Shopping in Japan

Practical Products For Your First Apartment in Japan

Moving into your first apartment in Japan can be an exciting time OR an overwhelming event if you’re not adequately prepared! If you are moving into a new apartment, there are many things you will need that you actually might not think of until after you move in. In my case, I moved out of my marital home under “extreme circumstances,” so I only had the bare minimum and ended up buying nearly everything.

After reflecting on my ordeal, I decided to create a checklist of practical products for your first apartment in Japan. So, whether you’re starting over like me or are a first-timer in Japan, I hope you’ll find this checklist useful!

All items link to Amazon Japan, but don’t worry if you don’t have a credit card or debit card yet! Simply create a new account over on Amazon Japan, then head to a convenience store in order to purchase an Amazon Japan gift card that you can add to your Amazon Japan account.

At the end of this post is a list of my favorite places to shop for home essentials and interior goods.

Practical Products For Your First Apartment in Japan

This post contains affiliate links which means that The Wagamama Diaries makes a small commission of items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

Bedroom 

In a Japanese apartment, bedrooms often feature futons or compact beds, maximizing space for other activities. Consider multifunctional furniture to adapt to the limited room sizes and embrace minimalist design for a tranquil sleeping environment.

LED Ceiling Lights

Mattress Bed 

Bedsheets & Spare Sheet Set

Pillows

Nishikawa Blanket

Duvet

Desk

Eames Chair

Alarm Clock

Full-Length Mirror

Storage Box Ottoman

Blackout Curtains

Door Hook Organizer

Under Bed Storage Boxes

Hangers

Trash Bin

Dehumidifier

Futon/Bed Heater

Kitchen

Japanese kitchens emphasize efficiency, with many apartments having compact layouts. Invest in versatile cookware and storage solutions to make the most of your kitchen space. 

Familiarize yourself with local garbage disposal regulations, which often involve dividing waste into categories like burnable, non-burnable, and recyclables.

Take note of specific collection days for each category, and consider investing in compact trash bins to manage limited space effectively.

Cookware Set

Dishware

Glasses

Utensils

Chopsticks

Thermos

Bento Box

Eco Bags

Food Containers

Aluminum Foil

Plastic Wrap

Resealable Storage Bags

Drain Nets

Trash Can (With Dividers)

Recycle Box

Kitchen Appliances

You can save a ton of yen if you purchase a shin seikatsu ouen setto (新生活家電セット), which is a set of brand new kitchen appliances.  

The 7 piece set pictured above is from Yamazen and includes a washing machine, kitchen storage rack and a vacuum cleaner. Iris Ohyama, another leading Japanese brand, has an equally stylish version

Microwave Oven

Toaster

Fridge

Rice Cooker

Electric Kettle

Bathroom 

Japanese bathrooms often incorporate high-tech features, like heated toilet seats and multifunctional shower systems. Optimize your bathroom storage and embrace the ritual of bathing, intergrating traditional Japanese bath products for a relaxing experience.

If you’re curious about the world of J-beauty, check out my list of 10 Best Japanese Skincare Products Under 1000 yen!

Toilet Paper

Bath Towels

Hand Towels

Shower Organizer

Soap & Soap Dispenser

Body Soap

Bath Salt

Shampoo & Conditioner 

Toilet Brush 

Sanitary Box/Mini Trash Can

Laundry

Compact washing machines are common in Japanese apartments, and most washing machines use cold water to conserve energy. Hanging your laundry to dry is not only environmentally friendly but also a common practice  for energy conservation. Utilize space-saving drying racks to dry laundry indoors during the rainy season.

Washing Machine

Laundry Pods

Outside Laundry Pole

Laundry Hanger

Laundry Nets

Drying Rack

Hangers

Laundry Basket With Wheels

Steam Iron

Living Room

Japanese living rooms prioritize open spaces and flexible seating arrangements. Incorporate tatami mats or floor cushions for a touch of traditional comfort, and keep the decor simple to create a spacious atmosphere.

