The majority of Japanese apartments are not big by any standards, and thus major furniture acquisitions like king size beds, and sectional couches are unheard of except within the largest of Tokyo apartments, and with the expat population. Because of this, there are not a significant number of all-in-one places where furniture can be purchased, necessitating the need for many expats to ship some of their furniture from their home country to Japan. Generally speaking, people in Japan tend to buy new furniture rather than second hand, and it’s not uncommon to see a perfectly good piece awaiting disposal on the side of the road after a new purchase has been made.
Each of the stores below have several locations across Tokyo, unless specified otherwise:
Bals Tokyo (http://www.balstokyo.com/en/) – Offers an eclectic mix of sharp yet trendy pieces including furniture and a variety of accessories. Prices vary, but Bals Tokyo is known for its high-quality products.
Co stco (http://www.costco.co.jp/eng/index.htm) – While not a store that focuses on furniture, they do offer a number of home appliance options at reasonable prices including washers and dryers, refrigerators, flat screen televisions, stereos, and more.
Don Quijote (http://www.donki.com) – Just about every product imaginable from small and medium sized furniture pieces, electronics, small kitchen appliances, toiletry items, and much more is available here. Don Quijote is very reasonably priced, but does not offer the kind of quality that can be found in other, albeit pricier, furniture stores.
FrancFranc (http://www.francfranc.com) – Fun, colorful, and trendy household items for the living room, dining room, kitchen, and elsewhere. Clearly targeting the younger generation, FrancFranc has both a reasonably priced and decent quality product offering.
IDC Otsuka (http://www.idc-otsuka.co.jp/, TFT Building, 3-1 Ariake; Tel: 03-5530-4321) – Arguably the largest dedicated furniture store in Tokyo, offering mid-range to top-quality pieces of all sizes including sofas, desks, tables and tableware, bedroom furniture, and much more. IDS is also quite expat-friendly, offering personal shopping assistants, although it’s important to note that the quality of the goods and the top-notch customer service you’ll receive comes at a price.
Ikea (http://www.ikea.com/jp/en/) – The Japanese branches of the Swedish company Ikea are like any of the other Ikea’s around the world, in that inexpensive deals for all sorts of furniture items can be found here. The vast majority of furniture acquisitions will require at least some amount of assembly.
Muji (http://www.muji.com) – While Muji has been trendy for years, its inexpensive and rather simple designs have become terribly popular given the nation’s present economic woes. While Muji does not have the variety that many of the others listed here have, the linens, kitchen and tableware, and small furniture items are both functional and easy on the wallet.
Tokyu Hands (http://www.tokyu-hands.co.jp/) – More of a do-it-yourself hardware store than a furniture outlet, but their stores do offer a variety of reasonably priced home and kitchen appliances, kitchen and tableware, and some basic furniture pieces as well.