14 Crazy Japanese Shopping Rules That Will Blow Your Mind


Japanese shopping rules

When it comes to going shopping, every nation has its own distinct set of norms and practices that shoppers must adhere to. Even the most seasoned travellers may be taken aback by some of Japanese shopping rules. Japan is well-known for its deep cultural heritage and long-standing customs. In this article, we will discuss the most bizarre shopping customs that are unique to Japan and that you have likely never encountered before. Get ready to delve into the fascinating world of Japanese shopping etiquette, where you can expect to find everything from impeccable customer service to unusual payment methods.

The KonMari Shopping Experience: Sparking Joy in Every Purchase

Shopping Rule #1: Only Buy What Sparks Joy

The KonMari method, which was made popular by Marie Kondo, has had an effect not only on the way people organize their homes but also on the way they shop. Customers are strongly encouraged to follow this guideline and purchase only those things that bring them genuine happiness. The days of mindless consumerism are long gone, and in their place is a focus on cherishing possessions that have meaning and a purpose in one’s life.

Shopping Rule #2: A Bow for Every Purchase

The practise of expressing gratitude is an integral component of day-to-day life in Japan, and shopping is no exception to this rule. Following the completion of a transaction, it is customary for the shopper and the members of the retail staff to bow to one another as a demonstration of gratitude and respect for one another. This uncomplicated action contributes to the overall pleasantness of the shopping trip.

The Art of Shopping in Vending Machines

Shopping Rule #3: Vending Machines for Everything

The vast selection of vending machines found throughout Japan represents a brand-new benchmark for ease of use. You can find vending machines selling just about anything these days, from beverages and snacks to hot meals and even clothing items. Vending machines are everywhere. You are able to indulge in instant gratification thanks to this one-of-a-kind shopping experience that is simultaneously exciting and efficient.

Shopping Rule #4: Perfect Change Required

It is essential to have the correct amount of change on hand when using vending machines in Japan. Because these machines do not typically accept large bills, you should ensure that you have a sufficient supply of coins and small bills on hand. If you find yourself in a situation where you do not have enough change, you can go to the convenience store that is located closest to you because they frequently offer services to exchange money for different amounts.

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The Intricacies of Japanese Department Stores

Shopping Rule #5: Gifting Etiquette

There are a few traditions that should be taken into consideration before making any gift purchases in Japan. It is common practise to present gifts in attractively wrapped packages because the manner in which the present is given is just as significant as the present itself. When receiving a gift, it is considered polite to decline the initial offer made by the giver. This demonstrates both humility and gratitude.

Shopping Rule #6: The Art of Browsing

The act of perusing merchandise at one’s leisure is considered something of an art form in Japanese department stores. Even if they are not planning to make any purchases right away, visitors are encouraged to take their time and explore the different sections and floors of the building. Customers are able to fully submerge themselves in the shopping experience when they take a relaxed approach to the process.

Unique Payment Methods in Japan

Shopping Rule #7: Cash is King

Japan is still primarily a society that uses cash for most transactions, in contrast to many other countries which are moving towards cashless payment systems. When going shopping, it is best to carry sufficient cash with you just in case some of the smaller shops and establishments you visit do not accept credit cards or other forms of electronic payment. Convenience stores and post offices frequently house ATM machines for customers’ use.

Shopping Rule #8: The Iconic Suica and Pasmo Cards

Cards for public transportation in Japan, such as the Suica and the Pasmo, serve a dual function. In addition to their primary function of making travel more convenient, these cards can also be used to make cashless payments at a variety of retailers and vending machines, as well as in dining establishments. These reloadable cards are convenient and are accepted in a variety of locations across the nation.

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Some More Crazy Japanese Shopping Rules Never Heard Before

Shopping in Japan follows a set of rules that are both interesting and unconventional, which contributes to the country’s one-of-a-kind culture. The following are some additional bizarre guidelines for shopping that you may or may not have heard before:

Shopping Rule #9: Furoshiki Wrapping Technique

Furoshiki is a traditional wrapping cloth that can be used to package your purchases at some of the shops in Japan. This greener alternative not only lends an air of refined sophistication, but it also encourages people to live more sustainably.

Shopping Rule #10: Try Before You Buy

Customers are strongly encouraged to try out various cosmetics and toiletries before making a purchase in a lot of the shops that sell them in Japan. Customers are able to make educated choices about the products they purchase because testers are readily available for everything from skincare to makeup.

Shopping Rule #11: No Haggling

Japan adheres to a “no haggling” policy that is strictly enforced, in contrast to many other countries in the world. In most cases, the prices that are displayed are set in stone, and any attempt at haggling over them could be perceived as impolite.

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Shopping Rule #12: The Art of Folding

The careful folding methods used in Japanese clothing stores are a source of great pride for the shops. The garments are folded and arranged in such a way as to create displays that are visually appealing and highlight the attention to detail that the store provides.

Shopping Rule #13: Bagging Services

Larger department stores typically have staff members who are specifically tasked with providing bagging services for customers’ purchases. The fact that your items will be packaged with care and safeguarded in this way contributes to an improved shopping experience overall.

Shopping Rule #14: Point Cards Galore

It is common knowledge that Japan has a plethora of point card or reward programme options. These cards are accepted everywhere from grocery stores to high-end fashion boutiques, and they enable customers to earn points with each purchase, which can then be redeemed for discounts or other special privileges in the future.


The rules that are followed in Japanese shopping go beyond those of a simple transaction and instead reflect the core values of respect, mindfulness, and meticulousness. The philosophy of KonMari, the art of window shopping, and the one-of-a-kind nature of vending machines are just a few examples of how Japan’s shopping culture is a fascinating blend of innovation and tradition. You will be able to fully immerse yourself in the extraordinary shopping experience that Japan has to offer if you accept and adhere to these guidelines.

It is important to keep in mind that the next time you travel to Japan, you should make sure to stop and appreciate the meticulous attention to detail, the unparalleled customer service, and the lively shopping scenes that make this country truly exceptional.

Few More Queries

FAQ 1: Is it common to tip in Japanese stores?

No, tipping is not customary in Japanese stores. Excellent service is expected and included in the price of the goods or services.

FAQ 2: Are there any restrictions on tax-free shopping in Japan?

Yes, tax-free shopping is available for tourists in Japan, but there are certain conditions to qualify for tax exemption. You will need to show your passport and spend a minimum amount in eligible stores.

FAQ 3: Can I try on shoes in Japanese shoe stores?

Trying on shoes in most Japanese shoe stores is not common. Instead, they provide shoe size samples or measuring tools to help you find the right fit.

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