By Kim B
Don Quijote, commonly abbreviated to Donki, is one of Japan's largest chain stores with over 270 locations throughout Japan. Donki is famous for stocking a wide range of interesting and uniquely Japan products. Though there are standard products including groceries, electronics and clothing, this is certainly not your average shop. Prepare to be amazed as the interior is full of exciting colors and sounds and the inventory is packed from floor to ceiling.
Browsing through a Don Quijote is a fun activity due to the sheer variety of entertaining products. It is hard to classify Donki into a single type of store. The variety of items and toys and are quite appealing, and you will find impulse buys almost everywhere you look. Just to name a few interesting items, I found kabuki lotion masks, full-body suit costumes, remote control sushi cars, a large variety of yukatas and a cat ear themed headset. There are enough food and drink items for it to pass as a grocery store including a wide range of Japanese and foreign alcohol selections. Similar to a drugstore, you can find bathroom and grooming goods, color contacts, make-up and much more. There are men and women’s clothing and shoe sections where you can find youth styles, lingerie, business wear and more. There are high quality brand items from makers like Diesel, Gucci and Prada as well as brand watches and jewelry. In electronics, there are a variety of high quality Japanese products including televisions, music peripherals, personal grooming devices and kitchen appliances. Depending on the store location there may also be large sections devoted to garden, home and furniture, anime and many other specialties.
Don Quijote has always been popular for tourists due to the wide variety and cheap prices, but now they also offer specific services designed exclusively for tourists and foreign customers. If you have your passport with tourist visa you are eligible for tax free shopping on all products. Some stores accept a wide variety of foreign currencies and offer services that deliver your purchases directly from Don Quijote to your hotel or the airport. The stores are operating until late at night so tourists can do their sightseeing during the day and shopping in the evening. The foreigner sections have a multitude of souvenirs and are a much better alternative than shopping at the airport in both price (often half the price!) and selection. Additionally, there is an iPad video chat system where foreigners can speak live with multilingual staff who are standing by 24/7 (Available in English, Chinese, Korean, Thai *10am-10pm for Thai). These iPads can be found in most Don Quijote stores and are a great way to quickly find what you are looking for in your native language
At the Shinjuku Don Quijote (not to be confused with the Don Quijote in Kabukicho) there is an entire floor where you can find souvenirs ranging from unique Japanese snacks, anime related goods, high quality knives, rice cookers and more. Everything is designed for foreign convenience on this floor. There are multilingual staff who wear badges with the flags of the languages they speak (primarily English, Chinese and Korean). The campaigns, signs and tags are often in multiple languages as well. Though not all Don Quijote stores have an entire floor dedicated to tourists there are typically sections within each store with souvenir sections.
Don Quijote showcases some of Japan’s best and most unique products so visiting one or more of the many stores throughout the country is an experience that should not be missed. Check the Don Quijote website for the latest campaigns and a full list of store locations.
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