Shopping in Japan has always been a part of every tourist’s travel itinerary. With easy access to the country’s major shopping districts, it is so much easier to head out and splurge on designer goods or unique local finds. From handmade goodies to the latest electronics and fashion trends, everything you want and need is here in Japan. For today’s Japan travel guide, we will let you in on the things you need to know about the country’s new tax-free system which might convince you to shop more on your next trip to the Land of the Rising Sun!
The secret to discounted prices when shopping in Japan is to know the best time to shop! Japan has seasonal sales every summer and winter – during which prices of products will be sold for 30% to 60% discount – and sometimes can even go up to a 90% discount! So if you’re planning to indulge in a Japan shopping spree, do so on summer which starts from late June to mid-July, or winter which is from the end of December until New Year in January.
Department stores are considered to be Japanese tourist places and must-visit shopping haven in the country. They are also busiest on Sundays so if you want to steer clear of the crowd, avoid going on Sundays. Opening hours are generally from 10 AM to 7 PM but in some areas, you can also find 24-hour department stores. This means you have all day to explore different Japan attractions then complete your shopping list at night!
Basic Tax Refund
The new shopping policy introduced by the Japan Tourism Agency states that as of May 1, 2016, the minimum applicable purchase price of ¥10,000 per person is now changed to ¥5,000. This covers both consumable items and general merchandise goods.
Consumables: Daily consumables (food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, etc.)
General Goods: General items (Appliances, Bags, Watches, Clothing, etc.)
Nowadays, many large drugstores have electronically implemented the tax exemption procedures making it a much faster process than manually filling out personal data for passengers when handling tax refunds during your Japan travel.
Tax Refund Process
Licensed stores in Japan will have the tax-free shop logo outside their stores so you can easily identify if the certain shop you’re eyeing can save you from paying tax during your trip!
There are 2 ways to apply for tax redemption when in Japan.
First is to pay the amount with the 8% tax deduction or you can go to the tax refund counter of the store, present your passport, purchased items and receipt (which can only be done on the day the purchase was made). The clerk will ask you to fill up 2 copies (one for you and one for their copy) of the purchase proof document with your passport number, country address, amount of purchase and amount of tax refund. When you arrive at the customs office in the airport, the authorized person will ask for the purchase proof document.
Tourists who will be applying for tax refunds in Japan can do so through the following options: Cash, Check or Credit Card.
Know more about Japan and explore the country with the help of our Japan travel guides. Get to know the places to visit in Japan, where to eat, food to eat and attractions you can’t miss. You can also check out other places in Asia which are great holiday destinations!
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