It takes a bit to stand out in Roppongi but painting your store bright orange will do it. | Photo by Gregory Lane

Ever received a gift card which you can’t seem to use unless you go to a flash department store in Ginza? At Daikokuya you can turn these into cash for more useful items – like beer. Daikokuya is a particularly large chain of what are known as ‘kinken’ (金券) shops. They basically buy and sell anything that is of high value and portable – so if you were planning to sell your sofa you’d be out of luck. Pretty much anything else that’s legal can be sold – gift vouchers, train tickets, gold, platinum, brand name wallets, iPads, foreign currency, prepaid telephone cards and even stamps.  On the other side, all these things can be purchased at cheap or discounted prices.

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As we explained briefly in our article about cheap ticket machines, a lot of the tickets and discounts come from Japanese company stock holders who are often sent vouchers and discount coupons in lieu of actual dividends.

Exactly what items the store trades in varies from branch to branch – for example, some will trade mobile phones or household electronics while others may not. Also, from a brief perusal of the cash rates for foreign exchange, the rates at Daikokuya are quite competitive – marginally better for major currencies than the nearby Mitsubishi Tokyo UFJ Bank. Also be aware that it’s not exactly designed with a non-Japanese market in mind, so all their information is in Japanese – so if you can’t read Japanese and you’d like specific information, you’ll need to ask directly.



The percentages show the proportion of the original value that they will pay. | Photo by Gregory Lane

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Name:Daikokuya
Location:Everywhere – easier to list the locations where they’re not!
Web:http://www.e-daikoku.com/ (Site in Japanese)
Business hours:Weekdays 10:30am to 8pm
Weekends and holidays 10:30 to 7pm (this is for Roppongi – other stores may vary)
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