What to Buy in Tokyo
Aside from the samurai swords and rice cookers there are all kinds of nifty items and memorabilia to bring back from Tokyo, and they don’t have to cost much at all, just read on.
One of Japan’s classic traditional toys, Kokeshi are hand crafted wooden dolls (usually a small girl in kimono), carved from a single piece of wood and then hand-painted. The best place to find them is at Chidoriya – Japanese Goods at Roppongi Hills.
Prices range from $30 to $60 USD.
A cloth wall scroll featuring any range of vibrant or serene designs, the Furoshiki makes a brilliant an inexpensive decoration. They are easily found in any of the omnipresent Tokyu Hands department stores.
Less formal and easier to wear than a traditional kimono (and less expensive) travelers will do well to purchase their very own Yukata, so they can look at themselves in the mirror, do a karate move and feel the coolness of being Japanese.
Prices and designs vary, from simple and $50, to vibrant and over $100.
Want to be like Tom Cruise in Last Samurai with those awesome samurai pants? Well now you can, for as little as $50 USD you can score a pair of ‘hakama’ The best place to find them is on the weekend in Harajuku, at the Meiji-dori and Omote Sando intersection.
Destined to be a dust collector in your cabinet display, chopsticks are a typical acquisition for visitors to Tokyo. Seldom end up being put to any practical use , hallow promises of breaking out the chopsticks next time your order Chinese take out are defeated because using a fork is so much easier. But by all means buy yourself a pair!
Its impossible to pass by one of these with out picking one up, opening it up and staring in awe at the intricate bamboo work and the paper umbrella top. Colors range from reds to purples. Wielding one of these will turn any Western girl into a Geisha.
Price: $30 USD
Commence with your training to become a samurai master. These practice swords are solid wood and incredibly cheap, coming in at only $10 USD. Smaller versions are also available, and dagger size.
Price: $10 USD
Colors range from light natural wood for the elevated geta, and then dark wood & natural for the ‘non-raised’ geta, which are actually called “zori”
Zori have a sort of ‘tatami’ weaved bamboo surface, whereas geta just have flat polished wood. Surprisingly the plain flat wood is not as uncomfortable as it may seem, you could spend all day in them and feel fine, just be careful when going down the stairs.
Price: $35 USD
Finally, after many years you can finally become the ninja you’ve always wanted to be. The double two boot (tabi) is still in style in Japan, after 1000 years. Variations include leather, camo and others. The price is reasonable to, expect to find them at around $50 US
Price: $50 USD
Whether you got a kid or girlfriend back home who’d just love to dress up like a Japanese school girl or you’re just a pervert, there are stores dedicated to just these uniforms. You can also find them in every department store in the school section. Be prepared to spend $100 US for a skirt, blouse, jacket set of a plain style, and around $160 for a more ‘fashionable’ and spunky set.