Details on shopping, where to find what you're looking for, and how to know which shops to look out for.
For information on groceries in stores, follow this link: Grocery Shopping


Food/Grocery stores
Big Grocery Store Chains:
Youme Town
Max Value
Most department stores will have a grocery store on one of the lower floors, even if it's a small department store
Many smaller towns have mom & pop run grocery stores, so make sure to keep an eye out for them.
In times of need, convenience stores do stock bread, milk, eggs, and a limited selection of fruit and veg.

Home stores
Similar to hardware stores, containing tools and clothing for hands on work, as well as household items and light furniture.

100 yen/discount stores
Stores that sell a large range of items for only 105 yen (includes tax), but some items may cost a little more. Quite decent quality too.
Daiso - Often located next to a Hallows, but have a number of individual locations.
100 yen plaza - basically anything that says 100 yen

Drug Stores
Sellers of medicine, cosmetics, sunscreen, toiletries, bandages, medicine, and ramen, among other things. Often sells bug and mold prevention things as well.
Anything that has くすり in its name.
Love Drug
Godai Drug

2nd Hand Stores
A great place to buy cheap furniture, household goods, media...
Check out our map of secondhand stores.
Also look for 'recycle' or 'second hand' (中古品)shops.
Sofmap in Bic Camera sells used electronics, DVDs and games.
Sometimes smaller game stores will also have used games.


DVD rental - Japan is region 2
Renting online from places like iTunes

Bic Camera
Deo deo
Yamada Denki

Internet Cafes
Check out our map of Net Cafes (where you can use the internet or crash overnight cheaply).

International Goods

Jupiter (Under Okayama Station in the Ichibangai (underground shopping area))
Plaza (also located in the Ichibangai, in the basement of the Takashimaya department store)
Kaldi Coffee Farm (Located in ARIO mall in Kurashiki)
Sometimes, especially at larger grocery stores, you can find a decent variety of spices and, sometimes, other imported goods or equivalents.

Some excellent websites to know about are:
Foreign Buyers Club - Buy many international food products and even English teaching materials. They have a store in Kobe.
Yoyo Market - Similar to the FBC, but with the added feature of being able to order items from COSTCO and IKEA.
The Meat Guy - Any kind of meat you can think of, delivered directly to your door.

English Language Goods

Maruzen - Okayama City. Has an English language book section as well as a Japanese study section (inside the Symphony Hall building, near tram stop 'Shiroshita')
Tip: If a book you really want is unavailable, try They do not charge for shipping books inside of Japan, and may have books available earlier.

Finding imported games in shops is difficult/rare. Buying them online is easier and more convenient. ( is quite reliable for this, as is the imported games section)

'Boardwalk' on Kencho-dori sells board games and carries a lot of English games, and can order ones that aren't in stock. The guy who runs it also speaks an amazing amount of English.

Tsutaya - sell and rent foreign language films, with optional Japanese subtitles (requires a Japanese DVD player or other region 2 equipment).
Tower Records - Number of locations and has sections for English films and TV series.

Stickers, Stationary and Work Related Items
Loft - a store that sells all sorts bits and pieces on multiple floors. Good for a variety of stickers and stationary. You can also buy things for your house, novelty goods and many random items.
Maruzen - (as mentioned above) also has a good selection of paper, art supplies, cards and stickers on the lower (basement) level.

General Shopping & Department Stores

AEON mall
Located in Kurashiki, AEON is your basic shopping mall. Lots of stores, from Jusco to UNIQLO and Muji, plus it has lots of food places and a movie theater.
How to get there: From the station in Kurashiki, go right out of the ticket gates and down the stairs at the end. Make a left at the bottom of the stairs and the buses all stop there. Look for the bus that says イオンモール.

The opening of this new mall outside Kurashiki station caused quite a stir amongst us JETs. Yes-it has a Krispy Kreme donuts. Yes-it has a Jump Store selling all the anime goods you could desire and YES YES YES-It has Cold Stone, an ice cream cafe where they sing for any customer who orders from them-always a good tale to relate if you want to get your students very excited indeed. There is also an excellent food court, arcades and a fair variety of shops within the mall itself.
Behind Ario is the Mitsui outlet, which has a large variety of clothing and other stores. There's even an official Lego store.

Itoyokado イトーヨーカドー
Located in Okayama city, next to Joypolis (follow the main road to the right on the East exit of Okayama station). A general department store with floors for mens, womens and childrens clothes, along with toys and entertainment, kitchen and home, and the usual department store fare. A decent place to check for a variety of brands of clothing to fit any budget.

UNIQLO Website
A clothing store with a number of locations. Their basic stock is often basic flat colours and simple designs, but the prices are pretty fair. UNIQLO also sells jeans in different cuts and sizes, and also have some flashier clothes. The range of sizes is fairly good (although stock may be limited on some items).

A large department store selling a large variety of items, from clothes to kitchenware and Japanese wares. Prices may be on the more expensive side.

A large department store selling a number of items.

A large department store selling a number of items, usually on the cheaper end

The CRED building hosts a number of clothing brand stores, along with home furnishing stores along with the book, music and movie store Kinokuniya.

Convenience Stores

Referred to in Japan as コンビニ (Conbini), they sell everything you may need that day. Food and drinks, alcohol, snacks, ties, socks, gloves, toothbrushes, pet food, DVDs, video games...
It is also possible to pay bills at conbini, and pay for purchases (Lawsons even allows packages to be delivered to the store for you to pick up later).
You can buy tickets to concerts and sports events from a 'ticket' machine, and their ATMs usually allow international bank cards.
The most frequent convenience stores in Okayama are 7-11, Lawsons and Family Mart, but there are a number of others you may find throughout Japan.