I live in Japan, and I’d like to introduce 9 shops I think you should visit if you are in Japan.
1 Big Boy
Although Big Boy originated in the United States, it’s Japanese locations are surprisingly good. I have been going to Big Boy a lot lately, and it’s quickly become one of my favorites. In my opinion, the best meal they offer is the 450g Hamburg set, which costs ¥1500. If you order this dish, ask for your hamburg to be rare, and add salt and pepper when it arrives to your table. When I eat this, I cannot help myself in thinking, “This IS beef.” And yes, it is 100% beef, unlike most Japanese style hamburg.
Unfortunately, all of the Big Boy restaurants I know of are best accessible by car, and maybe not all Big Boy restaurants are good.. But I still think you should visit if you have a chance!
2 Steak Gusto
If you didn’t already know, Gusto is a very famous family restaurant chain in Japan, and Steak Gusto specializes in of course, Steak!
At Steak Gusto, an all-you-can-eat side and salad bar comes with your order of a main dish, so I think it’s great when you want to eat a ton on a low cost. The side and salad bar includes freshly baked bread, white rice, Japanese curry, your typical fresh salad fare and a drink bar. I have to admit, I normally eat about 5-7 bread rolls while there..
When you’re looking for a quick meal at any time of the day, and don’t really have anything particular in mind, HottoMotto is the best bento for you. Typically, almost any bento on HottoMotto’s menu is ¥500 or less. My favorite is the karaage, which I like to eat with plenty of lemon juice.
Many popular clothing stores from overseas, such as H&M, Forever 21, Zara, and Gap have locations all over Japan, and they are very popular. But have you ever been to Shimamura, Jeans Mate or Nishimatsuya? You might like to shops you are familiar with, but you might like what you find at the ones you aren’t as familiar with, too.
Shimamura is a popular clothing store chain located across Japan, mainly in smaller cities and suburbs of larger cities. Their prices are among the lowest, and the style and quality is similar to that of UNIQLO. I think this store is best for women, but they have clothes for the whole family!
2 Jeans Mate
I used to love to go to Jeans Mate a lot during Junior High School. People in Japan love to buy their Dickies’s brand Chino Pants at Jeans Mate, and many other famous Jeans brands. They also have a wide range of sizes available, particularly for men.
Parents with small children in Japan are often familiar with the shop Akachan Honpo, but many people complain about the high prices. If you are one of those people, you should try Nishimatsuya! Overall, items are priced much cheaper at Nishimatsuya, and they have a wide variety of baby, kids and mom good and clothes. I highly recommend it for all families!
1 Don Quixote
Most Don Quixote stores are open 24 hours a day, and offer a maze-like plethora of daily necessities, toiletries, cosmetics, electrical appliances, clothing, groceries and much much more. If you can’t find what you’re looking for at any other store, get to Don Quixote because you’re likely to find just what you need there!
I think most people who have lived in Japan for some time should know about Daiso, but if you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a ¥100 shop. Almost anything can be found at Daiso, and they have tons of things which have been designed to make your life easier. They even have gardening supplies and tableware, and while some of these items are more expensive than ¥100, they are still far cheaper than larger stores.
3 Matsumoto Kiyoshi
Matsumoto Kiyoshi is probably the most famous drug store in Japan. This drug store has a rich assortment of high quality toiletries and cosmetics. Sometimes it’s nice to just go into this drug store to look at (and perhaps try!) all of the great products they offer.