Tired of the stress of the city? Looking for a day out– and some good deals while you’re at it?
Located right at the base of Mt. Fuji in Shizuoka prefecture lies Japan’s most popular outlet mall. The Gotemba Premium Outlets host over 200 stores and offers a tranquil and serene shopping experience surrounded by the natural beauty of Japan.
Shopping in Nature
Photo by Author
Surrounded by lush forests, with a stunning view of Mt. Fuji to welcome you as you shop—a day in Gotemba is the perfect mini-break to get away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. The shopping park features an East and West zone separated by a bridge overlooking the beautiful Shizuoka forest below.
It’s easy to spend a whole day getting lost in Gotemba, shopping, eating and enjoying the beautiful natural scenery. The outdoor shopping park is built in a classic-American open-air style with covered walkways and plenty of places to sit down and take a break. Other features include fountains and a large children’s play area.
Shopping with the mountains and forests as the perfect backdrop gives a calm, relaxed feeling to the modern shopping park.
Photo by Author.
Gotemba Premium Outlets offers a wide variety of Western and Japanese brands, ranging from family staples like the Gap to high end luxury brands like Prada and Burberry. You’ll find everything you and your family are looking for from clothes and accessories to children’s toys, homeware and electronics.
Some standouts amongst the stores include outlets of popular Tokyo shopping center Isetan and luxury American department store Barneys. Looking for something uniquely Japanese? Check out the Pokemon Center, and the Sanrio outlets for some great gifts to take home!
Photo by Author.
Interested in doing some tax-free shopping? Gotemba offers plenty of services for tourists, with tax-free shopping available at many stores (remember to bring your passport!), currency conversion, telephone interpreting, ATM’s and lockers on-site, and free Wi-Fi spots in both the East and West sides of the outlet. There are also plenty of cafes, food stalls, and a large food court when you are ready to take a break.
You are even able to enjoy your shopping outing with your special friend as leashed pets are allowed on-site. Entry into the stores is not permitted (except Dog Dept.), and you will be asked to leave your pet with your companion when entering shops (tying pets up outside stores is not allowed).
Expect to find lower prices here than at the average Japanese shopping mall, but the best discounts come twice a year at their big ‘Bargain’ sale which comes with the changing of the seasons at the end of summer and winter. The Outlets are a must-visit for both locals and tourists during this time– expect crowds!
Currently, their summer sale is on! Make your way down to Gotemba to refresh your summer wardrobe or pick up a few new pieces for Autumn. The views of Mt. Fuji alone are more than worth the trip down, and the great prices are just the cherry on top.
How to Get There
Nestled close to Hakone, Kanagawa– the Premium Outlets offer easy direct access from a number of train stations throughout Shizuoka, Kanagawa, and Tokyo. There is also easy to access Gotemba by bus from Tokyo, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, or Shinagawa stations.
From Shinjuku station, you can take a direct roundtrip bus for ¥2,880 (Children ¥1,440). The bus operates daily.
If you prefer the train, the Premium Outlets offer free shuttle bus services from JR Gotemba station, they depart every 15 minutes and the bus journey is 20 minutes in total. Also from Shinjuku you can ride the Odakyu Limited Express “Romancecar Mount Fuji”. The Romancecar offers observation deck seats where you can view Mount Fuji from the train! If you book your train seat on the right-hand side of the train you should even be able to see Fuji from your seat.
Nearest station: Gotemba Station
Opening Times: Mar.-Nov. 10:00AM-8:00PM Dec.-Feb. 10:00AM-7:00PM
Holidays: Once a year, on the third Thursday in February
Caitlin / USA