Tokyo, Japan: Shopping Tips as a Tourist

I went to Tokyo, Japan last fall and I’ve compiled some tips and must-know facts about shopping as a tourist in this awesome city. This post is a complement to my upcoming Tokyo, Japan Shopping Guide that will be complete with a Google Map and links to multiple photo tours of my favorite Japanese beauty shops (it’s gonna be Godzilla size). You can plan your hotel stay strategically around the shops you want to visit the most (I stayed in Shinjuku and Shibuya). Tax/duty-free stores are clearly marked because Japan want foreigners to shop and make it very easy for us to do so. Below are tips about shopping tax-free and duty-free, making the most out of Narita Airport (shopping heaven) and things to bring with you that can really save your trip!

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What To Buy In Japan! My Tokyo Haul (50+ Items)

I was in Tokyo, Japan for two blissful weeks and I’m back with a pretty big haul to show you! I went in with a small list of most recommended products because I really didn’t need to buy anything but still came back with a table full of kawaii (cute) makeup, skincare and random cat items! When shopping for cosmetics in Japan, look for the “#1” stickers that are usually in shiny foil right on the plastic packaging. It’s a safe bet if you want “the best” thing to buy. I generally stuck to popular drugstore items because they’re reasonably priced and they’ve been vouched for by millions of users through Cosme, a Japanese beauty community who rank products. I like to think of it like a Japanese Yelp but for beauty products. The haul below is probably what a lot of first-timers in Japan would also buy so check out to see if anything interests you! You can find most of these in the Matsumoto Kyoshi, Don Quiote, Loft (in Shibuya), and Ainz & Tuple. I plan to do a must-go shopping post in Tokyo too. Click below to see my 50+ items! Damn, I did that much damage.

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NYC K-Beauty Shopping Guide (with Google Maps!)

If you’re making an effort to come to Manhattan Chinatown for K-Beauty/Asian Beauty shopping, I created a route for so you can visit these stores in one go. I’ve listed it in this particular order for best efficiency if you’re coming out of the Canal Street subway station 6, N, R, Q or Z trains. I plan to keep adding to this guide and I made a special Google Map with all these places listed! SCROLL DOWN TO VIEW THE MAP and see how you can print it out too. Bookmark/subscribe to my blog for updates!

Updated to include Koreatown and Union Square/East Village/SoHo – Click to see the full list!  View Post

Warning: Photo dump post/cosmetic porn ahead.

I’ve been living in Chinatown/LES Manhattan for almost 3 decades and I’ve seen my neighborhood transform from humble mom and pop shops to retail giants and new condo developments moving in. Before Asian beauty products ever came to the attention of Westerners, local Chinatown pharmacies and facial places would stock up on our home country’s beauty essentials.

I noticed that an old supermarket favorite, New Kam Man, has been getting a lot of attention because of it’s heavenly second floor of Asian beauty goods where I used to peruse in high school (more for the Hello Kitty products). They first opened in the early 1970’s as the largest Asian supermarket and operate 3 floors of beauty, food and home/kitchen goods. I went to Yelp to see if anyone has done this place any justice and while there were only a FEW photos of the beauty selection, it doesn’t give someone a good idea of all the offerings or price points. So, I went to do a visit and came back with drool-worthy EYECANDY. Check out my photo dump after the jump!  View Post