Spring season has come again! Can you believe that? Time sure flies so fast to my most favorite season in Japan and I can say from my personal opinion, there is no better season to come to Japan other than this sakura season. You can see beautiful white and pink cherry blossoms everywhere celebrated with an increasingly popular festival. The country also now changes into a haven of red and scarlet leaves which contrast strikingly against the deep blue clear skies.
Besides its beautiful sakura scenery which is perfect to take hundreds of OOTD photos, you must know that Japan is also a shopping paradise with a wealth of stores selling everything from traditional souvenirs and local food to the latest electronics and hottest fashion brands. I have shared a lot about Japan travel and beauty hacks but especially today, I will be sharing about one of the most useful travel apps I used recently to stroll around Japan called IKIDANE NIPPON.
IKIDANE NIPPON is a travel apps/website packed with experience-based information for those interested in traveling to and around Japan. It differs from other websites focused on Japan, as it offers authentic information, acquired through the first-hand experience by local travel writers and photographers about Japanese culture and cuisine, festivals and seasonal events, as well as Japan’s exceptional hospitality. With a unique aesthetic, IKIDANE NIPPON presents essential information as well as the latest updates about anything and everything related to Japan.
Even though I have been traveling to Japan for so many times, I still can't get rid of my habit to do a lot of research before the day, just so I know what is happening in Japan. I used to check if there is an ongoing festival, events, new tourist spots or popular cherry blossom spots. But most importantly, I will check if there are any shopping promotions going in Japan because who could resist shopping anyway.
Thus why I found the IKIDANE NIPPON app is really interesting and escalate to be my favorite Japan app in just one use. If you have downloaded this app, you will see that actually there are actually a lot of useful features in this app. 5 main features coverage are Eat, Entertainment, Events, Shopping, and Sightseeing which can be selected by area/location we preferred.
To follow below information regarding benefits and features of this apps, I advise you to download the apps which can be found both in Apple Store or Google Play Store. Once you downloaded it, try the following
You can guess right away which one is my favorite feature. Yes, it is the shopping feature!
Every time I open this app, I will directly click a red button at the bottom of the screen.
Which button you ask? It is the "COUPON" button!
You will see a page exactly like in above picture with a list of discount coupons for shopping at your most favorite retailers, drugstores or even onsen facilities!
- Matsumoto Kiyoshi: A popular Japanese drugstore where you can find cosmetics and medicine all the way up to daily necessities and food products, all at reasonable prices. IKIDANE NIPPON offers coupons with up to 13% discount depending on the purchase price.
- BIC CAMERA: A consumer electronics retailer chain in Japan where you can get 8%+7% discount on the home electric appliance or 8%+5% discount on drugstore items using IKIDANE NIPPON vouchers. This discounts mainly can be used in Kanto area.
- Joshin: A large-scale electrical home appliances specialized store, mainly in Kansai area. Get up to 16% discount coupon when shopping in Joshin using IKIDANE NIPPON vouchers.
- Manyo-no-yu: A place to relax with its onsen facilities with 15 branches all over Japan. It comes with natural hot spring brought from the famous hot spring areas for the customers to save their trouble of traveling. Enjoy 10% discount on admission cost for each facility (for adults only) using IKIDANE NIPPON vouchers.
- Edion: One of the giants among the electronic and appliance shops in the city. IKIDANE NIPPON offers up to 15% discount coupon when shopping in Edion.
- megane SUPER: One of the top chain store in Japan for cheap and fashionable eyeglasses with hundreds of branches located all over Japan. Get 10% off on glasses, sunglasses, contact lenses and colored contacts!
Coming soon to the list above is Don Quijote, you sure do not want to miss the discount vouchers for this store so hurry downloads the app!
Left to right: Drop-down voucher list, map-view voucher list, voucher eligibility to use
A day after I arrived in Japan, I immediately try this app and I am totally astounded by the positive experience I had. Let me describe how to use this app in step by step below:
1. Click the "Coupon" button.
2. Choose the coupon store you want to use, i.e.: Matsumoto Kiyoshi.
3. You will see the drop-down list of nearest Matsumoto Kiyoshi store around you.
(You can change the list-view to map-view by clicking the map icon in bottom right of the screen)
4. Choose the store you want to use the voucher in.
5. You will see the details of the coupon and the eligibility of use.
6. After ensuring the details of voucher discount you're eligible with, click "Use Coupon".
7. A barcode will be shown on your page, show it to the cashier staff.
(Do not forget to present your passport too, it is a formal procedure to shop in Japan for tourist)
8. The cashier will scan it and your purchase will be automatically deducted from the discount.
That's how simple it is and what more pleasant to me is the staff's knowledge of this app discount feature. It is totally hassle-free, no need to explain anything, it is perfect for tourist who wants to shop with limited conversation in the cashier, just show the app and they will understand.
P.S.: Do not forget to bring your passport for shopping anywhere in Japan!
In addition to the amazing discount offers above, personally, I want to praise the great contents provided in this app. IKIDANE NIPPON covers 140,000 sight-seeing spots in Japan from famous to local stuff, literally covering everything about Japan in detail. We can find hidden gems in Japan if we read it thoroughly.
One of the secret information I got from this app is the "Yuki-no-Otani" Snow Wall. I was looking for a nice spot during my visit this April and I notice that this show only going to be held from April 14th to April 24th. The “Yuki-no-Otani” Snow Wall is one of Japan’s most spectacular natural wonders that is about 20 meters high. Every year people come from all over the world to the Yuki-no-Otani to walk through the narrow path which makes you feel like you’re walking between towering castle walls of snow.
There are more pieces of information such as popular food spots, Instagram-worthy shops, even stuff such as "How to withdraw cash at convenience stores" or "Tax Refund: Rules and Procedure" you can read through in this app!
Another incredibly convenient feature in IKIDANE NIPPON app is the barcode scanner feature. I got frequent questions on how to understand the Japanese language in the product we're going to buy. I'm personally not really expert in the Japanese language, I find troubles as well sometimes, but afraid no more guys! Using the IKIDANE NIPPON app, all you have to do is scan the product barcode and you will get information on the product in your preferred language in no time and also the shops' recommendation where you can buy the product you want. Now you can buy anything you want!
When you open the IKIDANE NIPPON app, you can easily find barcode scanner app this on the top right of the screen. Just click on camera-button and you can directly scan the barcode of the product you would like to purchase.
So, if you are heading or planning to go to Japan, go directly download this useful app so you can be hassle-free traveling and shopping while in Japan!
Here is the URL for the app download:
You can also visit the official website of IKIDANE NIPPON in http://ikidane-nippon.com/en