Shopping in Osaka: Where to Shop and What I Bought
Since I only had two days in Osaka and most of my time was spent on getting to eateries, I couldn’t shop nearly as much as I wanted to and walked past many shops and department stores. There are hundreds of opportunities to shop in and around Osaka, including the infamously crowded Dotonbori/Shinsaibashi area, but if you’re not into the mayhem and chaos of the crowd like I, then I would recommend going to less crowded areas like Umeda/Kita. This area is still crowded and busy, however, although not nearly as crowded as Dotonbori.
Where to Shop:
Some of the areas that I got to walk by and made an impression on me to want to return to shop were the Grand Front Osaka, Lucua at the Osaka Station, Hankyu Department Store in Umeda/Kita, Loft, and the small streets full of shops like Anna Sui and department store like EST on Kakudacho, and all the cute/cool shops on Orange Street. There was a huge toy store in Hankyu Sanganbai that was full of cute characters, where both children and kidults alike would want to spend hours in. At the time of our visit, there were displays of “block museum” that showcased impressive art work made entirely out of what looked like Lego pieces.
Well-known Japanese brands like Uniqlo, Muji, and Daiso were frequently spotted, and while I did stop by these stores, the only store where I bought clothing was at a store called GU. GU is a brand that offers more trendy apparel at the same affordable prices (or cheaper) as its sister brand, Uniqlo. Oftentimes, they are in the same building but on different floors. I purchased two soft knit sweaters for about $27 total. I found the check-out system very interesting, as it is self-check out, and instead of scanning the tags, all you need to do is place your purchase inside a cubicle under the register and the machine somehow detects and processes your order for you. All you need to do is follow the instructions to pay for your merchandise. Bagging your purchase is also self-serve. If your purchase qualifies for tax-free shopping, you would need to stand in a different line with a live cashier to process your order.
What I Bought:
I recommend visiting Daiso for its offering of Sanrio products at a very affordable price. I purchased almost all and any Sanrio products I spotted at a small Daiso near the Umeda Station. Most of the Sanrio items were pouches and personal care items like contact lens cases and travel toiletry containers. I also purchased makeup brush cleanser/shampoo at the recommendation of the lovely passenger next to me on the plane and oil blotting papers of various types.
A big ticket item that I purchased on this trip is the Refa Carat Ray Face Roller from the airport as it was duty free. I believe major department stores like Hankyu carries Refa face rollers and probably offer tax free shopping, but I didn’t have time to look until we were at the airport. Also, since it’s pricey, I was very hesitant to purchase the face roller without being certain about its effects/benefits. With my loving husband’s encouragement, I took the plunge and brought home with me this unicorn of face/body rollers that is supposedly life changing.
Refa Carat Ray claims to mimic the kneading motion that estheticians use for facial massages and produce the micro currents that run in our body to increase collagen production, which supposedly minimize lines and wrinkles, lift the skin/face, reduce puffiness, and help blood circulation. I won’t go into all the details, but following the recommended massage techniques and videos online, I can see the difference every time I use the Refa Ray. It’s definitely up to my diligence and maintenance to see progress, as what is the point of owning an expensive face roller if I don’t use it frequently, but when I do use it, I could tell that it’s working. I feel like this requires time with continuous use and diligence to reap the full benefits and overall, I’m very happy with this purchase. Just make sure to follow the directions well and don’t roll too hard (especially with down direction)!
Want to see what else I bought on my trip to Osaka? Click here!
Want to learn about tax free shopping in Japan? Click here!