Getting geared up for the holiday season? Feeling overwhelmed or not sure where to go or what to do or how to do it? You'll find some of my favorite resources below. Please let us know in the comments if you have something to add (even if it's regional).
Often including trees
Nitori - Housewares store. Link is to English version of their site (including store locator). You can also shop online from the Japanese version of the site.
Tokyu Hands - Misc. goods. Japanese site. Store locator (usually located in big cities) and online shop.
Loft - Similar to Tokyu Hands. I've seen these more often, but still usually in big cities. Japanese site; store locator.
|The display at Loft|
Muji - Japanese site. They don't really have decorations, but they do have an advent calendars and some other novelty items.
Don Quijote - Hat tip to Laura for the suggestion. Your nearest store may offer some Christmas decorations and related items.
Any home store in your area will typically carry something. The selection may vary depending on the store. For example, some stores near me carry small artificial trees, some decorations, and LED and solar lights. One example is Cainz - in many, but not all, prefectures; they also have an online store with fake trees and solar lights.
Mr. Max - Hat tip to Kimberly. Located in Kanto, Chugoku and Kyushu regions.
100円 store - You may be surprised at what kind of decorations and novelty Christmas items you can find in a 100 yen store. Daiso seems to be an overwhelming favorite (thanks to those of you who've mentioned it).
Aeon (or Jusco) - Hat tip to Jerry. Department store carrying a wide variety of items, often including Christmas/holiday items.
FrancFranc - Hat tip to Garden Clinic Hiroo. Housewares store, sells decorations and cards.
Etsy - I've fallen in love with Etsy. If homemade goods are your thing, you can find all kinds of decorations, ornaments, stockings, tree skirts, etc. Many vendors ship to Japan.
Dinner Help: Specialty Food Items
Kaldi - Specializes in coffee, but carries a variety of imported goods. Also has shops on Rakuten, Yahoo, and Amazon Japan (coffee-only).
Seijo Ishii - Japanese site. Supermarket that carries a variety of imported food. Not as widespread as Kaldi (Kanto, Chubu, and Kansai, according to its website), but carries a decent selection of items.
Jupiter - Japanese site. Import Store (I've linked to the store locator). Stores across more regions in Japan than Seijo Ishii, though not in all areas (one just opened in Shizuoka this year).
Online supermarkets in English such as Yoyo Market, The Meat Guy, FBC and Flying Pig all have a variety of imported goods and products you are familiar with.
Any other import store in your area. You might try searching for 輸入食品, but oftentimes they are located in or near a larger train station. Or you can try the various online import stores.
Ohtsuya - If you're looking for spices in bulk for all that holiday baking! They also carry nuts and dried fruit and a few other items. I often get large bags of nuts or spices from here.
Want something more natural or organic? Some of the above will carry various natural/organic items (you may be surprised to find some even at your local supermarket), but also try Tengu Natural Foods, Natural House or iHerb.
I have to say Loft is one of my favorite places to get cards of any kind, and this year we found some fun Christmas cards of various Japan scenes with tiny Santas (for friends and family not in Japan). Examples of those below, but there are many, many more types of cards. I think the pop-up ones are especially fun.
Many, if not most, stationary stores also sell seasonal cards, so try looking for 文房具屋 (ぶんぼうぐや, bunbouguya).
Real? Fake? What are your options?
Check out: How to find a Christmas Tree in Japan
If you're looking for some sparkle...
Read: Where to find Christmas/holiday light displays in Japan
You can find many of the above and a few other suggestions (some more related to the Tokyo area) in Make it home for the holidays ... or at least as close as possible - The Japan Times
Tokyo Weekender also has a few ideas.
Kimberly shared her season favorites as a resident of Hiroshima:
[Insert your idea here] What do you have to add? It's fine if it's location-specific - I'll make a nice big list.
Finally, what would a Christmas resources list be without the Norad Santa tracker? Last year the jolly old man even stopped in Fuji, Shizuoka (and a few other places in Japan, of course). Also available in Japanese (and several other languages).