When you think of cute, stylish, and well-designed household goods and zakka, or knick-knacks, Loft is the store that immediately comes to mind. For souvenir shoppers, it’s not just a place to stop by, but a destination. The iconic bright yellow sign is a beacon for lovers of beautiful things, and it’s easy to get lost in the dizzying variety of possibilities, all begging to be touched and used and taken home.
Loft is a mecca for stationery fiends. People who yearn after writing tools, those who quicken at the sight of art supplies, and collectors of notebooks and special papers all gather at Loft to revel in the aisles at the cascade of products in a rainbow array of style and color. Everyone knows that if you want a greeting card, a special pen, or a smart day planner, this is the place to go to be spoiled for choice. At year’s end, you’ll find a beautiful selection of New Year greeting cards.
It’s also a fantastic store for those who are looking for kitchen goods and gadgets. The latest in bento fashion can be found here. Of course you can find character gear, but you’ll find bento supplies in both gorgeous traditional and sleek modern designs. You’ll be the envy of the lunchroom with your beautiful bento kit. Don’t forget travel chopsticks, bento bags, straps and dividers, and special cutters to give your lunch that extra flair.
In fact, this is the perfect place to find quintessential Japanese design without necessarily using stereotypically Japanese motifs aimed at tourists, like Mt. Fuji prints or origami cranes. Instead, find Japanese simplicity, sophistication, extreme attention to detail, and well-crafted items made by people who take pride in their work. Loft even has original items designed just for the store, like stationeries, handkerchiefs, lotion, and other household goods available exclusively at Loft.
As special experience, a few stores (Tokyo’s Shibuya and Yurakucho stores, and Osaka’s Umeda store) are now offering a 3D printing service that can make lifelike figurines of the subject of your choosing. Commemorate a birthday or wedding, your Japan vacation, or even your beloved pet. The figures are photographed by 102 cameras to get 360º imaging, and once shot, take a few weeks to complete, but can be mailed internationally. Prices start at 25,000 yen.
International travelers can get 5% off purchases over 1,080 yen upon presentation of their passport, and some stores offer tax-exemption services. Tax exemption eligibility starts at purchases over 5,000 yen – check with the duty-free counters in-store to see if you qualify to save 8%.
With over 100 stores nationwide, Loft’s unique mix of beautiful and high-quality goods can be found in every major city. When you’re after a pop of design, a splash of color, and the best of Japanese commercial design, Loft is the clear choice. Just be careful – it’s easy to get so carried away that you overfill your suitcases and go over your baggage weight limit!