As the world’s technology capital, Japan always sets the trend when it comes to electronic devices. It produces the most durable products and is known for many popular brands as well such as Sony, Panasonic, Nikon, Hitachi, Nintendo and Toshiba to name a few. It is not surprising then that consumers from the different parts of the world rely heavily on Japanese electronic products.
These days, it’s easy to travel to Japan not only to tour the city but even to buy one’s needed gadgets on the side. But before you do, it’s best to do a little research first and find out the places to visit if you want to shop for some mobile devices and accessories.
Whether you are heading to Tokyo, Nagoya or Hiroshima, you will find numerous stores there to fulfill your craving for gadgets. For sure, you’ll have a fun and memorable experience while shopping for whatever tech gadget, big and small that fancies you. You might even be surprised to see there loads of items that can help make life easier for you and you won’t find anywhere else outside of the country.
Top Gadget Stores
If you’re in Tokyo, there are several well-known gadget shops you can go to for your tech needs. One is the Mitsukoshi department store that boasts of an extensive department exclusively for technology. An international department store chain, it also has other branches across Japan. Founded in 1673, Mitsukoshi is Japan’s oldest surviving department.
There’s also Best Denki Co. or Yamada Denki, an electronic retailer which also has branches in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Kuwait. Headquartered in Fukuoka, it is one of Japan’s biggest consumer electronic retailer chains founded in 1973. This store also operated in Hong Kong from the late 1980s until 2011.
The Bic Camera shop is also strongly recommended. With 41 stores in Japan, it sells a wide range of top quality electronic devices from computers and cameras to audio-visual equipment.
Yodobashi Akiba located in Tokyo boasts of seven floors of varied electronic devices of all kinds and sizes. Whether you’re looking for appliances, video games, mobile phones, cameras and computers, it has everything you need. The store is popular, though, for its SLR cameras and is credited for one-third of Japan’s camera sales.
Thanko is a manufacturer of electronics and electrical appliances. It sells a large selection of computer-related gadgets and gizmos. Products you can purchase there include adapters, card readers, wearable cameras and other quirky items and accessories. This two-storey shop is situated on the main thoroughfare of Akihabara.
Be mindful of the voltage of the electronic devices that you are purchasing. For cameras and laptops, for example, check that the chargers are 100V-240V so you can use them back home without having to use a voltage converter. If you prefer to buy those that are 100-110V, then be sure to buy a voltage converter that can you use at home. This converter will help lower your voltage output as well.
As for the more modern smartphones, digital cameras and computers, most are already made following overseas standards with dual voltage. As such, they can adjust to different voltage which means you won’t need a converter to charge them. But just to make sure, always check the packaging and charger plug itself.
Also, some Japanese products may not have English menus. If this is the case, you can check out the overseas model section in the stores where you can buy the English models.
Did you also know that you can buy electronic products tax free? Foreign visitors can enjoy this privilege as Japan provides tax exemptions for them specifically the consumption tax (equivalent to the sales tax or GST) which is currently 10 percent.