Have you ever tried going to a drugstore just for the sake of doing your make up? Well, it’s quite common in Japan. Unlike cosmetic stops in department stores, many drugstores don’t have staff who watch your every move. They will only come when you call and will let you make up your face with testers in peace. In fact, many drugstores seem to support customers in doing this as it keeps them coming back which is good for business, right? But aside from make-up and prescriptions, drugstores across Japan are loved by natives and foreigners alike because of their convenience. Here are 6 drugstores you can check out in Japan.
1. Matsumoto Kiyoshi
Matsumoto Kiyoshi is one of the most popular drugstores. In fact, if you search for drugstores on google maps, this one may be the first to pop up. Matsumoto Kiyoshi is marked by its sometimes blue, black, and yellow exterior and sign above or near the entrance. This store sells anything from prescriptions and beauty products to everyday necessities and food. It’s very customer oriented as it has a points system for customers that can be managed on online individual customer pages. Points can be traded for prizes. Shop staff is very willing and ready to assist customers whenever they need it.
SUNDRUG is another popular drugstore chain in Japan and with the big red, usually cubed sign, you can’t miss it. It offers a wide range of products like pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, household products, clothes, pet supplies, food and more. This drugstore has four different types of stores that customers can utilize including station-front, suburban, plum, and Pharmaceutical dispensaries types. Station front stores are found in the city and are more on a compact scale while suburban stores are large-scale stores. SUNDRUG aims to establish close interactions with customers and assist in local lifestyles, especially in health and living.
Official Website: http://www.sundrug.co.jp/
3. Tsuruha holdings – Tsuruha Drug
Tsuruha holdings group has many associated drugstores throughout Japan which include self-titled Tsurahara Drug, Kusuri no Fakutaro, Wants, Wellness, and Lady Drugstore. Tsuruha Drug works to support the health of customers. Kusuri no Fukutaro prides itself on local services. Wants sells health and beauty products around the idea of trustworthiness. Wellness caters to regional, elderly, and working women’s needs. Lady Drugstore aims to “cure” the issues of everyday lives of women with health and beauty products. Tsuruha’s drugstores have a website and app in English making them foreigner-friendly.
4. Daikoku Drug
At Daikoku Drug, customers can enjoy shopping for everything that they need all in one place. Customers can buy sundries and food along with any medicine that they may need. There is also a hyaku-en store, or 100 yen store, which is something like a 99 cent or dollar store back in America. You can buy many things for a very low cost and each item is really good for the price. Daikoku Drug also has 5% off discounts and membership appreciation days, so shopping there is pretty cheap. The only downside is sometimes the store can be a bit crowded in the cityscape, but if you don’t mind tight spaces, you can save plenty of money.
5. Cocokara fine
Cocokara fine’s mission is to provide customers with a healthy mind and body and you can locate it with the coral colored C sporting a colon symbol to its right. It kind of looks like a sideways smiley face. Coco standing for the ここ (Coco) in こころ (kokoro – heart/mind) and kara standing for the から in からだ (karada – body) reflects the store’s main role, keeping customers’ minds and bodies healthy. The colon is there because the store plays many roles in the lives of customers. Cocokara fine shops have wider aisles and a relaxing atmosphere. Along with health and beauty products, customers can buy food and other everyday items.
6. JR Kyushu Drug 11
JR Kyushu Drug 11 is owned by JR Kyushu, yes the rail company, so generally these stores are found in Kyushu and Okinawa, where it is the largest drugstore chain, and located very close to train stations in Kyushu. This drugstore sells an array of health and beauty products and a decent assortment of snacks and candy. It’s convenient and you can quickly get everything that you need at this drugstore; however, many people would rather go someplace else to get what they need if getting what they need can wait for a while.
Drugstores in Japan offer a unique experience that you may not get in your home country, so it’s a point of interest for some visitors of Japan. Since drugstores sell such a wide variety of products, many foreigners also like to make it a game to try new products and many people do so with satisfying results. Whether you go to a drugstore for food, laundry detergent, clothes, to do your make up, or to actually buying medicine, you will likely enjoy the experience because of how easy and convenient each store is.
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