Japan sells every conceivable electronic gadget and gizmo you could ever think of and plenty you couldn’t imagine. You need to look no further than the average Japanese toilet seat to see the country is enhancing the electronic age.
Most of the major cities have electronics districts like Akihabara in Tokyo and Den Den Town or Nippombashi in Osaka but you will find electronic devices for sale just about everywhere, from the large electronics department store to the street market. With the turnover of so much new technology, there are also many second hand dealers around the electronic districts where you may pick up a real bargain.
As the average Japanese person has a fairly small living space compared to much of the western world, many of the popular gadgets are small items, mp3 players, mobile phones, digital still and video cameras, organisers or electronic toys and trinkets are amongst the most popular. Hi Fi equipment, televisions and computers are starting to become the one multi function product; this is due to the average size of a Japanese home.
One of the new growth markets are the introduction of robot toys and helpers. Still in their early days, it is hoped these robots will become companions and helpers to people in years to come. Today many are still novelty items, but the technology is rapidly increasing.
Unlike most of Asia, all products are marked with price tags and there is usually no bargaining, although if asked with respect and politeness, you might be able to request a 5 or 10% discount from your sales person.
Remember to check the product before purchase for compatibility with home, many items are made for the Japanese market only and may have buttons or instructions only in Japanese. Be mindful that Japan’s 110 voltage system is different to many countries, and some items including mobile phones, DVD’s and radios may not be 100% compatible in many countries. It may be worth visiting some of the bigger department stores for these types of products as many stock overseas models for sale to tourists. These items can usually be purchased tax free and with a foreign warranty. Remember to take your passport to claim the duty free.