Drugstore Shopping in Osaka and My Purchase
Similar to Paris, the drugstore or pharmacy in Japan sells so much more than just medications and medical supplies. It’s home to many Japanese skin care and makeup products, and women (and men) from different countries go all out shopping at the drugstore. I, too, dragged my poor husband along to a random drugstore nearby our hotel at the recommendation of his younger female cousins, and shopped for well over an hour until closing time.
The drug store I went to is a two-story pharmacy called Sugi Drug (Japan, 〒530-0012 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Kita, Shibata, 一丁目1番23号; 9 AM-11 PM daily; +81 6-6376-5601) near Osaka Station. First floor had the typical items you’d find at a drug store, such as different types of medications and supplies, as well as some snacks, laundry detergent, and other personal care items. The second floor was dedicated to all things beauty, including makeup, skin care products, hair products, and beauty tools.
There were cash registers on both floors, and as the second floor was full of Chinese tourists with huge lines, I, more like my husband, lugged all of my items downstairs to stand in the much shorter line for the cash register. We stood in line for tax-free shopping, where some customers seemed to be buying up the whole store.
When it was our turn, we showed our passport to the cashier and requested tax-free shopping. The cashier carefully scanned everything and placed our items back in the basket. He had us fill out some paperwork, gave us a piece of paper that had our scanned items on it, then instructed us to wait for another register, where we actually paid for the items. After we paid and the staff stapled the receipt and customs document to the passport, we were instructed to wait on the side to retrieve our purchase. Another store clerk bagged our purchase in two special bags for duty free shopping and sealed the bags to prevent us from using the purchased items during our stay in Japan. Read more about tax-free shopping in Osaka here.
1) Ask the clerk to separate the items into multiple bags to make it easier for you to pack everything in your suitcase. Unfortunately, we forgot to do this, so packing our suitcase became a bit tricky.
2) Check out the Cosme stores (kind of similar to Sephora) to find out their best selling products and if you have time, do a price comparison with a drugstore to determine where you’d get the best price. The Cosme store I went to didn’t offer tax-free shopping, so I just quickly browsed to get an idea and bought my makeup from the drugstore. The duty is 8%, however, so keep that in mind when doing price comparisons, as some products at Cosme may be cheaper even with the 8% duty.
3) If you don’t have time to check out Cosme, then look for stickers on products that say No. 1 Cosme and some year. These products were the best selling products of that year.
My purchase included the following: Kiss Me Heroine Make Long & Curl Mascara, Kiss Me Heroine Volume & Curl Mascara, Kiss Me Heroine Make Mascara Remover, Shiseido Majolica Majorca Lash King Mascara, K-Palette 1 Day Tattoo Long Lasting Eyeliner, Shiseido 215 mini eyelash curler and rubber pad refill, Shiseido Eyelash Curler 214 rubber pad refill, Arouge Makeup Remover, Minon Amino Moist Milk Toner, Oshima Tsubaki Camellia Hair Care Oil, Asahi R & D Placenta Hyaluronic Acid Lotion, Skin Aqua Super Moisture Milk SPF 50 Sunscreen, Canmake Mermaid UV Skin Gel, Suisai Beauty Clear Powder, Green Bell G-1114 Nail Clippers, Lion Foot Relax Cooling Foot Gel Patch with Protrusion, Kao Megurhythm Hot Steam Eye Mask, Unicharm Silcot Uruuru Facial Cotton Pads, Shoulder Adhesive Heating Pads.
So far, I’ve only used the Kiss Me Heroine Make Long & Curl Mascara, Kiss Me Heroine Make Mascara Remover, Asahi R & D Placenta Hyaluronic Acid Lotion, Canmake Mermaid UV Skin Gel, Unicharm cotton pads, Lion Foot Patch, Megurhythm Hot Steam Eye Mask, Shiseido mini eyelash curler, and shoulder heating pads.
Love: Lion Foot Patch and Megurhythm Hot Steam Eye Mask (they both feel great!).
Like: Asahi R & D Placenta Hyaluronic Acid Lotion, Kiss Me Heroine Make Long & Curl Mascara, shoulder heating pads, and Kiss Me Heroine Mascara Remover (they all seem to do whatever they advertise).
Alright: Unicharm Silcot Uruuru Facial Cotton Pads (interesting texture, recommended for using as mini sheet masks, especially for the eyes, not recommended for taking off makeup or nail polish).
Unsure: Canmake Mermaid UV Skin Gel (seems a bit drying).
Waste of money: Shiseido 215 mini eyelash curler (doesn’t work well at all and leaves eyelashes looking crimped).
I also purchased some candy and jelly from the drugstore to give as gifts. Husband’s cousins recommended smaller bags of jelly instead of the particular brand I was going to get due to the size, which I regret. I bought the brand of peach jellies I wanted at the airport, and compared to the smaller ones from the drugstore, the brand I originally wanted tasted much better. See below for pictures of all of my purchases!