Why settle for those expensive and yet cheesy touristy souvenirs?
Ditch those tourist-trap souvenir stores! If I tell you that there is a chain of stores throughout Japan where you can get authentic souvenirs for a quarter of a price, would you go? Do not go to any other souvenir store without first reading this article.
Aside from being one of the most technologically advance country in the world, Japan is also very Eco-friendly where they recycle pretty much everything from plastic bottle and cans, to housewares, clothes and even electronics and toys so they do not end up in landfills and take up precious land. You would probably ask, "How do they recycle these items such as clothes and toys?" In this article, I will show you where you can find great treasures and how much you will be saving compared to buying the same items at a regular souvenir shops out in town. Welcome to HARD OFF and OFF HOUSE!
I know what you're going to say.... "That's just a thrift store!" Well, it is, but it's more than just a thrift store. You might think thrift stores only sell second hand items or used goods. Here, you will also find brand new items from dinnerware, pottery, toys, furniture, arts and crafts and authentic kimonos.... and they all scream JAPANESE. These stores can be found in just about any major city in Japan. Just google map where ever you are and I'm sure there will be one close by. Even though there's so many different items in this store, I will only be talking about items most people would buy as souvenirs from Japan. So grab your skimpy wallets, make room in your luggage, and bring an open mind for you are about to have a new perspective on thrift stores.
You'll be serving sushi and other Japanese food like a real Iron Chef with these bad boys. These serving platters are solid and very well made.
You can actually mix and match any number of different sake cups and place them in a multi-layer case to make an awesome display. Just like shot glasses, but these are way cooler. Look up sake display on pinterest or google for ideas.
Japanese clay pots or "donabe" as they are called, are essential in many Japanese households. They are so versatile that they can be used to cook stew, stir fry, steam, roast, deep fry, any food or cuisine. The lids are very functional that not only are they used to insulate and retain heat, but when turned upside down, it also serves as a dish or serving bowl. Try doing that with your slow cooker.
These multi-layered bento boxes or "jubako" are lacquered food boxes used to serve food on special occasions or parties. If Japanese people would go to such pot locks, they would bring their share of food in these. They go for about $20 even up to $80 and over $100 on souvenir shops or online, but a new one like this one would cost about less than $10.
If you are into collecting chopsticks or know someone who does, they have an assortment of chopsticks in here too and they even sell chopstick cases.
Many items in here are brand new and for many of them, they also come in really neat wooden boxes. They add to its aesthetic and appeal when displayed. They make perfect gifts too for weddings, showers, Christmas or birthdays. Come on, wouldn't you be so happy and think you've been given a really expensive gift when you see one of these Japanese plate or cup sets as pictured above? You never would have know it was actually from a Japanese "thrift shop" unless you've gone to Odigo and read this article.
ARTS AND CRAFTS
JEWELRY AND MAKEUP BOX
TOYS AND ANIME
Yes these are Samurai Spiderman, Samurai Darth Vader, and Samurai Stormtrooper. Yes they are about $50 and $100.... but they are just so awesome. Nothing can be any cooler than a mix of Star Wars and Japanese. Anything Star Wars or pretty much superheros that are "Japanized" (is that even a word?) just becomes a few steps above on the nerdy coolness level.
It's Disney. It's Japanese and it's Tea themed. How cool is that? Tell me you wouldn't want someone to give you a gift like this. And best of all, it's less than $10!
This is one I bought for myself for only $3. Now I just have to find the Mickey one and the set is complete.
You can also go to kimono shops around Japan and you can rent a kimono or yukata at $25 minimum for a few hours. Why rent when you can buy your own for less than the rental price. You can even display it with pride in your own home. The kimono below is one of many I bought for myself that I have displayed in my house. This only cost me $15.
You can also buy beautiful accessories that you can actually use as well or give as a gift.
IN SUMMARY: There you go folks. I hope after seeing the items you can buy at an Off House or Hard Off, you'd think twice about going for those expensive souvenirs in those tourist-trap shops. You can now get a better quality souvenir at a real affordable price. Don't you wish you have "thrift" stores like this where you're from?
Please LIKE and SHARE this article to spread the word to everyone else. Have fun shopping and hope you have a much more enjoyable time in Japan now that you've saved more money on souvenirs.