Japanese home-goods stores are very much like American Target / Walmart / Home Depot / Lowes. They’re a one-stop shop for decor, furniture, organizing bins, gardening, hardware, craft supplies, and even pet goods and groceries.
Pro-tip #1: Don’t go on a Sunday, if you can help it; it’s the busiest day of the week.
Pro-tip #2: Japanese-style furniture is different from American style. It tends to be smaller and more compact, so don’t expect to find big comfy easy chairs or huge dining tables.
The following stores are listed in approximate ascending order of fanciness. They all show up on a Google Maps search.
- Tabata: A small local chain in Ishikawa and Kadena. They have a little of everything, jam-packed into two stories. You won’t find a huge selection of each item, but you’ll find some of everything. Convenient if you live nearby. Sign: White katakana on a red background. Says ‘Home center Tabata’ in katakana.
- Makeman: A national chain with two locations on the island. Both stores have pretty much the same selection, as far as I can tell, and they have a bigger selection of goods than Tabata. Sign: Orange with a monkey in overalls. Says 'Makeman’ in katakana.
- Cainz: A national chain that has all the same types of items as Makeman, but different brands and therefore a different selection. Sign: Dark teal with white print. Says 'CAINZ’ in Romanji (English characters).
- Nitori: This is a high-end furniture and home solutions store, compared to the others. It reminds me of IKEA, but a little fancier. Come here for more serious (Japanese style) furniture purchases, holiday decor, and a huge selection of Japanese-style curtains, both custom and off-the-shelf. An upstairs counter handles delivery scheduling for large furniture. You can often pay to have them assemble it or do it yourself. Sign: Teal with three large block white katakana characters that read 'Nitori’.
A couple of other places to check out for furniture only:
- Today OK! (used)
- Yellow Box (not to be confused with Yellow Hat car sales)