Top 3 Most Popular Furniture Stores in Japan

MUJI furniture
MUJI, most relaxing furniture store ever // photographed by Naoya Fujii (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Once upon a time, I had no furniture. I literally used a cardboard box as a table when I first moved to Tokyo.

About two months after my move, one of my coworkers retired and willed all her furniture to me.

Entranced by the mostly new sheen of pine of my inherited table and mirror, I asked her where she’d bought it.


And thus I came to know the final puzzle piece in the triad of popular furniture stores in Japan.

So, if you aren’t sure where to get your furniture, consider taking a visit to one of the three popular stores listed here.

Three Most Popular Furniture Stores in Japan

Ikea in Funabashi
Ikea in Funabashi, by kazamatsuri (CC BY-ND 2.0)

3. Ikea (イケア) for Western Furniture

According to a survey by the real-estate site Suumo, Ikea is the third most popular interior goods store among survey participants. Two reasons it’s probably not more popular is that Ikea furniture tends to be more “Western sized” (read: too big for Japanese apartments) and that there simply aren’t that many Ikea stores in Japan.

Ikea is so famous that it probably doesn’t need much introduction, but do note that Ikea is pronounced differently in Japan (see 0:49) than in the US.

On a trip back from Narita Airport, I had a bit of a traumatic experience at Ikea. I was a little down since I wouldn’t see my U.S. friends in a while, so I decided to order meatballs with a little Swedish flag planted in the middle. When the cafeteria worker passed my plate over the counter, THE LITTLE SWEDISH FLAG FELL OFF ONTO THE FLOOR BEHIND THE COUNTER. She didn’t notice, and I was too embarrassed to say anything.

Swedish flag in Ikea meatballs
A Swedish flag: All I really wanted, photographed by Karl Baron (CC BY 2.0)

I will say that Ikea is a fun place to get lost and that I bought a really awesome shark stuffed animal there. Apparently klapper-haj is Swedish for “shark.”

Nitori in Kurume City, Fukuoka Prefecture // photographed by Jun OHWADA

2. Nitori (ニトリ) for Modern Japanese Furniture

Nitori is the second most popular store according to the survey by Suumo. In the countryside where I used to live, we didn’t have a “fancy” generic-brand like MUJI. Thus, the furniture store of choice was usually Nitori.

Nitori is comparable in price to MUJI and has a similar simple aesthetic. Nitori tends to be cheaper, but it’s probably best to browse the websites yourself to be sure.

I do have a Nitori mini-table that I bought at a second-hand shop. It isn’t exactly beautiful, but it folds up nicely so that I can put it in my closest when it isn’t in use.

MUJI bag
MUJI packaging, photographed by Peter Asquith, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

1. MUJI (無印良品) for Japanese/Western Mix Furniture

MUJI makes the top of the list as the most popular interior goods store in Japan. As I mentioned above, I have a MUJI table and full-length mirror, and they have served me well.

Interestingly, MUJI’s name actually means “no-brand quality goods,” which apparently is a marketing strategy that works very well for them. The products are very simple and have minimal packaging to go along with MUJI’s generic-brand strategy.

Personally, I enjoy simply browsing their store. The stores are always playing soft Celtic-ish music, and that never fails to put me in a more relaxed mood. In addition to interior goods, they also have reasonably priced cosmetics, clothes and specialty foods.


Did this list help you find furniture? Do you have a favorite furniture store in Japan?

Disclaimer: I am not associated with any of the stores listed above and have not received any compensation from any of these stores for this article or otherwise.

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4 thoughts on “Top 3 Most Popular Furniture Stores in Japan

  1. Shelley says:

    One of the most under-shared tips when you move to Japan is to not buy new stuff! So many people come to Japan, buy all new stuff, and where does it go when they leave? To the resale groups and stores. There’s a wonderful Facebook group (well, groups) called Tokyo Sayonara Sales Original and Osaka Sayonara Sales. People sell awesome, well cared for furniture for super cheap because they are leaving Japan! They end up buying new because people don’t know about these FB groups when they come, so they go to the expensive stores, stretching an already limited budget. There’s no point, there’s tons of stuff, furniture, household and kitchen items, heaters and fans available every day on those groups!

    1. L. says:

      I agree! There are lots of “recycle shops” and selling/free stuff groups in Japan. I bought basically all my appliances used.

      One difficulty I myself have faced is that it is very difficult to pick-up bigger used items economically if you do not have a car.

      It cost close to 10,000 yen with a kinda sketchy moving service to get pick-up for an old 2,000 yen washing machine. Also, on a long, embarrassing train ride, I found microwaves are much heavier than they look. 😉

      Furniture shops usually ship new items for free or cheaply.

      If anyone has any ideas regarding delivery, it’d be great!

  2. Eddie says:

    I just wanted to say, I like your website (and articles in GaijinPot). I’m finding your posts re: ‘lifestyle and living guides’ particularly resourceful as I prepare to move to Japan in September. Looking forward to continued reading…

    1. L. says:

      Hi Eddie,
      Thanks for the warm comment. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much time to update WanderTokyo recently, but I hope to get some new posts up soon. I hope future articles will prove to be as useful!


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