Ainz & Tulpe is like an elevated chain drugstore in Tokyo. Unlike the traditional drugstore like the Matsumoto-Kiyoshi with its garish discount signs and cramped aisles, the Ainz & Tulpe is a spacious and modern way to shop for beauty.You will find all the best drugstore brands, certified organic beauty, and even international brands popular in Europe. They have a skincare rankings wall that lists out their top picks so you can research ahead of time the popular items in Japan (and it’s NOT what you think)! The name is German and it stands for “One & Tulip”, derived from their pharmaceutical parent company. How is this store different than the Loft, another recommended beauty shop for tourists? For one, Ainz & Tulpe focuses on beauty, cosmetics and facial tools and doesn’t have room for anything else like home goods or stationery except if they are trending hard. There are also beauty consultants in the downstairs basement who work for Shiseido, SK-II, Kose, Kanebo and Sofina so you can get one on one attention for your needs. I’m not sure what the level of English proficiency is as the Ainz & Tulpe attracts both tourists and locals. Their excellent product displays, stylish store setting and wide selection makes it into one of my recommended stores to visit in my Shopping Guide for Tourists in Tokyo, Japan. Click to see more!
Loft is most recommended for tourists as it’s the go-to for Japanese inspired knick knacks, stationery, toteable home goods and of course, beauty. You can find Star Wars themed toys, anime items, pretty paper fans, photo frames, travel accessories and cultural items too. The MoMa Design Store has a small section as well. Beauty-wise, they have everything the drugstores carried as well as some natural brands too. It’s a beautiful space to shop and the Shibuya location even has a bar and sit-down section that serves alcohol and small bites if you need to rest. There are wide aisles and it’s not the same chaotic and cramped experience you’ll get shopping at a Matsumoto Kyoshi or Don Quijote store. How the tax-free system works here is that you have buy all your items first and then head to the top floor to wait on another line in order to have the taxes refunded back to you. This means you can make a purchase as many times as you want, but you must save all your receipts in order to have the tax-free counter refund and wrap your consumable items in a tamper-free bag. Read more tips like this on my Shopping Tips as a Tourist in Japan post. Now onto the photo tour!
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!
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.