Photo by Mine Serizawa

To each season its traditional stockpiling. Around New Years’, you get the grab bags filled with assorted items and sold at substantial discounts (called fukubukuro—”lucky bag”), the winter bargains, and, of course, the consumerist blowout of all blowouts: Japan’s summer clearance sales. The fields lie fallow, the monsoons are waning, etcetera…and department stores around the city are discounting their wares en masse, in shifts beginning at the end of June to the stragglers beginning in mid-July.

Accordingly, we’ve compiled an Old Farmer’s Almanac for the citybound:

Department StoreSale Period
DaimaruFirst half 6.30-7.12; second half 7.13-7.22
MatsuzakayaVarious; starting 6.30, 7.1, 7.13
MatsuyaFirst half starts 7.1; second half starts 7.13
TakashimayaFirst half starts 7.1; second half starts 7.13
OdakyuStarts 7.1
IsetanStarts 7.13

The shops at Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi are no exception. Midtown, home to chocolatiers, gourmet supermarkets, and designer labels, as well as the Suntory Museum of Art, Tadao Ando’s 21_21 Design Sight, and the Ritz-Carlton, started the first half of its sales campaign on 6.29, running until 7.12; the second half begins 7.13 and ends 8.5.

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If Midtown doesn’t exactly sound like the cheapskate’s default hangout, then right: the prices require an adjustment to scale. Should they still horrify, I would recommend a visit if only to experience the oxymoron of a “luxury bargain”…

Photo by Mine Serizawa
Photo by Mine Serizawa

Participating stores include Faber-Castell, 212 Kitchen Store, Idea Digital Studio, and Muji, where t-shirts were on sale for 990 to 2,086yen; pants for 4,186yen. The Puma Black store is selling shoes at 20-40% discounts, including the pairs below, for what I imagine is the none-too-shabby price of 6,300yen, down from 15,750.

Even Africa Diamonds is compromising, somewhat less enthusiastically, on their stones. 10% off on a 750,000yen diamond-encrusted ring–a real steal. (Figuratively. We’re cheapos, not bandits)

Photo by Mine Serizawa

Check out the Let’s Enjoy Tokyo website for a comprehensive list of ongoing sales.

Name:Tokyo Midtown
Location:9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo
Closest Station:Roppongi Station (Oedo, Hibiya)
Business hours:11am-9pm (shops); 11am-12am (restaurants)
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