Top Ten Outlet Malls within a day trip of Tokyo
For those of you who love to shop and bargain, a great way to experience Japan is by visiting some of the outlet malls in and around Tokyo. They can make great date spots or be a fun way for the family to spend a day as there are usually facilities for kids too.
1. La Fete Tama Minami Osawa
Styled in to be a little like Provence in South France (little bit of a stretch) this spacious mall is a nice place to spend a day shopping and sampling the restaurants and cafes. There is also a toho movie theater nearby. Has the usual mix of sports, outdoor, fashion, lifestyle goods, pets, furniture etc. The spacious enviroment and greenery of Minami Osawa make this a relaxing day out.
2. Grandberrry mall
Grenberry mall is quite large and although it is an outlet mall, it also includes all manner of shops, from pet stores and hairdressers, to lifestyle and fashion shops. This mall is divided into four zones; a family and family life themed zone, a fresh foods zone, an outlet mall zone, and a communication and entertainment zone.
3. Lala Port
Lala Port has continued to grow through successive additions since its inception in 1981. It is now home to more than 540 stores, including many brand name stores, fashion houses, movie theater etc. It is one of the largest shopping malls in Japan and is located just on the border of Tokyo in Chiba, Funabashi.
4. Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza
Fashion is the main focus for this outlet mall, although there is a little of something for everyone. There is an imax theater, bowling alley and there are plenty of restaurants to enjoy. In the vicinity there is also a ski field and a couple of Onsens to enjoy (Hoshino Onsen is recommended).
5. Premium Outlet Mall at Gotenba
This outlet mall is one of the more expansive shopping malls around and has views of Mt Fuji on a clear day. There is every manner of foreign and domestic fashion brand as well as lifestyle stores and some 20 fooderies. There is a large ferris wheel and a play area for the kids. This is a popular mall and can get very crowded on public holidays and at bargain times.
6. Mitsui Outlet Park Iruma
This large Outlet mall has over 200 shops, 180 of them outlet stores. The main focus is on fashion. There is everything from kids fashion, outdoor and sports fashion, to accesories and fashion magazines. 44 shops opened their first Japan outlet store here, so there is definitely value in taking a look.The food court has 11 shops. There are six restaurants and three cafes to choose from and you can even take your pet. There are also facilities for babies and you can rent a baby cart if you wish.
7. Outlet Park Makuhari
This outlet mall has over 90 stores, mainly fashion-focused. The mall is a fairly open planned two-storey complex and is easy to get around. There are more than 30 restaurants.
8. Outlet Mall Rism
This was the first outlet mall in Japan so is a little older than others on this list. However, with about 40 stores, it is a relaxed place to shop for an afternoon.
9. Outlet Park Yokohama Bayside
Outlet shopping mall near one of Asia’s largest marinas. This is a lovely spot by the sea packed with shops all selling at 30 to 70% off. Yokohama is a nice spot to shop as it is more open and expansive than Tokyo. Enjoy the big open skies of Yokohama and the lovely sea breeze while you shop or hang out at one of the myriad of open air cafes. There is everything from brand name clothes, outdoor goods, shoes, casual wear, to household goods and restaurants
10. Sano Premium Outlets
There are about 180 domestic and overseas brands in buildings styled on U.S. east coast architecture. This store has an open and green feel to it with Mt. Mikamo behind it to the east.
It is about 40 minutes by car or 90 minutes from Shinjuku’s south exit (JR Highway bus terminal).
Richie Johns is a long term resident of Japan who runs a number of informative sites to help people get useful, practical information on Japan. One of those sites, Eye on Japan, has a list of interesting Top 10’s on a wide variety of topics, from best snowboarding areas near Tokyo, best beer gardens, amusement parks, beaches, hamburger restaurants, temples, onsens and more.