Japan has a sales tax (sometimes known as VAT) of 8%, going up to 10% in the future, but those with a tourist visa are eligible for tax-free shopping. If you love shopping and want to get some bargains, there has never been a better time to visit Japan. With a great exchange rate for most travelers and tax free shopping, you’ll be shopping galore!
What is most impressive about the latest tax free shopping rules is that, while the main department stores and malls also offer it, almost all shops in tourist or cosmopolitan areas are offering tax free shopping to tourists and actively promoting this. From cosmetics shops, to souvenir shops, to clothes shops such as Uniqlo, almost all are proudly displaying their tax free signs. All visitors need to do is head to their desired shops, follow the rules below and they can save loads!
How to do tax-free shopping in Japan
Unlike other countries, the tax-free system is usually in-store. Just show you passport and the tax will be taken off when you purchase.
Consumables (foods, drinks, medicines, cosmetics…)
Must be purchased at the same store on the same day, and the total spending must be over 5,000 yen ($60), but no greater than 500,000 yen ($6000).
Non-consumables (electric appliances, clothing, accessories…)
Must be purchased at the same store on the same day, and the total spending must be over 5,000 yen ($120).
Current exchange rates