When visiting Japan as a tourist you’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of tax-free shopping around the country, chopping off the hefty 8% tax from purchases over 5,000 yen. With over 25,000 locations offering to eliminate the consumer tax from items, you’ll be able to save a little extra money on your trip.
Overview of Tax-Free Offers
All consumables and general goods like electronics and clothes are tax-exempt for temporary foreign visitors. Consumable items include things like cigarettes and medicine as well as your typical food and drink. Generally, places such as Uniqlo, Don Quijote and department stores offer tax refunds on clothing and other items. Please refer to the Japanese government’s special website for a list of all tax-free locations. When you head up to purchase an item at a store that offers tax-free shopping, you will typically walk to a special counter that is indicated as tax-free in English and other languages. When you arrive at the counter you must provide your passport for the cashier so that they may remove the tax on your items and place a special receipt in your passport book for customs.
Tax-free shopping in Japan has some limitations set by the government. If you are staying for more than six months, are working in Japan or are a Japanese citizen you are not eligible to take advantage of these tax-free incentives. Additionally, your purchases must be above 5,000 yen to qualify for the removal of the consumer tax. Also, it is important to note that consumable items have a spending limit of 500,000 yen in order to be tax free. These limitations are to prevent people from reselling their purchased tax-free goods. Lastly, consumable items aren’t allowed to be opened before they are taken through airport customs.
While there are over 25,000 locations offering the tax-free incentive, there are a few important ones worth mentioning before your trip.
Don Quijote is a general goods store selling everything from food and clothing to electronics. There are many locations around Japan and every Don Quijote allows you to use the tax exemption program. Another great option if you are doing some shopping is checking out the station malls like LUMINE in Shinjuku Station. Most of these malls offer tax-free shopping and in the station malls you’ll often find high-end brands and specialty goods. Last but not least, one of the most important places that offer tax-free goods are convenience stores such as 7-11. Here you’ll find a wide variety of consumable goods during your trip.
Website: Tax Free Shopping