Christmas on the cheap

Explore the thrifty side of Tokyo Christmas

Christmas on the cheap

Christmas is upon us in less than a month, and already Tokyoites may be feeling a bit like cutting back on previous years’ celebrating. An annual survey on Christmas consumer habits conducted by department store Printemps Ginza found that 82% of women are planning on spending Christmas at home this year— a significant jump up from last year’s 62%.

Most likely the sluggish economy is to blame, which poses change of pace for a place that treats Christmas as a romantic date holiday. Instead of splashing out on restaurants and hotels, more and more people are economising by making the most of their home environments for the special day.

Christmas at home doesn’t have to be boring; those surveyed by Printemps Ginza also said that if they’re going to hole up at home for the holiday, it better have that special yuletide feel. Those surveyed said items like candles, Christmas decorations, Christmas trees, wine or champagne and the ubiquitous Christmas cake were the things that they could not do without.

The trick is to find ideas and bargains. Asakusabashi, Tokyo’s ‘Christmastown’, is packed with shops selling Christmas items at reduced prices, so a trip to the area is great for ideas if not actual shopping. Costume shops also may have holiday specials, as Christmas in Tokyo often ends up being more of a cuter cousin to Halloween, with Christmas parties sometimes being fancy-dress.

If you’re planning to spend the holiday at home, check out the stores below— chances are you’ll be able to find those festive items to help get you into the Christmas spirit without breaking the bank.


Truss up economical presents in a more creative way with paper bags, wrapping paper, boxes, food packaging, ribbons and a host of other wrapping materials are stocked here at wholesale prices. There are five of these stores located around Asakusabashi station in Taito-ku, and at any one of them you’ll find seasonal Christmas decorations and wrapping materials with a variety of motifs including Santa Claus, stars, holly and other fun and even naff items.

Yokoyamacho store
Address: 5-1 Nihonbashi Yokoyamacho, Chuo, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)3661 8355
Open: 9am–5:30pm, closed Sun, nat. holidays, New Year’s and Bon holidays

Bakurocho store
Address: 1-7-20 Nihonbashi Bakurocho, Chuo, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)3661 3436
Open: 9am–5:30pm, closed Sun, nat. holidays, New Year’s and Bon holidays

Gift-Wrap-kan store
Address: 1-18-10 Asakusabashi, Taito, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)3864 8812
Open: Mon-Fri 10am–7pm, Sat-Sun and nat. holidays 10am–6:30pm

No.5 Asakusabashi store
Address: 1-30-10 Asakusabashi, Taito, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)3863 5501
Open: Mon-Fri 9am–6:30pm, Sat-Sun and nat. holidays 9am–5:30pm

Kuramae store
Address: 3-1-11 Asakusabashi, Taito, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)3851 0900
Open: 9am–5:30pm, closed Sun, nat. holidays, New Year’s and Bon holidays


Tokyodo stocks specialty items such as artificial flowers and preserved flowers as well as plant pots, sandstones, baskets and other floral materials. For the Christmas season, the shop also stocks gold, red and green decorations and even LED lights.

Tokyodo flagship store
Address: 2-13 Yotsuya, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Tokyodo Artis store
Address: 23 Saneicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Enquiries: (03)3359 3331

IKEA Funabashi

Sweden’s go-to megastore for cheap and clever interiors, furnishings, kitchenware, accessories, textiles, and other ergonomically designed products is still a relatively new shopping destination. With its wide selection and rock-bottom prices, Christmas at Ikea is no exception. Real fir Christmas trees are on sale here until Christmas, however, the shipment that arrived on the Nov 21 is already sold out— check the website for further shipment details. If you manage to snag a tree, Ikea also offers a buy back service for used trees: bring your tree back and they give you a ¥1990 shopping coupon.

Address: 2-3-30 Hamacho, Funabashi, Chiba
Telephone: (047)436 1111
Open: 10am–9pm Mon-Sun, until 6pm Thu Dec 10, closed Jan 1

Big Flower

Big Flower sells roses, orchids and other classy flowers at bargain prices; 12 cm pots of poinsettias are available for a mere ¥298. Following the reasoning that selling flowers the same day they arrive in the shop is more efficient, flowers are sold at special discount prices on the day they arrive at the store; cut flowers arrive on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and potted plants arrive mainly on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Buy in bulk here and get even deeper discounts.

Kanpachi Ogikubo store
Address: 2-18-5 Shimizu, Suginami, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)3301 2272
Open: 10:30am–7pm

Meidaimae store
Address: 3-39-30 Matsubara, Setagaya, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)5300 8733
Open: 10:30am–7pm

Eifuku store
Address: 3-6-28 Hamadayama, Suginami, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)3315 1472
Open: Mon-Fri 10:30am–7pm, Sat-Sun, nat. holidays 10am–7pm

Kiwa Products

Established in 1975, Kiwa Products specializes mainly in beads and parts for accessories such as necklaces and bracelets. In the run up to Christmas, they also stock a range of parts with Christmas motifs and also bead kits for creating festive ornaments such as Santa Claus and Snowmen.

Kiwa Products Asakusabashi flagship store
Address: Kiwa building, 2-1-10 Asakusabashi, Taito, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)3863 5111
Open: 9:30am–6:30pm, closed Sun and nat. holidays

Kiwa Products Asakusabashi store
Address: Otemachi Tatemono Asakusabashi Eki Mae Building, 1-9-13 Asakusabashi, Taito, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)3865 8521
Open: Mon-Sat 10am–8pm, Sun and nat. holidays 10am–6:30pm

Kiwa Products Asakusabashi Shitenbekkan store
Address: Shuzan Building, 1-9-12 Asakusabashi, Taito, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)3865 5621
Open: Mon-Sat 10am–8pm, Sun and nat. holidays 10am–6:30pm

HJS Harajuku store

HJS specializes in maid outfits and cosplay costumes; it stocks designs from the website m.i.a costume and is perfect for those who would rather see that cartoony frock before they buy. Towards Christmas, they also carry a range of Christmas themed ensembles like miniskirted Mrs. Claus togs.

Address: 2F, 1-6-11 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)5413 3732

by Kyoko Kitamura
Translated by Brin Wilson
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.



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