(photos and video by Yingqian Zhao and Andrij Dynko)
You forgot again, didn’t you? Didn’t we warn you about this last time? You were having so much fun on your Tokyo adventure that you didn’t remember to buy gifts for the people back home until it was almost too late. Now you only have a few hours and you need to get some nice souvenirs, and fast!
No problem! If you can find the busiest intersection in the world at Shibuya Crossing, you are mere steps away from the solution to your omiyage dilemma. All you have to do is walk a six minutes from the Hachiko exit of the Shibuya JR. All of your souvenir and gift-shopping can be done in one trip to the fabulous Shibuya LOFT!
Shibuya LOFT’s Top Ten Souvenirs and Gift Items
So what treasures does Shibuya LOFT have to offer the discerning traveler? With the vast array of offerings, it was difficult to pick only ten things to recommend. Even if you don’t see anything here that strikes your fancy, make the trip anyway! It’s easy to get to, there are many discounts for tourists, and you’re certain to find a delightful surprise.
10. Character Items. In the souvenir shop on the 6th floor, you can get the Japanese interpretation on characters both foreign and domestic. The usual suspects of the Japanese animated world are there (Doreamon, Dragonball, etc) as well as the Japanese take on foreign characters.
Do you know who this is? This is Koppu no Fuchico, a cute little office lady that hangs from your coffee mug or tea cup (if you are unfamiliar with Koppu no Fuchico, you can see an explanation here). She and other cup hangers-on are popular with tourists, and they won’t bust your budget at 500-800 yen per figure.
9. Teapots. A simple gift from a country that knows their tea. Options range from the durable simplicity of the iron teapot to beautifully-decorated traditional models.
8. Chair Socks. You know how some people put tennis balls on the four legs of chairs to avoid scratching up the floor? Well, Japan came up with a more elegant solution that won’t send your dog into a frenzy. Chair socks protect your hardwood or tile flooring and gives your friends and neighbors something to shake their heads at. What will those crazy Japanese folks think up next?
7. 3-D Puzzles. 3-D puzzles of iconic Japanese subjects (sword stands, castles, and temples) are popular with tourists. They are packaged flat, making them easy to fit in your suitcase for the trip home.
6. Knives. Japan is renowned worldwide for the quality of their cutting instruments. Shibuya LOFT stocks a number of high-quality cutting implements (both steel and ceramic) suitable for home or professional use. Obviously, you may need to ship these home instead of fitting it into your suitcase, so please make arrangements for shipping before purchasing.
5. Postcards. The inexpensive way to brag about your trip! The first floor has a wide array of Japan-specific postcards to choose from. Send a shot of the Skytree, or a sumo tournament, or maybe one of a cat hanging out at a torii gate! Your hotel concierge will be able to assist you in sending a postcards through the post.
4. Bento Boxes. You’ve seen them on TV, anime, and even in person—and now you can have one of your very own! Styles range from the cute character boxes for children up to the understated elegance of boxes made for adults.
3. Stationery and Pens. It’s been stated before that Japan knows how to make beautiful stationery and writing utensils, and the basement of Shibuya LOFT is full of them. Sure, they have the Moleskines and fountain pens, but you can get that at home—this is where you choose from the vast array of notebooks and pens that have that certain Japanese something. Or maybe it just has a sumo wrestler on the cover. Hey, you know your friends and family better than I do.
2. Souvenir Sake Barrels. Sake barrels can be a work of art all by themselves. These tiny barrels actually have some liquor in them, so be careful about what you declare for customs! These will look great on a shelf and will make a great conversational piece.
1. 3-D Printed Statues – Of You! Shibuya LOFT has a 3D printing studio on the 6th floor. Here, you can strike a pose in front of 102 mounted cameras and have a photo-realistic statue made of yourself. It can be expensive, but on the other hand, they have a dressing room—and no one is going to stop you from making a 3-D statue of yourself in your ninja suit! Unlike other products at Shibuya LOFT, these statues can be shipped overseas and require approximately three weeks for delivery. Check out our separate article on the statues here!
Are you nervous about being a stranger in a strange land? Don’t be! Shibuya LOFT is six floors and a basement full of Japanese souvenir goodness, and their staff is ready and able to assist busy tourists.
First, you get a discount of 5% off your purchases (over 1080 yen) just for shopping there! Just show your passport at the counter to claim your discount. Also, Shibuya LOFT is a registered Japan Tax-Free Shop. After checking out, take your purchases, receipts, and passport to the Tax Refund Counter on the 6th floor to have the tax portion of your purchase refunded. No waiting in line at the airport! Both of these discounts combined will save you a bundle on your trip.
“That’s all well and good,” you might think. “But how am I actually going to get these discounts? I don’t speak Japanese!” Shibuya LOFT has already thought of that, and each floor has at least one English-speaking staff member to assist you with any questions you have and help you with your purchases. Problem solved!
And your bags? If you aren’t pressed for time and you don’t want to carry a bunch of bags through the streets of Tokyo, Shibuya LOFT can help with that, too! With a purchase of 450 yen or more, the store can ship your purchases to your local hotel (postal fees apply). Shipping in the city is fast, taking only a day to get your packages from the store to your hotel. How fast it gets into your suitcase for the flight home is entirely up to you. Unfortunately, Shibuya LOFT currently cannot ship overseas (with the exception of the 3-D statues).
Shibuya Loft Store Information
Nearest Station: 6-minute walk from Shibuya JR station (Hachiko exit). (Click on the map for walking directions via Google Maps)
Hours of Operation: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm daily.
“Why Go?”: For your last-minute souvenir-shopping and gift-giving needs!
Click on one of the tags below to explore other shopping options in Tokyo–