Dec. 17, 2015 UPDATE
Feature
Kyoto is full of excitement as New Year approaches
Part 4

Fight for the best bargains! Pray for the best fukubukuro!

Starting on January 2nd, we recommend heading out to the shopping districts downtown (Karasuma, Kawaramachi, etc.). This is because that is when the department stores, supermarkets, and other retailers start their big New Year sales! Items are on sale at big discounts on regular prices. 50% off is nothing out of the ordinary, and some items are 80% off. You probably figured this out for yourself, but it goes without saying that it gets extremely crowded. The sales are like a battleground. Everyone is fired up to get their hands on the items they want first. Fukubukuro are also worth checking out. Fukubukuro are special New Year-only items that contain an assortment of items packed into a bag. They are sold for less than the total cost of all the items together, so it is a good deal. However, you do not know what is inside. You have to pray it has something good when you buy it. You could call it a way of testing your luck at the start of the year. Here we will introduce some recommended New Year sales and fukubukuro. * Sale and fukubukuro information is current as of 12/17/2015.
First off, some department stores you will want to check out!
Takashimaya Kyoto
Takashimaya Kyoto is an established department store near Hankyu Kawaramachi Station. It carries foods, clothing, household goods, and more. They have a food concierge who will help you find the foods you want and staff that can help you in English and Chinese, so you can enjoy shopping with peace of mind. The New Year sale starts at 10 AM on January 2nd. They sell popular brand name clothing at discount prices. Their fukubukuro have a variety of contents, including clothing, cosmetics, and foods.
JR Kyoto Isetan
JR Kyoto Isetan is a department store directly linked to Kyoto Station. Being able to shop while you wait for the Shinkansen, etc. is handy. They devote particular effort to their selection of foods, and their Japanese tea, coffee beans, chocolate, and Japanese sweets are popular with tourists from overseas. Each floor also has staff that can help you in English. The New Year sale and sales of fukubukuro start at 10 AM on January 2nd. The contents of the fukubukuro are to be announced.
Daimaru Kyoto
Daimaru Kyoto is located a 1-minute walk from Shijo Subway Station. They have a vast selection of fashion goods for men and women of all ages, and the foods section has a variety of fresh ingredients and side dishes. Bento and Japanese sweets from long-standing Kyoto shops recommended for souvenirs are also on sale. There is plenty of information available in English too. The New Year sale and sales of fukubukuro start at 10 AM on January 2nd. The contents of the fukubukuro are to be announced, but in previous years, fukubukuro with gift certificates for famous restaurants or clothing have been popular.
Department stores popular with young people!
Fujii Daimaru
Fujii Daimaru is located a 2-minute walk from Hankyu Kawaramachi Station. This department store sells a variety of Japanese fashion brands popular with young people. They also carry brands popular overseas, like COMME des GARÇON and Yoshida Kaban. You can buy cosmetic goods and much more, as well. Also worth noting is the high tax refund rate of 8%. The New Year sale and sales of fukubukuro start at 10 AM on January 2nd. They sell a variety of fukubukuro mainly containing brand name fashions.
Kyoto BAL
Kyoto BAL is located a 7-minute walk from Hankyu Kawaramachi Station. You can relax and enjoy shopping inside spacious confines that feel like a hotel. It has a variety of stores with lots of personality that sell fashion goods and accessories, stationery and books, as well as cafés and more. They offer a tax refund service for customers from overseas. The New Year sale and sales of fukubukuro start at 10:30 AM on January 2nd. Whether or not a store sells fukubukuro and their contents depends on the individual store.
A huge retail outlet that has everything!
Kyoto Yodobashi
Kyoto Yodobashi is directly linked to JR Kyoto Station by an underground passageway, so the access is excellent. They have all kinds of Japanese electrical appliances, and they sell all the latest products plus items only available in Japan. There is also a wide variety of shops that sell games, cooking utensils, and clothing, as well as restaurants and more. Times for the New Year sale and sales of fukubukuro are to be announced. *In previous years, they started at 8:30 AM on January 1st. People start lining up to get the items they want on December 31st.

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