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Emily: Hi everyone! You know how much I like traveling. Another passion of mine is shopping for locally handmade art and treasures in the places I visit.
To me, art is the absolute best thing to bring back home. It’s so unique, and there’s soul behind it. Of course, I also love bringing back small random gifts for family and friends.
Because the holidays are coming up, I’ve created a few posts on some of my favorite shopping destinations. And how to get there on miles & points! And for those who don’t like shopping as much, I’ve also included my other favorite experiences in these cities!
Emily’s Top International Shopping Destinations Index:
Shopping in Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan, is another of my favorite cities to shop! If you’d like to visit all of Tokyo’s shopping areas, be prepared to stay for at least a week. A couple must-visit neighborhoods are Shibuya and Shimokitazawa.
Shimokitazawa is known for its vintage clothes and artsy shops. I only got one shirt from Japan, and instead stocked up on stationery and stickers. Sometimes it’s the little things that make me happy! 🙂
My personal favorite is seeking out all the “kawaii” shops. Kawaii means “cute” in Japanese. You can find kawaii housewares, stationery, and clothes! Kiddyland has the best selection, and you can also find it in smaller quantities (but better prices) at Daiso stores. Daiso are low-cost home good stores that you can find everywhere. I found the cutest small bowls and cups with playful bears on them!
It’s easy to spend all day in Shibuya, with its amount of shopping malls and home goods stores. For gifts, visit Tokyu Hands for one-of-a-kind (and distinctly Japanese!) souvenirs. Visit LUSH for handmade, organic cosmetics. I got several bath bombs and loved them!!
When I was preparing for my trip to Japan, I found some travel guides by Marceline Smith. She focuses on shopping in Tokyo and other large cities in Japan. Buying her guides, particularly Planning for Japan and the Tokyo Shopping Guide, was the best thing I did!
Don’t Miss a Side Trip to Kyoto
Kyoto is a welcome change from the fast-paced culture of Tokyo. I think Kyoto is fun because you can ride bikes everywhere! Plus, don’t miss a bike ride to nearby Arashiyama. There is a beautiful Bamboo Forest that will single-handedly drain every percentage of your camera battery!
Arashiyama also has a monkey park that’s situated at the top of a hill. The monkeys are all over the place, and they let you walk right up to them! They’re wild, but are used to fascinated humans.
Unfortunately, I missed out on Cherry Blossom season. But I hear they light up the park with pretty pinks and whites.
You Can Do It, Too!
|One-Way Business Class Ticket From Austin to Tokyo||Room at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo|
|Retail cost||~$2,300||~$400 per night|
|Our Cash Cost||$5 in taxes||$0|
|Miles & Points Used||60,000 American Airlines Miles||25,000 Hyatt points per night|
|Source of Miles & Points||- Citi American Airlines Platinum Select|
Current sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles
- Citi American Airlines Executive
Current sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles
|- Chase Hyatt
Current sign-up bonus of 2 free nights at any Hyatt after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account
Chase Ultimate Rewards:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
Current sign-up bonus of 50,000 points
|Alternatives||- Alaska Airlines - 50,000 miles one-way with certain airlines|
- United Airlines - 65,000 miles one-way
- American Airlines - 35,000 miles one-way (32,000 between October 1 and April 30)
|- Chase Sapphire Reserve
Current sign-up bonus of 100,000 points
- Chase Ink Plus
Current sign-up bonus of 60,000 points
- Chase Ink Bold
Not available to new applicants
|Additional Information||- You can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines at a ratio of 1:1|
- You can transfer Starwood points to Alaska Airlines at a ratio of 1:1
|- You can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt at a ratio of 1:1|
One-way Business Class flights to Japan cost me 60,000 American Airlines miles + $5 in taxes and fees. For an even better flight experience, try to find a seat on Cathay Pacific or Japan Air Lines!
I stayed for free at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo! I used my 2 free nights from the Chase Hyatt card sign-up bonus for part of my stay. And I transferred points to Hyatt from my Chase Sapphire Preferred, which is super easy to do.
There are plenty of hotels where you can stay with points, so it doesn’t have to be Hyatt!
Tokyo is one of my favorite shopping destinations because of its unique, distinct culture. I love going to Shibuya and Shimokitazawa, and shopping at their “kawaii” stores.
A nearly free trip to Tokyo is easy. I used American Airlines miles for my flight. And Hyatt points for my hotel!