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To all foreign students!!
Welcome to Japan! We really hope you have wonderful time here. As it may be your first time living in Japan, we would like to give you a few pieces of advice to help you enjoy your experience.
The first thing to consider is your living situation and how to make it easier for yourself. Unless you live way out in the countryside, you will most likely find many stores in which you can find indispensable and very convenient items to assist you in daily life. The following are just a few of our best suggestions.
Not merely 100 yen shops!!!
You might know this company as they have almost 1,500 stores around the world. There are about 2,900 locations in Japan. At Daiso, you can buy many useful products at 100 yen (just under $1.00. Some products are more expensive, such as 200 – 500 yen, but they are reasonably priced). You might be able to find products which you have never seen before and are very useful. They carry some snacks and sweets as well.
They have more than 1,000 shops in Japan. Their products are mostly focused on laundry and kitchen products, and the prices are basically 100 yen, as at Daiso.
3.Can ★ Do
There are more than 800 locations in Japan. They cover various products, similar to Daiso, including a wider range of food. The pricing is also around 100 yen.
4.Lawson Store 100
A subsidiary of Lawson (famous as a chain of convenience stores generally open for 24 hours). Most of the products are 100 yen, however, they do have more expensive products including alcohol and cigarettes. (Please identify that you are over 20 years old when you would like to buy liquors and/or cigarettes.) They do have even carry fresh vegetables and eggs.
As you may know, there are many convenience stores, or “Konbini”, in Japan. Most them are also open for 24 hours and have many products which you might need for daily life. You can even purchase certain hot foods at Konibini. You can ask them to heat up the products you buy, such as lunch boxes or dinner boxes, using the microwave they have in-store. Some of them also carry cigarettes and liquor.
You also might be able to find some supermarkets such as Daiei, Ito Yokado, Seiyu, Tokyu, Keio and so on around the place where you live. Their layout is similar to supermarkets around the world. You can find fresh meats, vegetables, sea foods, etc. at reasonable prices. Some of them are even open for 24 hours.
As you might know, they have more than 3,000 stores, including more than 1,000 stores overseas. If you’re shopping inexpensive, you should at least take a look. They often have stores at train stations as well.
Not just cameras!
You may be looking for some electronics as well, such as a TV, audio devices, a cell phone, vacuum cleaner, microwave oven and so on. In such a case, you could visit large chain-stores such as Bic Camera, Joshin Denki, Yamada Denki, etc. They can of course deliver what you buy to your house, and with additional fee install the product for you if necessary.
Make your room more comfortable!
If you would like to purchase towels, carpets, furniture, storage boxes, bedding products, miscellaneous goods, etc. at reasonable prices, you might take a trip to Nitori or IKEA, although the number of locations are limited.
At stores in Japan, unfortunately, there are not too many salesclerks who speak English, so it might be a good idea to learn a few phrases in Japanese beforehand.
Bargaining is also not generally an option (You may ask for discount at the big electronic chain stores, though).
These are a few of the convenient shops/stores which you may find near your place. Of course, you could also shop online, as Rakuten and Amazon are big in Japan. You can find used products on the internet at very inexpensive prices. You can make payments online by credit card, and sometimes even with cash in-person when the products are delivered.
We hope that this information helps you improve your stay in Japan, and that you really do have a wonderful time!!