Holidays in Japan are bright and colorful affairs, and Nagoya is no exception to this rule. If you are looking for decorations, lights, or other holiday materials there are a few good sources you should know about.
If you have a lot of gifts to wrap you are going to need a lot of paper, and the best place to buy a lot of anything is Costco. You can get decorations and paper there, but you are looking at bulk sizing, and a small selection to choose from. Unless you are buying something expensive like a lawn reindeer you may be better served elsewhere, but they do stock such things. website (English)
If you can’t make it to Costco, you may try…
Reasonable prices on imported groceries and general merchandise in Japan? When pigs fly! But that was before Costco Wholesale opened its doors here. Afterwards, there were only two problems left: not everyone can get to a Costco warehouse very easily, and Internet ordering isn’t available. In a nutshell, TheFlyingPig.Com was launched to overcome these issues.
Billed as “Food and Fun from home – direct to your door – anywhere in Japan;” this online international grocery store has been delivering the goods to the broader expat community in Japan since 1988.
You can find 100 yen shops all over Nagoya in sizes that range from multistory standalone buildings, to small kiosk style corners in malls and supermarkets. One of my favorites is the Daiso on the 7th floor of the Skyle building in Sakae; they seem to have everything, and that includes holiday materials. Honestly that Daiso is the first place you should check. If it is there, it is bound to be the cheapest place to get it!
Daiso is a most people’s favorite, as they tend to be much bigger than other shops and hence offer a wider variety of goods. website (Japanese)
While not as big as Daiso, these are still pretty big and offer a wide varied of goods. website (Japanese)
These are kind of the low end of the scale. They offer significantly fewer small items, instead they offer cheap foods. You can get some good seasonings and pre-packaged mixes there cheaply. website (Japanese)
Shimo Jima is a wrapping materials wholesaler, who provides consumer products such as stationery and store decoration merchandise, as well as wrapping goods. The Fushimi/Marunouchi area shop is many floors and holds a good chance of getting the decorations you are looking for, or a great chance if you are looking for “materials” like boxes, ribbons, etc. They are pretty cheap to top it all off. Website (Japanese)
Don Quijote stores are huge and seem to stock everything. Christmas decorations may be touch and go depending on which shop you try, but you can assume they will have SOMETHING for you.
It is a great store and a fantastic place to kill a couple of hours as well as decorations and Christmas lights. There are a couple of locations around including one in Sakae. I recommend the one in Sakae, it is significantly large!
I found Tokyu Hands described as “the description-defying Tokyo institution that sells just about everything you could ever need and is loved by everyone who visits,” and I have a hard time arguing that. It is a great store and a fantastic place to kill a couple of hours. To repeat, it is also a great place to pick up costumes and accessories. There are many locations around Tokyo and Japan; choose one!
Home Centers, more often referred to as “home improvement centers” or “hardware stores” outside of Japan, are where you buy…well, home and garden stuff. You can find tools, plants, kitchen utensils and appliances, furniture, and other items for use in or use on your home or apartment. Around the holiday season, you can find lights, displays, and other assorted holiday decorations at many of these stores. There are many around Nagoya.