For people who love shopping like me, taking a day trip to an outlet mall is a great fun! I love bargains and sales so outlet mall is kind of awesome especially outlet malls in the US with all the shops outside and the whole place divided into zones so I can walk and enjoy the atmosphere. In Japan, there are so many outlet malls all over the country with different size, style, facilities, and attractions. So far I have been to 5 outlet malls. In Fukuoka, Shizuoka, Saitama, Tokyo bay, and Yokohama. Here are the list of the ones I have been to.
1) Gotemba Premium Outlet mall @Gotemba city! (somehow I thought it is in Shizuoka)
This one is my most favorite malls out of all the ones I have been to. This outlet mall is located in Gotemba city which means it is close to Hakone and Mt. Fuji. The view is beautiful and the atmosphere is pretty much like outdoor outlet malls in the US. Gotemba outlet mall has probably the biggest numbers of shops and foreign brands. Since it is huge, the area is divided into two big zones with a bridge connected the two. The shops are great and the atmosphere is lively. Also, the price and bargain are pretty good, too. The only downside of this mall I could think of is that there are not many selection of restaurants so it was really crowded in the food court. In my opinion, the food in the food court could have been better too.
To get to this outlet mall, you can go by direct bus, train, shuttle bus from Gotemba station, or by car. I would recommend to go by bus as it may be the most convenient way. I took a bus from Yokohama station straight to the mall. The price for a round trip bus is reasonable and you can enjoy the scenery along the way!
Did I mention that it started raining right before we left? ..Still, it was a great day out!
All the details in the website here.
2) AEON Lake town outlet @Saitama
Lake town outlet is located in Saitama which is close enough to Tokyo that you can visit easily from the metropolis. It is the largest shopping center in Asia since it is a combination of AEON malls and an outlet mall together. I remember there are about 4 malls in the same place (HUGE). I like this mall because it is an indoor outlet mall which means it really doesn’t matter if the weather is on your side or not, you can go anytime!
At first, I did not plan to go to this mall but I actually went to Costco to get some pizza (yum!) which is a few stations away if I remember that right. So, I decided to visit this outlet mall too since I’ve heard that it’s new and good. The bargains are pretty good! I got so many things discounted even more than the already discounted price because my student ID was still valid at that time. 😉 There are various choices of restaurants and shops here. I really enjoyed it very much although I prefer outdoor malls. The access to this place is quite easy to get to as well so if you’re in Tokyo, this is probably a great choice for you!
Click this link to the website here.
3) Marinoa city @Fukuoka-Kyushu
This outlet mall is in Fukuoka, down south in Kyushu. Since I used to live in Beppu, Fukuoka was the nearest big city around so I usually went to Fukuoka when I felt like shopping and sightseeing. Marinoa city is an outlet mall located about 30-40 minutes away from Fukuoka city center. It is right on the beach so the atmosphere is quite relaxing and lively. I took a direct bus from Tenjin (the city center of Fukuoka) to the mall. I am certain that there are many other access routes from Hakata station and others as well. There were not many foreign brands and not much variety of shops but I did enjoy it. The prices are reasonable. I got a lot of stuff this time! I really gotta say that Coach shop here has great bargains! Bags are discounted to around 15,000 yen in average. Some, even less than 10,000 yen. For those of you who love COACH, this is a place to be. I did got a wallet from there. It was so cheap I HAD to buy but sadly, after using it for a year, someone stole that wallet at a train station here in Tokyo…but that’s another story.
I had lunch at a Mexican restaurant near by the beach there. It was great. Then we walked around with our cups of GODIVA’s chocolate-chips frappucino. It was a great day. I can’t seem to find pictures I took here but if you are in the area, definitely go check it out especially if you like to spend a day shopping in a beautiful place.
Visit the official website click here!
4) Venus Fort @Odaiba, Tokyo
Venus Fort is actually a mall with an outlet on the third floor. It is small and not exactly like an outlet. My friends and I were actually planning to go to a mall called “DiverCity” which is right next to Venus Fort and is located where the big Gundam monument is. But, after getting out of the train, we saw Venus Fort first so we went in an explore a bit. It was not bad. There was a Hawaiian fair at that time so there was a Hula dance show too. I wouldn’t recommend this place if you want to go shopping. There were not many shops and bargains except LEVIS which seemed to me like the only store with big discount. However, if you plan to visit other places in Odaiba (Tokyo bay), it is not a bad idea to go to this place too. We went to take pictures with the giant Gundam after that and late at night (I cannot remember the time), this Gundam started to show movements and lighting! It was a great show. ^^ We also went to a Oktoberfest that was going on at that time and had a great time strolling around the rainbow bridge.
MY NEXT TARGET! -> Grandberry mall @Machida! This mall is not very far from the center of Yokohama so I can visit any time I want! I’ve heard good things about it and would love to go soon. Interested in going? >> Official site.
There are many other outlet malls in Japan, too. Here are some of the popular ones:
- Mitsui Outlet Park Kisarazu – Newly constructed outlet mall in Chiba. Huge mall with various shop. Mitsui Outlet Park has so many outlet malls in many locations. You can choose to go to the one close to you.
- Mitsui Outlet Park Makuhari -This one is also in Chiba.
- Karuizawa Prince Shopping plaza – Karuizawa is another great destination for a relax holiday. I have heard good things about this outlet mall!
ENJOY! Have fun shopping! 😉