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Tax refund: How to get the VAT reduction (duty free) in Japan?

Good news: you don’t need to be at the airport to benefit from duty free.

All stores with a “tax free” sticker will allow you to save the 8% tax. Be careful, you have to spend at least 5000yen/purchase to be eligible for tax free.

For this, you just have to show your passport. Be aware that in Japan, prices are all displayed tax free (including in restaurants) so don’t be surprised if the displayed price of the product you buy is 10,000yen and after the tax reduction, you still pay 10,000yen.

All purchases will be put in a sealed transparent bag (like at the airport – as you aren’t supposed to use them in Japan) and the receipt will be stuck on your passport. You will get the tax rebate immediately.

At the airport, nobody will check your purchases, so you just show your passport to immigration, they will tear off the receipts. Then you will not need to show your purchases at customs.

If you make very big purchases, some stores can deliver your purchases, free of charge, directly to the airport (Osaka or Tokyo) for you. Just give them the date of your departure.

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