Tourist Tip #3: Stay Away from Souvenir Shops
Here's a quick tip to make your memories of Japan more memorable for you and your friends back home: stay away from souvenir shops!
Like anywhere else in the world, souvenir shops, by nature, tend to offer only the most generic - and usually hokiest - of gifts. I've seen wares that - at best - would be embarrassing to own, let alone give to another person.
That's not to say you can't find amusing and inexpensive trinkets at the plethora of "omiyage-ya" (souvenir shops) that are practically attached to every tourist attraction and popular venue, but if you're really interested in finding the grooviest goods and coolest items on sale in Japan (and not go out of pocket), here are three of my favourite places to shop for any-and-everything:
"Tokyu Hands No.1 in Japan on “When You Visit, You Find What You Want”"
"The everyday commodities store"
Locally referred to as "Donki" - Don Quijiote is a discount chain store that carries a wide range of products, from basic groceries to electronics to clothing.
Each store has locations all across the country (I shop at the stores in Yokohama, of course). Highly recommended.
Former Deep Japan Writer