One of the best things to do when visiting Tokyo is getting in on some of the great shopping deals and discounts that are available.
Of course, before you come, you should plan out what days you want to shop and which other days you want to use for sightseeing.
There are many malls in the vicinity of Tokyo that tourists and visitors love. But the top five most popular and well-known outlet malls are:
- Gotemba Premium Outlets
- Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza
- Iruma Mitsui Outlet Park
- Makuhari Mitsui Outlet Park
- Shisui Premium Outlets
1. Gotemba Premium Outlets
Gotemba is a shopping experience of a particular type because Mount Fuji towers over the outlet. Arguably, it’s one of the most beautiful malls near Tokyo and one of its largest, offering over 200 shops.
Plus, because it’s an outlet mall, most items in all the shops are 50% less than their regular prices at normal stores.
There’s a fantastic clothing selection from places like Abercrombie & Fitch, Céline, Gucci, and Alexander Wang, among so many others.
There are several specialty stores such for housewares, wines, Wedgwood, and Ralph Lauren. Like all malls, they have interesting places to grab a bite to eat.
It’s easy to get to Gotemba as well. Busses run from Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, and Tokyo station for most of the day. It takes about 1½ to 2 hours to reach the mall depending on your mode of travel and starting point within Tokyo.
2. Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza
Another easy place to access from Tokyo is the Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza. All you have to do is hop on the Shinkansen bullet train to Karuizawa Station and it’s nearly in front of the stop.
Next to Gotemba, this is one of the most beautiful shopping experiences.
Sights and Experiences
Lush green from all the plants and trees surrounds the area with a large lake that has the appearance of diamonds dancing on the surface when the sun hits it just right.
The mall itself has a wonderful array of brands like Yves Saint Laurent, Samsonite, Tory Burch, Adidas, Armani, and so many others.
The food selection is excellent as well, offering world-famous chocolates from Lindt and Godiva along with a host of classic Japanese dishes.
Wi-Fi is free throughout the mall with many places to sit and enjoy the outdoors while you decide what store you want to tackle next.
3. Iruma Mitsui Outlet Park
About an hour away from Tokyo is Iruma when you take the Seibu Ikebukuro Line with a subsequent 15-minute bus ride. Here you can find a shopper’s paradise.
Most people agree this is one of the best shopping malls close to Tokyo due to their selection, convenience, and enormous size. There are about 210 different stores offering a massive selection of clothing, accessories, housewares, and food products.
There are international brands such as Seiko, Diesel, and Dunhill along with Sanrio and Matsumoto Kiyoshi. Plus, there are 23 restaurants and cafés along with children’s play areas, picnic areas, and other places to relax.
There are other free services available throughout the outlet park. You can get free Wi-Fi along with telephone interpreting services to get support for all your shopping needs.
You simply call the number and they guide you from there. The mall offers coin-pay lockers so you can store your purchases and luggage while you shop.
4. Makuhari Mitsui Outlet Park
One of the more popular places closest to Tokyo for many tourists is the Mitsui Outlet Park Makuhari nestled in the heart of Chiba Prefecture.
Since renovations in 2015, it expanded to include very convenient access from Tokyo Station. It’s about a 30-minute ride to the Kaihimmakuhari Station on the JR Keiyo Line.
This mall tends to be very busy at specific times. When traffic is high, shopping becomes a challenge. Therefore, avoid coming here on the weekends.
It’s better to visit during the week in the morning and early afternoon. When in doubt, you can call the mall for their suggestions on the best times.
Tax Exemption Services through Shops
Of the 137 shops here, 93 of them offer tax exemption services. This is useful for bringing items you purchase back home since you will incur a fee for these at the airport.
It means you won’t have to spend extra money shipping or boarding with them. Hence, it’s the reason why tourists prefer this mall.
There are a host of choices like Beams, Puma, Coach, and Michael Kors. However, the large number of restaurants can sustain hours of shopping with things like pizza and coffee.
Like most malls already mentioned, they offer free Wi-Fi and they have ATM kiosks located around the area.
5. Shisui Premium Outlets
The closest shopping mall to Narita Airport is Shisui Premium Outlets. This makes it an ideal spot when people arrive in Tokyo or when leaving.
In fact, many hotels offer a transit certificate for a trip to this mall which means you don’t have to pay for your transportation. It takes about 50 minutes to reach it from Tokyo Station.
Great Selections and Displays
Many stores reside here such as Earth Music; Ecology, Zucca, Agnes B. Voyage, Beams, and many others totaling about 100 domestic Japanese brands.
In addition, there’s a host of traditional Japanese cuisine to taste, take in, and savor.
The casual experience by Dotonbori Kamakura and the omelet rice from Yamashita Seizaburo are two highly advisable suggestions.
Even though it’s not as picturesque as other malls mentioned, they do have beautiful displays in the middle of the mall. Sometimes these follow the seasons and others honor nationwide holidays.
These scenes are very photogenic and unusual, presenting temporary works of art that you’re lucky to capture on film or a digital camera.