Imagine a place like a wonderland but for shopping lovers. A place where you can find anything and everything you need or perhaps don’t need. Welcome to Japan, the land of eternal shopping!
From luxury brands to 100 yen shops, if you are looking for food, stationery, clothes, or technology, let me tell you that Japan has it all. If you are a shopping lover planning your first visit to a J-store, shopping vocabulary in Japanese might be helpful to make the most out of your shopping experience. If you want to learn the vocabulary and phrases you need to shop like a pro in Japan, then keep reading below!
Shopping In Japan
Shopping in Japan is a unique experience. The customer service is one of the best in the world, and the variety of stores is unparalleled. So you don’t have to worry if you don’t have an extensive vocabulary, the shop assistants are very friendly. They’ll do their best to help you! Some will even try to speak with you in English or use translators to help you out. Now, that’s what 5-star customer service looks like!
No matter what kind of store it is, you will always be greeted with: “いっらしゃいませ,” which means welcome, and they will offer their assistance immediately if you need it.
The Different Types Of Japanese Stores
There are thousands of stores in Japan, and if you are in a big city like Tokyo or Osaka, you will find one on every corner. There is a store for every need, so it is essential to know the different types to choose the right place according to your needs. Today we will focus on Japanese clothing stores but let’s take a quick look at the most common Japanese shops and what you can find in them.
Convenience store | コンビニ
Konbinis have become a trademark of Japanese culture. If you have watched doramas or anime, you probably know what they are. A konbini is a convenience store where you can find various products. You can buy food, drinks, personal care items, and even pay your bills. These stores are essential in Japanese daily life because they allow you to run errands quickly and are usually open 24 hours a day.
Drugstore | 薬局
Drug stores in Japan are very convenient, too. For example, in a 薬局, you can find various products, such as medicines, cosmetics, and household items. You can also find snacks, beverages, and hair products.
Super Market | スーパーマーケット
Japanese supermarkets (also called suppa) provide a wide range of items, some similar to supermarkets in other countries, others not so much. However, a significant difference between them is the quality and variety of ready meals available in a Japanese スーパーマーケット. In most supermarkets, you can find sushi, yakitori, katsu, bentos, and so much more.
Department store | デパート
Japanese department stores are multi-level buildings that offer a wide variety of goods and services. In a デパート, you can find clothing, footwear, furniture, household appliances, decoration, food, etc.
Bookstore | 本屋
Japanese bookstores are a world of their own. There are countless publications in Japan, so you will find a wide range of books and magazines. There are comics, novels, cooking books, language-learning books, you name it, they’ve got it. If you’re a book lover, you’ll enjoy second-hand bookstores in Japan. You can find books in excellent condition at a very reasonable price.
These are just a few of the thousands of Japanese stores out there. So, if you have a particular hobby or are interested in a niche topic, I assure you that there is a store for you in Japan.
Japanese Shopping Vocabulary
Let’s look at some examples of shopping vocabulary that might come in handy to get all you need in a Japanese shop.
Clothes Shopping In Japanese
Now we will talk about the most desired place for fashion lovers, the Japanese clothing stores. We dedicated a section to this because we know that this is one of the biggest reasons why many are interested in visiting the country.
The Japanese fashion industry is certainly one of the most prestigious in the world. Japan has everything, whether you’re looking for high-end clothes or fast fashion. There is a store for all shoppers, and we bet you can easily find one that suits your needs. But, before you go shopping, there are a few things you should know beforehand.
First, sizes can differ significantly from other countries, especially Western ones. For example, Japanese clothing tends to be smaller, which means that you may be a different size than usual in Japan. In other words, if you are usually a small size in your country, you may be a medium in Japanese sizes, or if you are a medium, you may be a large size.
Second, after welcoming you, a shop assistant may follow you around to see if you need anything. If you prefer to shop alone, you can politely tell her, and she will stop following you.
Lastly, some stores do not accept credit cards. If you do not have cash, it’s good to ask if you can pay with a card as soon as you enter the store. Otherwise, you might waste your time selecting items you may not be able to take home afterward.
Now we will see some useful Japanese phrases that can be very helpful when shopping for clothes in a J-store.
Essential Japanese Phrases For Shopping
Ready To Visit A Japanese Shop?
Now have the tools you need to succeed on your next visit to a Japanese store. Just learn and practice the vocabulary, and you’ll find that shopping in Japanese will be a walk in the park.
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