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Welcome to my blog!

If you are in for an adventure paired with lengthy, quirky, brutal honest thoughts then you are in the right place.

My name is Arisa and was a cosplayer for 12 years in Malaysia before settling down in Kyoto, Japan. Exploring Japan full time has been a long time dream of mine, so let's explore it together!
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Top 5 Favourite Affordable Fashion brands in Japan

I often get asked, "where do i usually shop for my clothes?". And it's not like i wear fancy instagrammable clothings either, to me they are normal everyday clothes that i wear and the best part they are cheap (affordable is a nice term to say it lol), i know life in Japan can be quite expensive (trust me i've lived here for almost 2 years already), but if you know where to look and shop then you can save quite abit. Learning how to mix and match is also very important so that the clothing can serve you in more ways than just 1. If you are going to wear it just once, then there is no point buying it unless it's an "emergency" kind of situation.

Kyoto isn't exactly a shopping haven for "young people" clothes due to the ageing population clearly being the majority here but there are some stores around Kyoto station worth paying attention to like Porta, Aeon & Avanti.
Clearly Osaka and Tokyo has better varieties for youngsters but the places i'm listing in my blogpost today are chain brands, so likely you are able to find them almost in every city throughout Japan. 

Fashion Shopping tip:  
Take advantage of  the summer/ year end sales and always shop for the year ahead. In Japan it's common for stores to clear off their summer stocks during summer sales because autumn & winter stocks needs space to be sold. Therefore it's the perfect time to grab summer clothes for the following year. I practice this method, that is why i've never really paid full price for most of the clothes in my wardrobe unless it's something i really love and there is limited pieces left lol.  

1.  GU & Uniqlo

Why do i put these 2 stores together? It's because they are under the same company lol, usually you'll even find them side by side in a mall too. GU's target market is more for youths, hence the bright colors and styles while Uniqlo focuses more on mature fashion (working adults) and essentials.  The price point for GU is actually lesser than Uniqlo so you are able to get quite a number of clothings below 2000 yen.  One thing to keep an eye out for these 2 brands is that they usually have seasonal SALE BINS hiding at the back of the store, take a walk around and you'll definitely see it and yes i'm a cheapo that raids sale bins lol. You can usually find tons of decent outfits there for a fraction of their selling price. Sometimes there are outlet reject items in the sale bin because of minor stains (Japanese companies are really strict with quality control) like the recent winter jacket i bought for less than 400 yen (original retail price: 4000yen), a real steal haha and ain't going to complain over a tiny stain that's easily removable.

Couldn't decide which photo I liked more so gonna post both lol, sila vote 1 or 2 ๐Ÿ˜‚ So blessed to catch almost a full view of the Autumn foliage in Hiruzen, Minawa (Okayama), these are non edited photos by the way! Located about 2 hours away from the main city. Autumn is my favourite season and I would chase the entire Japan (all 47 prefectures) for it! It's worth bearing the cold strong winds up here at Kimendai Observatory (location tagged above photo) just to get a good glimpse of Hiruzen's nature beauty ๐Ÿ’•☺️๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚ So excited that I took tons of photos during this trip that I can't wait to share with you guys on my blog, another prefecture ticked☑️ off my #47prefecturemission list ๐Ÿ™ . Top & skirt : @gu_global . . #Hiruzen #Okayamaprefecture #autumn๐Ÿ #ArisainOkayama # ๅฒกๅฑฑ #่’œๅฑฑ #autumn #ilovejapan #travelphotography #travelgram #japan_of_insta #lotd
A post shared by JAPAN LIFE & TRAVEL (@arisa_chow) on


Honeys is another one of my all time favourite because their style is a mix of mori demure & girly street fashion and they have almost everything you need from clothes, shoes, bags and even accessories (even spotted their own heat tech wear lol). Their items are priced pretty decent even on non sale season, you can easily get items priced at 1200-1500yen and during sale it's lesser than that.

3. Earth, Music & Ecology

This is a popular fashion brand in Japan that you can even find it at Kansai Airport! I remember during one of my early work trips to Japan because it was an overnight flight and i needed a fresh change of clothes without the hassle of opening my suitcase, i just walked into Earth, Music & Ecology (their brand name is a mouth-full though & no shortcuts lol), grabbed a set and paid 2000 yen for a new top & bottom, went to the nearest bathroom to have a shower and immedietly changed into it. HAHA, seriously this is something you can only do in Japan, such convenience ๐Ÿ˜‚

Earth, Music & Ecology has the typical Japanese fashion style which has loose & airy cutting to hide one's body shape, you'll definitely walk out of the store dressing like a Japanese magazine model lol.

