Look for the shop with beautiful fruit in front and bottles on shelves along the right hand wall. The owner speaks some English and stocks Australian wines which (sorry Japan) are way more drinkable than any Japanese brands I've found so far. The shop is near to the main shopping street and only about 3 minutes from the JR station on the north side. The fruit I've bought there is expensive and worth it and beautifully packaged although I have not tried the $50.00 honeydew melon!!
What to pay: A bottle of Yellow Tail Chardonnay was about $11.00 US dollars.
What to buy:
You can get bento box almost anywhere including JR Station. However hold your temptation.
If your intention to visit Himeji Castle and would love to buy your lunch or snack to enjoy the view I recommend Himeji Shopping Arcade. Varieties of beautiful bento box.
How to get there?
Walk out from the station and cross first traffic light and keep to your right, you past couple of shops till you see an shopping arcade mainly selling clothes at first sight. Go inside and the left and you'll get to see so vendor stall displaying hundreds of Bento Box.
Price is between JPY300-JPY800 per box
There are some souvenir shops on MIYUKIDORI (a shopping street north of the station) and you can buy some souvenirs in the dept stores.
On the south side of the station there is a shop named BANSANKAN to the right of the station on the corner that sells Himeji goods (open daily from 9am-7pm).
What to buy: When coming to himeji you must try TAMATSUBAKI, a famous sweet. you can buy it in the department stores (YAMATO YASHIKI or SANYO DEPT STORE), the south entrance of JR Himeji station (inside the gate), or underneath JR Himeji station at FESTA. It's a fragile red bean sweet that is often eaten with Japanese green tea (but by itself it is delicious as well).
THINGS TO BUY AS SOUVENIRS:
HIMEYAMA DOLLS-carved female wooden dolls
HIMEJI HARIKO-paper mache masks
What to pay: Depends on the item. Pay in Japanese Yen. Credit cards are accepted in some stores.
There is only one bookstore in Himeji that has both English books and magazines, but prepared to pay more than double the price for them than what you`d pay in the US, Canada, & UK. Paperbacks run about 1600yen. That`s not a typo. Don`t even let me get into hardcover. You can find books on many subjects, mostly fiction & Japan travel but some cookbooks, a children`s book section, arts/crafts, etc. Magazines are about the same cost as books here (although if you go to Tower Records in FORUS theirs are cheaper-but they only have a few magazines). You can find a lot of women`s fashion & men`s sports magazines. English language Japanese newspapers are the cheapest at 120-150yen.
This is a small shop that just opened this past week. They sell small bean bag animals made of Japanese fabric (very popular objects!) for 200-300yen. Also of particular interest are Japanese boxes & textiles.
Kiddyland is THE place to go to buy character goods. Hello Kitty, Disney goods, Snoopy, Miffy, Moomin Valley, Shinkansen, Smiley Face, The Dog, etc. Often these products are sold only in Japan so although you can buy Hello Kitty in other countries you won`t find these particular "Kitty-chan" products.
Open daily 10am-8pm.
What to buy: Everything is really cute here! You can buy stuffed animals, bowls/mugs, towels, LOTS of stationary, keychains, mobile phone accessories, hair accessories, clothing, etc.
PS. Kiddyland is a chain store & not found only in Himeji.
What to pay: Prices vary
100yen shops are all over Japan! On almost every shopping street there is at least one of them.
There are three 100yen shops around Himeji station. Two on Miyuki Dori (the main shopping street north of the station) & one underneath the station at Festa. The biggest one w/ the best selection is on Miyuki Dori after McDonalds on the 2nd & 3rd floor.
What to buy: You can buy Hello Kitty, Winnie the Pooh, & other character goods. Pottery/china, kitchenware, stationary, batteries, blank cd/md/videos, bath goods, seasonal goods, toys, garden tools & supplies, clothing, etc.
What to pay: 100YEN for each item!
This store, although small, sells many many different kinds of Japanese goods. The interior is colorful because of its goods but has a dark wood paneling. I love the way this shop makes me feel: warm, quaint, and that I am definitely in Japan!
The staff is really friendly and don`t hesitate to offer a smile.
NOTE: There are 3 Wakon shops in Himeji but my favorite is the one underneath JR Himeji Station. There is another Wakon on Miyuki Dori (the shopping street) in front of the station to the right , and the other is in Taisho town.
What to buy: You can buy kimonos, stationary, pottery/kitchenware, incense, goods made of Japanese fabric: hair pins, boxes, bookcovers, dolls, mirrors, keychains, etc.
Everything is beautiful and you will want to buy everything you see!
What to pay: Prices range depending on the product but I think that all the prices are reasonable and comparable to other shops.
the himeji flea market is located at Otenmae Park, near himeji castle. it is held every 2nd and 4th sunday of the month from 10am-3pm.
What to buy: you can buy japanese kimonos, pottery (japanese and contemporary), toys, towels, antiques, clothing, etc.
What to pay: japanese yen only. bargaining is ok!!