Shopping Guide

Osaka has a ton to offer shopping-wise, but this list will mostly focus on stores you might need for daily necessities while you’re here. If you’re looking for more than that, we encourage you to branch out and try places beyond just the ones listed here. Google Maps is your friend!

Shop Categories:

  1. Convenience Stores
  2. 100 and 300 Yen Shops
  3. Drug Stores/Pharmacies
  4. Clothing
  5. Everyday goods
  6. Pop Culture specialty stores
  7. Store Spotlight

1. Convenience Stores

They have everything you’ll need in a day (toiletries, emergency clothes, phone chargers, batteries, food, drinks, etc.), sometimes at a slight premium (check grocery stores for better food prices, for example). Japanese convenience store food quality is generally great and strictly controlled so you’ll never pick up something that’s not fresh! Food can be heated on request (If the cashier asks “Ata-tame masu ka? (Do you want to heat it up?)” answer “hai (yes)” or “iie (no)” if you intend on taking it somewhere with a microwave, maybe your hotel room if there’s one there. If the cashier doesn’t ask you, you can ask “Ata-tame-te kuda-sai (please warm it up)”). If your hotel room has an electric water kettle, you can even buy an infinite variety of delicious instant cup ramen noodles and add hot water in your room. Just be sure the cashier gives you chopsticks (“o-hashi”) or a fork so you can eat it!

There are many different convenience stores (some independent ones in Osaka too) but these are the big 3 chains that you can find pretty much anywhere:

  • 7-Eleven – In this writer’s opinion, there’s no better quick stop than 7-11. Food is excellent. Some highlights: ice cream, fresh coffee, sandwiches, pasta, salad, cold noodles, curry udon, and fresh ramen. Check out the little cup salad dishes too, they’re great. Most in-house items are labeled in English too.
  • Lawson (Natural Lawson, Lawson 100) – Lawson has great sweets, ice cream and the variety of freshly made bento lunches are especially good. Kara-age-kun chicken nuggets in the hot case come in different flavors and are a delicious snack. The egg salad sandwich here was a favorite of Anthony Bourdain. (Note: Different types of Lawson stores may have different inventory.)
  • Family Mart – great onigiri (rice balls), good selection of emergency clothes and towels, and my subjective winner of the best in-house desserts/sweets award! Try the in-house iced baumkuchen (tree cake–look it up!), pudding, and the famously juicy “Famichiki” fried chicken in the hot food case.

2. 100 and 300 Yen Shops

Okay, it’s more like 110 per item (or more if labeled), but 100 yen shops are a thrifty staple in Japan, they’re literally everywhere, and they’re a great place to pick up necessities (some of better quality/value than others). Here are some of the popular stores:

  • Seria (Location near Osaka-Uehommachi Station)
  • Can*Do (Location in the Hi Hi Town mall near Osaka-Uehommachi Station)
  • DAISO (Location near Osaka-Uehommachi Station)
  • 3COINS (300 yen shop) – a little more upscale and trendy, thus the higher prices, with several locations in Osaka

3. Drug Stores/Pharmacies

They are a good place to pick up necessities, including personal care items, over the counter medications, cosmetics, snacks and food. Here are some of the well known ones (of course, there are many other local ones too):

  • Matsumoto Kiyoshi (there are a couple of locations near the contest venue in the Uehonmachi Station area)
  • Sugi Drug (Location near Osaka-Uehommachi Station)
  • Welcia (many locations in Osaka)

4. Clothing

  • MUJI – This store has a good selection of high quality, affordable clothing (unfortunately the size range is limited and runs smaller, similar to other stores in Japan, so it’s best to try things on before you buy) and bags. More extensive information in the store spotlight below…
  • Uniqlo – Japan’s much loved supplier of affordable basics, accessories, and trendy and seasonal items. It’s a good place to pick up basics in case you forgot/need anything (their Airism line is also great to layer under other clothes to keep you cool). Please be aware that sizes run a little small, and go from XS or S (US XXS or XS~S) to XL (US L~XL), and you’re unlikely to find anything larger than that unless it’s an oversized/comfy fit.

5. Everyday goods and general shopping

For easy, everyday shopping with a lot of crossover, try these categories:

  • Convenience Stores
  • Drug Stores/Pharmacies
  • 100 yen shops
  • MUJI

6. Pop Culture

Osaka is a great place to find pop culture oriented specialty stores. These are some of the big ones you may be interested in (though of course there are many, many more…).

7. Store Spotlight

These are some specific shops I’d like to recommend:

MUJI 無印良品

Muji is a lifestyle store where you can find almost anything you could possibly need in a day, from clothes, bags and accessories, to food, drinks, travel goods, cosmetics and everyday use items. (In a pinch, a smaller selection of their products can currently also be found in Lawson convenience stores.) Muji is great on so many levels. Their products come in clean, simple designs and in neutral colors. Most items are also labeled in English, so you know what you’re getting. It’s a lifesaver, especially when you’re on the go. There’s a location near Osaka-Uehommachi Station, so what are you waiting for?

Recommended items:

  • Pocket and neck towels
  • Dry Film Sheet Soap
  • Various wet wipes (for sanitizing, sweat, face wash, teeth, sunscreen, insect repellent, etc.)
  • Other goods in/around the cosmetic section that may make your trip/life easier
  • Lightweight Travel Divider Cases (a great way to organize and pack your suitcase)
  • So many useful travel goods in general – you may want to pick some up for your trip home and in the future.
  • Bags – their zip sacoche is a local favorite, but they have any kind of bag you’d imagine, all the way up to suitcases (only at some locations)
  • Socks (their 90 degree angle heel socks don’t slip or slide around in your shoes)
  • A huge variety of snacks! Fun to try, and good to bring home as souvenirs.

Tokyu Hands (or just “Hands”) and LOFT

Two separate stores with similar concepts. I mentioned them before in other articles because they really are one-stop shops for anything you might need. They’re a little bit more upscale, carry a variety of useful goods, and are well organized with clean, open environments. They’re fairly interchangeable if you’re going shopping, but note that Hands has arguably better DIY focused areas if you’re crafty, while LOFT may have a more extensive selection of cosmetics and personal care items. Both stores are fun to browse around in!

Don Quijote (a.k.a. Don-don Donki)

They have literally everything, but while departments are clearly separated, aisles can be crowded, loaded with products (it can be hard to find things), and (lovingly handmade) signage and repetitive theme music can make for sensory overload. That said, it can be really fun to shop there if you’re ready to take the plunge. You might find some real treasure! Among others, there’s a location in walking distance of the contest venue, and a larger MEGA Don Quijote near Shinsekai.

Super Tamade or Tamade Supermarket

Exclusive to the Kansai region, Super Tamade (the myth, the legend!) is a local favorite supermarket that is nationally famous for its deep discounts and cheap and quirky line of store branded accessories. Full disclosure: I’ve never been so I can’t personally vouch for it, but I’ve always wanted to go, and it seems like just the thing to do when visiting Osaka. There are several locations, so if you’re in the neighborhood, why not give it a try?


(Last Update: 2023.8.9)