4. Shimamura

This is literally one of the oldest fashion brands in Japan that pretty much every Japanese household has at least wore their clothings while growing up. They have outlets in malls or a stand alone store (which is huge) and usually located in local areas, there are some exceptions that you'll find them near tourist spots but that's because they are probably there wayyy BEFORE the tourism boom lol. I couldn't believe my eyes when i saw the price tag like how are their clothes SO.FREAKING.CHEAP?

You'll probably think that these kind of stores don't sell fashionable clothes, more for old people and children (i did at least) until i saw with my very own eyes. So many fashionable clothes and it's the cheapest store out of my entire list.

Heck this Christmas coordinate of mine, the white knit dress was bought there last year at 990yen only!

990yen knit dress matched with dem expensive shoes lol๐Ÿ˜‚

Also this is where we usually shop for #lilpenguin 's clothes & shoes because children grow so fast, it's pointless to spend so much on their daily clothing. Children clothes in Japan are generally expensive (more expensive than adult's), seriously can't brain it because you wear it once and outgrow it, then what? Sorry, i'm usually a rational shopper when it comes to clothes; unless it's a special occasion like birthday or Christmas, splurging are off limits.

Another point i like about Shimamura is that they carry alot of sizes including plus size, i remember helping my older sister shop for her winter jacket here and she usually has a hard time finding fashionable plus size clothing that isn't expensive.

5. GRL (online store)
 I just had to put this on my list because who doesn't love occasional online shopping and usually it's cheaper compared to physical stores because they don't have to pay any store rent, the only downside on online stores is that they tend to have more "FREE SIZE" items which normal sized people like me are unable to fit so i usually go for size "M-L" (that's the largest they have).
What i like about GRL is how they style their clothes, the coordination is usually on point that at one glimpse you can imagine yourself wearing it too. It's hard not to click "add to cart" at this point lol.

Their clothes are cheap, quality is decent for the price. I find myself easily spending 8000yen each round on a box full of clothes (tops,bottoms. dresses, coats, shoes). When i first moved to Japan with barely much clothes, this was the 2nd place i shopped at aside from GU lol. I got a fashionable long winter coat for only 2000yen! Sibeh cheap man.
It's usually free shipping when you spend a minimal of 5000yen in a single bill but on weekends it's free shipping with no minimum spending. They do ship outside of Japan via a proxy service & of course there are additional charges.

The downside about GRL is that their sizes run small (japanese girls so so petite!) so if you are slightly tall like me (165cm) then you'll need to check the clothing measurements properly before buying & shipping takes about 1-2 weeks to arrive (not suitable if you are in a hurry) as it's shipped directly from their China warehouse.

Fashion Shopping Tip:
If possible, do your shopping at Outlet stores, they are usually hevaily discounted all year round and during sale season, there's extra discount on top of its current sale price.


Not all of it are under Japan brand category but just adding in for fun of it ๐Ÿ˜œ

  • IGNI (Japan brand)
IGNI's brand name is hard to pronounce, not sure what does it even stand for lol but they do have some nice clothing & print designs. The cheapest price of their clothes is usually around 1999yen but during summer sales it can go as low as 1000 yen per top. 
  • H&M 
I usually shop here during sale season because clothes are priced below 1000yen (woohoo!) and they have more universal human sizes (a huge sigh of relief) but even during non sale periods, you can easily get a top for less than 1500 yen which is rather a decent price compared to Japanese fashion brands.

top & skirt from H&M under 3000 yen

  • GAP
Another non Japan brand but let's face it, they do carry some comfy snuggly basics and my entire sweatpants collection is from GAP haha! Best part living near Kyoto station's AEON is that their GAP branch is an Outlet store, so there forever an ongoing sale and during sale season its SALE ON SALE price lol.
50% of penguin's clothes are from GAP outlet because it's 500-800 yen a piece. So in case you need to get emergency clothes for your kid nearby Kyoto station, you know there's GAP outlet and Shimamura nearby ๐Ÿ˜‚

Hope you found my fashion picks & tips useful if you are planning to shop in Japan during your holidays and don't forget to share this post on your social media if you enjoyed this post. It would mean the world to me to see my blog making a (small) difference in other people's holiday & shopping plans ๐Ÿ’–
Slowly trying my best to share more stuff like this on my blog, coming up next would be food related and hopefully more travel contents like Shiga, Wakayama & Okinawa which is forever pending haha.

Yours Truly,

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