep your guard on that. Most second-hand stores in Tokyo, though, are using technology to make sure the second-hand items on sale are good as new but better be meticulous than sorry.
Be creative. One of the best things about buying second-hand items is that you can be flexible in choosing items for your DIY project that is according to your own taste and style. Find furniture items that also speaks about your character. Purchase something you will love. Recreate the furniture you get into something that will breathe a new life to it.
Have fun! Shopping in a second-hand store can be tiring but it can be fun, too. Next time you visit one of the best second-hand stores in Tokyo we have mentioned above, keep an open mind, be comfortable, and make sure you enjoy your visit. We hope you find what you need in one of these second-hand stores we are recommending.
If you are just visiting Japan for a short time, you can also visit these second-hand stores for some affordable gift items and accessories you can bring home as souvenirs for your family and friends back home. You can surely find items that won’t hurt your budget.
Did I mention that most second-hand stores in Tokyo are also a haven for bookworms? Some of these second-hand stores are the best places to find books in Tokyo, too. Most of the books are in Japanese, but of course, there are corners where you can find titles in other languages like English and Spanish.
I can’t wait to explore these best second-hand stores myself in my next visit. We never know what treasure we will ever find.
Let us know if you have visited these second-hand stores yourself and feel free to share your experience with us.
Note: This article was originally published on May 30 2019 but has been updated and republished September 3 2021.