5 Specialty Shops in Tokyo: Find Local Souvenirs in Japan without Traveling
There are people who visited Japan for the first time and would like to come back again.
Other people might be interested in finding souvenirs that have distinctive feel to Japan’s land and culture, not just common souvenirs sold in major cities like Tokyo.
For such people, I would like to recommend regional specialty shops.
This time I am introducing 5 convenient stores where you can obtain local souvenirs while you are still staying in Tokyo.
What Are Regional Specialty Shops?
Regional specialty shops are there to introduce attractive features of various areas of Japan.
In Tokyo, many of these shops are located along the Yamanote Line, and it is easy to visit multiple stores.
These shops are basically set up to sell local products directly, but they may be equipped with a tourist information corner if the facility is large.
Why Should You Visit Regional Specialty Shops?
Japan is an island country, and though commonly considered a small country, it is impossible to visit all the archipelago within a few days’ sightseeing.
For this reason, the first timers in traveling Japan tend to visit major sightseeing places such as Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto inevitably.
So, when you visit a major sightseeing place, be sure to look for regional specialty shops and check them out.
I recommend this because it is a very effective way to find destinations for your next trip to Japan.
Regional specialty shops have plenty of information on local products and sightseeing spots in the region, including information that are not available in the travel guidebook.
Many souvenirs are sold in Tokyo at airports and train stations, but most of them are fail-safe items designed for travelers after all.
Distinct goods showing authentic characteristics of Japanese culture or products that give strong impression are handled at regional specialty shops.
That being said, let’s look at regional specialty shops located in Tokyo, one by one.
1. “Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza”
Photo by ken-min.jp
Hokkaido used to be the land where indigenous Ainu people lived, and landmarks and historic sites from the Edo period to the World War II remain today along with the vast nature.
A regional specialty shop that sells products of this Hokkaido can be found in Yurakucho, a step away from the Tokyo Station.
It includes an eatery where you can enjoy Hokkaido products and a tourist information corner that helps you learn about sightseeing places and other features of Hokkaido.
Access: Yurakucho Station on Yamanote Line -> walk -> “Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza”, Map
If you are interested in reading another article on Hokkaido, click here.
2. “Aomori Hokusaikan Tokyo Store”
Photo by twitter.com
Honshu is the main island of the Japanese archipelago and Aomori Prefecture is located at its northernmost tip.
The prefecture is rich in nature, including Shikarami-Sanchi, a World Heritage Site, for example.
Aomori Hokusaikan sells products made in the region, and it also has a tourist information corner that helps you collect information on the prefecture.
Access: Tokyo Station -> JR Chuo Line -> Ochanomizu Station -> JR Sobu Line -> Iidabashi Station -> walk -> “Aomori Hokusaikan Tokyo Store”, Map
If you would like another article on Aomori, click here.
3. “Nigata-kan N’Espace”
Photo by townphoto.net
Niigata Prefecture produces a lot of rice, which is a staple food of Japanese people.
This region’s specialty shop is in Omotesando area.
It is noteworthy that the facility contains two restaurants within and they offer dishes and sake made with ingredients obtained in Niigata region.
It is also equipped with an event space to hold events periodically, selling agricultural products, offering tourism information, and so on.
Access: Tokyo Station -> Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line -> Akasaka-mitsuke Station -> Tokyo Metro Ginza Line -> Omotesando Station -> walk -> “Nigata-kan N’Espace”, Map
If you would like another article on Niigata, click here.
Photo by centraltokyo-tourism.com
Kyoto is a popular place among tourists from overseas and a shop exists near the Tokyo Station that sends out information on Kyoto.
This place also holds events and you can purchase well-known Kyoto products and traditional crafts while you are staying in Tokyo.
Access: Tokyo Station -> walk -> “Kyoto-kan”, Map
If you would like another article on Kyoto, click here.
5. “Ginza Washita Shop” of Okinawa
Photo by y35.jp
Okinawa was once called Ryukyu Kingdom and it fostered its own unique culture that was different from the main island of Japan.
It is a popular tourist destination not only for overseas travelers but also for Japanese.
There is a store in Ginza that offers information on such cultural heritage as well as unique traditional crafts of Okinawa.
By the way, “washita” means “we” in the Okinawa dialect.
Access: Tokyo Station -> walk -> “Ginza Washita Shop”, Map
If you would like another article on Okinawa, click here.
I have introduced regional specialty shops where you can obtain tourist information and products of various places in Japan while you are staying in Tokyo.
Don’t forget to visit them, as I mentioned at the beginning, you can find tips for your next trip and rare local souvenirs that other people may not have.