Takeya: 42 Floors of Bargains

Image by macglee, used under a Creative Commons Licence.
Image by macglee, used under a Creative Commons Licence.

Looking to buy a rice cooker, engagement ring, washing machine, sphygmomanometer (one of those blood pressure thingies) and a bag of flour all at one stop? There’s a nine-building store in Okachimachi that has everything you could possibly want or need.

Takeya is touted as Tokyo’s oldest and most famous discount store, with its crazy total of 42 floors all stacked with surprisingly low-priced goods. Whether you’re after an Armani suit for 80% off its normal price or a family-sized bag of osenbei (rice crackers) for 140 yen, this shop has it all.

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Your adventure begins with the ever-present crowds throwing snacks, tea, and crisps into their baskets. They spill out onto the street, along with the extra dried fruit and packs of nori that couldn’t be squeezed onto the shelves inside the store. Groceries take up the first floors of buildings A and B, and there’s a vast selection of foodstuffs to choose from (including jars of Jiff peanut butter – gold for Americans in Japan). The prices are noticeably lower than the other grocery stores this cheapo writer has been to. The food floor alone can wear you out, so grab an onigiri  (rice ball) for under 100 yen to refuel, because there’s more shopping ahead – a lot more.

Super cheapo drinks. Image by macglee, used under a Creative Commons Licence.

Announcements in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean (unfortunately no English) alert you to bargains as you make your way around the maze of floors. In Building A, you’ll find all sorts of home electronics and appliances – everything from electric toothbrushes to home phones, cooking ranges, toasters, vacuums, and tumble driers. Fine jewelry can also be found – it’s fun to eye the diamond rings and strands of pearls, but be warned – these prices are not cheapo-friendly.

Building B houses men’s apparel, including imported brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, Ralph Lauren, North Face, and Hollister- all discounted. I was surprised to find so many high-end brands and designer items, and still can’t decide if Takeya should be classified as a department store, discount store, or both.

Discount megalopolis.

Of the remaining seven buildings, two are dedicated to furniture, one to ladies’ clothes and accessories, one is for home accessories, two are for office supplies and furniture, and the last one is where you’ll find bicycles (and a bicycle repair shop), garden supplies, pet stuff and wallpaper.

Clear your day when you make a trip to Takeya – it’s the type of place you go to with only a few things on your list … and then you end up needing a trailer to take all of your purchases home. I went hoping just to get some cheap snacks … but left with a new pair of chopsticks, a thermos, bento box, jar of molasses, and a bag of peanuts.  And I’ll be returning for a certain mini blender and Totoro rice bowl.

Cheapo tip for tourists: Before leaving the store, you can get a tax refund on the stuff you buy.

Access: Located not even 5 minutes from JR Okachimachi station, Takeya is easy to find. Just take the north exit and you will soon see the two main buildings of the massive store. You can’t miss the big  purple sign and hordes of bargain-hunters buzzing around the entrance.


Name: Takeya
Address: 4-33-2 Taito, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Location(s): Okachimachi, Ueno,
Access: JR Okachimachi, Nakaokachimachi, Uenookachimachi, Shinokachimachi
Web: http://www.takeya.co.jp/english/
Phone: 03-3855-7777 03-3855-7777
Business hours: 10am to 8:30pm
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6 Responses to “Takeya: 42 Floors of Bargains”

  1. Sebastian June 9, 2014

    Wow awesome article. This is a life saver on my budget costs.
    What is the tax refund you mentioned? Does it apply to anything you buy at Takeya?
    How do you go about the process on the refund?

    • Hi Sebastian, thanks for reading!

      The tax refund is for anyone from overseas shopping at Takeya (I assume you will need to show your foreign passport). All items in the store already include a 5% consumption tax, but you can get the refund at any of their tax refund counters (Main Bldg A 2F or 4F, Main Bldg B 5F, or Ladies Bldg 7F) during business hours.

      Hope that answered your question!

      • Great article, just came back from Takeya 🙂
        However, I bought some appliances on building A and the cashier told me that the tax refund is only when you buy for over 10 000 Yens. A bit disappointed.

  2. is there cheap new or used g-shock watches here?

  3. Hello, I just came across your post on google but how do you get a tax refund on your things? Thanks!

    • CheapoGreg July 22, 2016

      At large stores like Takeya, there should be a counter where you can get a refund straight away. If you do that, make sure you have your passport with you. Otherwise you can save your receipts and get your tax refund at the airport before you leave. Doing it at the store is easiest though.

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