Hot places to shop in the year-end and New Year holidaysShinjuku, Roppongi, Shibuya and Harajuku have everything from established department stores to fashion buildings popular with young shoppers2012.12.

Once Christmas is over, department stores around Japan become busy making preparations for the New Year. And when the New Year arrives, stores are bustling with customers who visit to shop at the “hatsu-uri” sales (first retail business of the New Year) and related events. Many stores are open for business until December 31. In the New Year, stores open on January 1 or 2 and sales are held throughout the month of January. In famous Tokyo shopping districts such as Shinjuku, Roppongi, Shibuya and Harajuku, sales are held everywhere from established department stores to fashion buildings popular with young shoppers. Why not taste the best of shopping unique to this season, whether aiming for “fuku-bukuro” grab bags containing bargains on the first business day of New Year or just enjoying some shopping while soaking up the year-end atmosphere?

Unique charm of an established department store, and noted sales on winter clothing: Isetan Shinjuku

Established in 1933, “Isetan Shinjuku” now comprises two separate buildings: the main building focusing on ladies' fashion, and a second building for menswear. As one of Shinjuku's long-established department stores, Isetan Shinjuku has an excellent reputation for its expansive range of fashion items and has recently become very popular for its “depa-chika sweets” from specialist Japanese and international confectioners. As a noted food center, the souvenir cakes and Japanese sweets on sale here are frequently featured on TV and in magazines.
The store is open until December 31, and business in the New Year starts from January 2. Holiday sales of winter clothing and goods will start from January 18. There is a “Foreign Customers' Counter” on the 6th floor of the main building, and money from six currencies (US dollars, Euros, Chinese yuan, Taiwan dollars, Korean won, and Singapore dollars) can be converted into Japanese yen.


 
Isetan Shinjuku
Location
3-14-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 

Tel.
03-3352-1111

Business hours
10:00 – 20:00 (subject to change depending on the date)/some irregular holidays
*December 31: 10:00 – 18:00
*Closed on January 1. New Year business commences from January 2.

Sales period: Starts January 18

Access
Metro Promenade Exits B5/B4/B3
1-minute walk from Tokyo Metro Shinjuku-sanchome Station
2-minute walk from Shinjuku-sanchome Station on Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line
3-minute walk from Shinjuku-sanchome Station on Toei Shinjuku Line
5-minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station


 

A rich integrated complex where you can appreciate art in between shopping: Tokyo Midtown

“Tokyo Midtown” is a large-scale complex rivaling Roppongi Hills. Inside, there is a Midtown Garden landscaped in the style of a traditional Japanese garden, which is also flanked by the Minato-ku Hinoki-cho Park built on the site of the Daimyo gardens. The Midtown Tower, which soars from the center of the site, features “The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo”, the “Suntory Museum” in the Galleria building, the “Billboard Live Tokyo” venue and much more, with around 130 shops and restaurants to discover. The facilities feature public art installations by celebrated Japanese and international artists, so you can appreciate art in between shopping. Sales in 2013 commence from January 2.
 
Tokyo Midtown
Location
9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 

Tel.
03-3475-3100

Business hours
Shops: 11:00 – 21:00, Restaurants: 11:00 – 21:00 (subject to change at some facilities)/open every day
*Whole building closed on January 1. New Year business commences from January 2.

Access
Directly connected to Roppongi Station on Toei Oedo Line (Exit 8)
3-minute walk from Nogizaka Station on Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line


 
What kind of decorations can be found in the entrances of shopping destinations?
New Year's pine decoration at the entrance of Laforet HARAJUKU From New Year's Day through to January 7, department stores and commercial facilities nation-wide put up pairs of New Year's pine decorations called “Kadomatsu” or “Matsukazari” at their entrances as lucky charms (the period of decoration changes slightly from region to region, depending on local customs and thinking). The purpose of decorating entrances with these New Year's pine decorations is to usher in the gods together with the arrival of the New Year. The form of these pine decorations varies slightly in each region – in Kanto, it is normal for three bamboo sticks of differing lengths to be inserted with short pines and tied together with straw. Some stores even set up New Year's pine decorations that are several meters tall. These decorations can only be seen at this time of year, so make sure you check them out!
 

Open throughout winter holidays, with great expectations for sales of fashion items: Shibuya PARCO

“Shibuya PARCO” is one of the leading complexes in Shibuya, which is famous for being a town for young people. It comprises several buildings along Shibuya Koen-dori, including “PARCO PART1”, “PARCO PART3”, which is linked to the “CINE QUINTO” cinema (on the 8th floor) and the “ZERO GATE” fashion building, all of which are established on complex terrain surrounded by hills. PARCO PART1 features the “PARCO Museum” (3rd floor) and “PARCO Theater” (9th floor), and as well as fashion items and goods, it also functions as an artistic center. Shibuya PARCO is open every day even during the year-end and New Year periods.
 
Shibuya PARCO
Location
15-1 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Tel.
03-3464-5111

Business hours
Shopping: 10:00 - 21:00
Restaurants (PART1/floors 7/8): 11:00 – 23:30 (11:00 – 24:00 on Fridays, Saturdays and days immediately before national holidays)
Holiday opening
*On December 31, Shopping: 10:00 – 19:00, Restaurants: 11:00 – 21:00
*On January 1, Shopping: 11:00 – 19:00, Restaurants: 12:00 – 19:00

Access
5-minute walk from JR Shibuya Station (Hachiko Exit)


 

“Fuku-bukuro” grab bags on January 1 and sales at the end of the month: Laforet HARAJUKU

Established in 1978, “Laforet HARAJUKU” is the most famous fashion building in Harajuku. From the 1.5 levels underground to the 5th floor above ground, around 130 shops can be found here, including stores selling fashion items and goods, as well as cafes and more, stocking a wide range of items ranging from fashionable brands to unique gothic-infused original Japanese fashions. Laforet HARAJUKU is open every day of the year, including during the New Year period. “Fuku-bukuro” grab bags containing bargains are put on sale by each store on January 1 to mark the first day of business in the New Year. These bags contain multiple comparatively cheap items, and in many cases it is not possible to check the contents before purchase. Many people form long queues on the first day of the “Grand Bazaar”, which is held every year at the end of January.
 