LED Ceiling Lights

Ottoman

Bookshelf

Sofa

Kotatsu 

Dining Set

Curtains

TV

TV Stand

Streaming Device

Humidifier/Air Purifier

*Sail the high seas if y’all want to but I don’t want to read about it on r/japanlife when you get caught. Just saying. 

Cleaning Products

Japanese cleaning products emphasize efficiency and functionality. Make use of specialized cleaning tools and products to effortlessly maintain a tidy living space. Be sure to watch out for a product label that says: まぜるな (mazeru na). It means, “DO NOT MIX THIS PRODUCT WITH ANYTHING ELSE!”

Broom & Dustpan

Mop

Paper Towels

Tissues

Dish Sponges

Vacuum Cleaner

Melamine Sponges

Mold & Mildew Removal Spray

Drain Cleaner

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Citric Acid 

Baking Soda

Dust Rags 

Entrance

Shoe Rack

Magnetic Umbrella Stand (and Key Holder!)

Miscellaneous 

Make use of extension cords, power strips, and charging stations to maximize outlets and minimize clutter. Lastly, prepare for natural disasters with an emergency bag! Read this post on how to get started: Preparing An Emergency Kit In Japan

Extension Cords

Power Strip

Charging Station

Emergency Bag/Evacuation Kit

First Apartment Shopping Tips – Where To Shop

Where To Shop

Home Essentials: Daiso, Can-Do, Seria 

Japan is known for its 100 yen shops, especially Daiso, which offer an incredible range of items for the home, starting at just 100 yen. 

Daiso has leveled up since I first arrived nearly 20 years ago. Since then, other 100 yen shops like Can-Do and Seria have made their mark on the Japanese market.

Daiso has items priced from 100 yen up and above. It’s the first place I go when I need basic cleaning products, replacement utensils, or ingredients for a weekend baking session.

However, when I need fancy wrapping paper or stationery, or other craft items like yarn, Seria is my top choice. Can-Do, as I have recently discovered, has an impressive kitchen lineup (better than Daiso, in my opinion).

Interior Design: Muji, Ikea, Threepy, Three Coins, Loft & Francfranc 

If your style is simple and minimalist, you’ll like Muji and Ikea. I personally prefer Muji for essentials like storage boxes, shelves, as well as towels, toiletries and cosmetics, as well as clothing, too! Muji also has a fantastic selection of drinks, prepackaged and processed foods, and snacks. 

But, if you have a car or live within a suitable distance, you’ll probably be able to get everything you need for your Japanese apartment in one trip to Ikea!

If your style is feminine chic meets bougie on a budget, then you’ll like Three Coins, Threeppy, Loft, and Francfranc.

Three Coins, as its name suggests, sells items for 3 coins, AKA 300 yen. Its interior goods come in muted colors and classic minimalist design. Think of Three Coins as a stylish, yet affordable alternative to MUJI as it also sells cosmetics and accessories like gloves and handbags.

Daiso’s sister brand, Threeppy is similar to Three Coins, and has a selection of cute interior items, often in pastel colors and featuring licensed animated characters. 

Loft and Francfranc sell similar items, but at a higher price range. However, you’ll find some real gems at affordable prices if you manage to shop at a Francfranc outlet store.

For what it’s worth, Loft has a solid selection of domestic and imported cosmetics, so beauty aficionados should definitely check it out when they shop for their Japanese apartment.

For tips on how to make your Japanese apartment dog and/or kid friendly, check out this post: 10 Tips To Make Your Japanese Apartment Kid and Dog-Friendly

New in Japan and don’t know where to shop for clothing? May I suggest:

My 5 Favorite Places to Shop in Japan For Women’s Clothes and Shoes

What (Not) To Wear in Japan: A Guide For Professional Women

 

 

Practical Products For Your First Apartment in Japan

You may also like...

Leave a Reply