Author: M.Kok

Furniture shopping in Japan

When moving into a new home, you might want to shop for new furniture items. Or if you are moving to Japan with just a suitcase worth of luggage, you might need it all. Here is a quick list of shops Japanese people commonly go for their furniture shopping.

Furniture

Your main limitation here will be your own imagination. And the dimensions and style of the property you are moving into. And money. 

If you want your furniture to be functional and reasonably priced, you are in luck. Two Japanese brands are known just for that.

Nitori

Nitori is a brand that does modern Japanese style furniture with a just quality-price relation. The more you pay, the better the quality gets- kind of way. The main appeal of Nitori is that it is very accessible. If you live in a big city, there is a Nittori probably somewhere nearby. And that most of the furniture and interior design items are designed for Japanese flats and houses. 

Muji

If you want something a little more subtle and (according to consumer reports) of slightly higher quality, you go to Muji. 

Muji is a minimalist brand that has also found its way abroad. You might know it from back home for the cool looking and functional stationery and bath goods. 

Ikea

There are not many countries in the world where you can go and talk furniture without mentioning the yellow and blue Sweedish company. Ikea has been a popular option for Japanese furniture buyers since it opened its first store in 2006. The appeal here is- that it is something different. Something European that is affordable. 

The quality of the items is pretty much the same as what you would expect back home. Arguably some of the Ikeas range is comparable to domestic brands like Nittori. But be careful when buying something you might want to take with you into your next home. Some house moving companies refuse to handle larger Ikea items, like beds and wardrobes. 

Their reasoning seems to be that the furniture is not designed, to be taken apart and put together multiple times. And they don’t want to be held liable for any damages(I managed to confirm this with two moving companies in the Tokyo area). 

Budget options

Other than the clearance sales at bigger furniture stores, there are also many classifieds all over Japan for free giveaways. A quick search for community adds close to where you plan to move might be well worth it. 

 

Summary

In Japan, you are spoilt with choice when shopping for items for your new home. Depending on your budget, you can get mostly anything from minimalistic domestic items to European antiques. If you are someone who enjoys the process of shopping and planning the interior of your new home you will have a ball. If not you can just consult with one of the shop assistants of your choice and they, for a reasonable fee will do it for you.

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