Laforet HARAJUKU
Location
1-11-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Tel.
03-3475-0411

Business hours
11:00 – 20:00, open every day (excluding special building closure)
*December 8 to 25 (Christmas period): 11:00 – 21:00
*December 31: 11:00 - 18:00
*January 1: 09:00 – 18:00

Access
5-minute walk from Meiji-jingumae 'Harajuku' Station (Exit 5) on Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line/Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line
5-minute walk from JR Harajuku Station (Omotesando Exit)


 
Moving between shops is easy if you use the Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line
By using the Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line, which cuts across Tokyo's three main urban subcenters of Ikebukuro, Shinjuku and Shibuya, you will be able to efficiently get around the shopping areas of Tokyo. From March 2013, the Fukutoshin Line will also provide convenient access to Yokohama by incorporating the Tokyu Toyoko Line and Yokohama Minatomirai Railway Line.
E.g. Shinjuku-sanchome Station→Meiji-Jingumae Station→Shibuya Station
  Isetan Shinjuku   Laforet HARAJUKU  Shibuya PARCO
  *To get to Tokyo Midtown, head to Nogizaka Station after transferring to the Chiyoda Line at Meiji-Jingumae Station
 

Sales information for main department stores around Japan

Sapporo
Tokyu Department Store Sapporo Branch
*“Ladies' Goods Bargain” runs from January 10 to 16, closing at 17:00 on the final day.
*“Ladies' Shoes, Handbags and Accessories Bargain” and “Ladies' Winter Clothing Clearance Sale” run from January 17 to 23, closing at 17:00 on the final day.
* “Queen & Margaret Size Bargain”, “Interior Carpet Bargain” and “Children's Clothing Character Brand Clearance Sale” run from January 24 to 30, closing at 17:00 on the final day.
 
Daimaru Sapporo
*“Daimaru Sapporo Clearance Sale” is now on.
 
IKEUCHI Sapporo
*“WINTER TWIN BAZAR” with 20%-70% OFF is now on in the whole building.
 
Sendai
Fujisaki Main Branch
“Ladies' Formal Wear Service Meeting”, “Living Room Goods Jumble Market” and “Jewelry Settlement Bargain” run from January 17 to 22 at the Event Hall on the 7th floor.
 
Sendai Forus
*“FORUS BARGAIN” runs until January 11.
 
Sendai PARCO
*“PARCO Grand Bazaar” runs until January 20.
 
Tokyo
Daimaru Tokyo
*“Clearance Sale” runs until January 29
 
Shinjuku Takashimaya
*“Ladies' Clothing Formal Wear Bargain” runs until January 8 at the Event Hall on the 11th floor.
*“Ladies' Clothing and Goods Winter Fashion Bargain” runs from January 17 to 23 at the Event Hall on the 11th floor.
 
Printemps Ginza
*“Repeat Price Reduction Brand Bargain!” runs from January 16 to 29 on the 5th floor of the main building.
 
Nagoya
Matsuzakaya Nagoya
*“L/S Size & M Size Winter Ladies' Clothing Full-Size Bargain” runs from January 16 to 21 at the Large Event Hall on the 7th floor of the main building, closing at 18:00 on the final day.
*“Pick & Choose Any 3 Ladies' Clothing Items for 9,900 Yen Inc. Tax Sale” runs from January 23 to 28 at the Large Event Hall on the 7th floor of the main building, closing at 18:00 on the final day.
 
Maruei
*“Maruei Winter Christmas” runs in the whole building from January 2 to 16.
 
Meitetsu Department Store Main Branch
*“Winter Christmas” runs until January 15.
 
Osaka
Daimaru Umeda
*“Clearance Sale” is now on.
 
Osaka Takashimaya
*“Takashimaya Clearance” is now on.
*“Takashimaya Interior Festival” runs from January 23 to 28 at the Event Hall on the 7th floor, closing at 18:00 on the final day.
 
Kintetsu Department Store Abeno Branch
*“Kintetsu Clearance Sale” runs until January 23.
*“247LOVE Ladies' Young Fashion Outlet Sale” runs from January 10 to 16 at the Event Square on the 2nd floor.
 
Fukuoka
Iwataya Main Branch
*“Iwataya Winder Sale” is now on in the whole building.
 
Daimaru Fukuoka Tenjin
*“Daimaru Clearance Sale” runs in the whole building until January 15.
*“Daimaru Grand Clearance Festival” runs in the whole building from January 16 to 29.
 
Fukuoka Mitsukoshi
*“Mitsukoshi Winter Bargain” runs on every floor until January 17.
 
Naha
Okinawa Mitsukoshi
*“Ladies' Clothing, Shoes and Handbag Bargain” runs from January 22 to 24 at the Event Plaza on the 6th floor.
 
Ryubo
*“Stylish Goods Bargain” runs from January 8 to 14 at the Event Hall on the 6th floor, closing at 17:00 on the final day.
 

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