No one loves anything more than a sale, and Japan is no different. Seasonal sales here are very common, and moreso than in other countries, are often widespread and synchronized across a whole range of stores.
If you're looking to pick up some popular brand names or specific types of clothing, let us help you get what you want at the best (and cheapest) time!
When to Find Sales by Season
Sale in Japan
― Spring Sale Season: Late April to early May
Spring sales season is best during Golden Week, a five-day holiday that starts from May 2th to May 6th in 2020.
The type of clothing you’ll find is light outerwear and tops in pastels.
Trench coats and other types of spring coats are also on sale during this time as it can get a bit chilly during the spring season in Japan.
― Summer Sale Season: End of June to the end of August
The best timing for the summer sale season is during July.
Shops tend to stagger their sales during this month so some sales will happen in the beginning and others at the end but there are usually the most sales going on in the middle of July.
You can buy sleeveless dresses, short sleeve blouses and shirts, and accessories such as hats and sunglasses.
The most notable of the items that you can find on sale during this time is sneakers.
― Autumn Sale Season: Black Friday
There aren’t many sales during the autumn period.
But, much like the west, Japan also celebrates Black Friday, though minus the chaos.
The planned Black Friday event will be during November 27nd to the 29th for 2020, but happens every year about three days after the fourth Friday of November.
Stores that have Black Friday sales are UNIQLO, AEON, KALDI, Toys"R"Us and many others. Besides clothing, food and other necessities go on sale during this time, so this would probably be the best time to buy food type souvenirs.
In addition to the Internet, there are also sales at stores, so please drop in the store.
― Winter Sale Season: First half of December to the end of January
The best timing for sales is probably early January for the winter sale season.
There are a lot of winter clothing on sale during this time.
Japan also has something called a “Lucky Bag” or “Fukubukuro(福袋)” which are usually sold on January 1st and 2nd and can sometimes have a long queue for them.
It’s said that Lucky Bags were derived from the big bag that the god of luck, called Daikokuten, carried.
The contents of Lucky Bags are usually higher than the selling price of the bag.
Usually you are not allowed to know the contents of the Lucky Bag but nowadays some shops will allow you to know the contents of the bag first.
In conclusion, Japan’s biggest sale season is in winter and in summer.
With an extreme lowering of prices, it’d probably be best for vacation shoppers to try for winter sales.
Shop Guide for Tokyo
If you’re looking to go shopping in Tokyo, here’s a guide to some great stores and area by type of clothing they would sell.
― For Teenagers
List of spots:
Shibuya and Harajuku Shopping Guide: Tokyo’s Fashion Hotspots
― Stylish and High-end Fashion
― Sneakers and Old School Street Fashion
List of spots:
・Cat Street: The Backstreet of Harajuku and Shibuya
・Explore the Ameyoko Street
・Shimokitazawa: The Heart of Tokyo's Second Hand and Vintage Scene
・Harajuku: Tokyo's Second Hand and Vintage Scene
― Outdoor Fashion and Sportswear
･The 13 Shopping Spots You Shouldn’t Miss in Shinjuku
･Shopping for Outdoor Sports Equipment in Kanda
― Shopping with Children
― Bargain Stores
List of spots:
･Gotanda TOC (Wholesale Center)
・Grab a bargain at Gotanda TOC, Gotanda
・How to Travel in Style: Tokyo’s Best Shopping Spots
Where to Buy when it’s not Sale Season ― Recommended Outlets in Japan
Cheapo shoppers know that if you want to buy something cheaper than in the stores, you’ll probably want to shop at an outlet.
There are numerous outlet stores across the nation that you can go to buy clothing at cheaper prices.
・Tokyo Minami-machida Grandberry Park
・Premium Outlet (Found in Sakurai, Gotemba, Sano, Rinku Premium in Rinku Town, etc.)
・Mitsui Outlet Park (Found in Yokohama Bayside, Makuhari, Iruma, Kurashiki, Marin Pia Kobe etc.)
Each Region of Japan:
・Hokkaido Rera Chitose Outlet Mall
・Tochigi Nasu Garden Outlet
・Saitama Aeon Lake Town Outlet
・Nagano Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza
・Osaka Osaka Nanko ATC Town Outlet Mare
・Fukuoka Marinoacity Fukuoka
・Okinawa Okinawa Outlet Mall ASHIBINAA
Let's go to the mall
Although outlets are already cheaper than the usual stores, they also have big sales during the summer and winter.
You can find almost everything at outlets so it’s great for shopping for all your clothing items at once.
Useful Information ― Vocabulary often used
20%OFF when 2 items are purchased
･半額 (Half price)
･最大__％OFF (Maximum __% OFF)
･在庫限り (Limited Stock)
･数量限定 (Limited quantity)
･大幅値下げ (Great price cut)
･初売り (First selling)
･売りつくし (Sold out)
･最終処分 (Final stock sale)
･__点以上お買上げで__％OFF (__% OFF when __ items are purchased)
Useful Information ― Sizes in Japan
Kids size and S～LL
Since sizes are a bit different depending on where you’re from, please reference the size tables below to find your size in Japanese sizes by looking for the equivalent in your country.
Web site: Size Conversion Charts