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Are there Goodwill stores in Japan

June 5, 2024

Are there Goodwill stores in Japan? While Goodwill stores are absent in Japan, the country boasts an array of thrift stores that fill the gap for bargain hunters and sustainability enthusiasts.

Hard-Off, Book-Off, TreFac, Second Street, Next51, JAM, Three Star and Flamingo

Hard-Off caters to a wide range of used goods including electronics, musical instruments, and furniture. Each item stands a chance of being your next treasured find, and all without burning a hole in your pocket.


Book-Off specialises in books, CDs, DVDs, and manga. For those keen on finding that long-lost novel or completing a manga series, this store is a haven. Rows upon rows of neatly organised shelves make navigating the store a breeze.


In Hard-Off, quality control is rigorous. Items must meet certain standards before they hit the shelves, ensuring customers find their purchases in good condition. Book-Off also maintains high standards, and their vintage thrift stores tend to be well-organised, fostering a less chaotic atmosphere than you might encounter in a typical Goodwill.


Treasure Factory, often shortened to TreFac, offers a variety of items including clothes, electronics, and furniture. Their specialised branches like TreFac Sports for sports equipment and TreFac Market for furniture cater to niche needs. The Brand Collect branches under TreFac present a treasure trove of streetwear and luxury brands, striking a chord with fashion enthusiasts.


Second Street is another ubiquitous name in Japanese thrift shopping. While they stock a combination of vintage and everyday items, their standout selection includes outdoor gear and vintage clothing.


Next51 in Osaka provides another unique thrift experience. With floors dedicated to everything from vintage accessories to DJ equipment, this store attracts those with diverse tastes. The quaint but packed Kinji stores in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto offer unisex, vintage, and luxury outerwear, appealing especially to those with a taste for high-end fashion.


For lovers of American styles, places like JAM, Three Star, and Flamingo excel. JAM brings modern, retro-inspired clothing straight from the US. Three Star and Flamingo both infuse their collections with an Americana twist, offering everything from classic denim to whimsical dresses.


Shimokitazawa, a Tokyo neighbourhood, stands out as a Tokyo thrift store shopping hub. Known for its relaxed vibe, small cafes, and streets filled with vintage shops, it’s the perfect spot for an afternoon of leisurely hunting.1

Popular Thrift Store Chains in Japan

Another gem on Japan’s thrifting scene is the 2nd Street chain. Well-known for its variety and affordability, 2nd Street specialises in a wide array of vintage items and practical outdoor equipment. Similar to Hard-Off and Book-Off, the quality control here is commendable – every item undergoes a thorough inspection, so you know you’re getting a good deal without the worry of hidden flaws.


The Hard-Off Group’s main branches, especially those in the Tokyo fashion capital, are often larger and more comprehensive, giving shoppers an even wider selection to browse through. Similarly, Book-Off Plus stores not only offer an expanded selection of books, CDs, and DVDs but also dabble in selling used apparel and accessories, expanding your thrifting adventure beyond just media.


Treasure Factory’s multiple branches continue to stand out with their specialised stores. For example:


  • TreFac Sports in Tokyo is a wonderland for sports enthusiasts, offering everything from tennis rackets to snowboarding gear at unbeatable prices.


  • TreFac Market, also in Tokyo, is the go-to destination for those looking to furnish their homes with stylish, second-hand furniture.

Are there Goodwill stores in Japan – Cities

Osaka hosts some of the country’s most unique thrift stores, with Next51 being a notable example. This chain is known for its eclectic mix of items, including vintage luxury accessories and even DJ equipment.


Tokyo’s eclectic Shimokitazawa neighbourhood houses Kinji, another thrift store chain beloved by vintage lovers. This store’s Harajuku outlet boasts an impressive array of styles, from quirky streetwear to upscale vintage pieces. The constant cycle of new arrivals ensures you’re always likely to find something unique and fashionable.


JAM is known for keeping up with current styles, JAM’s selection of sportswear, old band tees, and retro fashion primarily sourced from the US ensures shoppers remain on-trend without leaning on fast fashion.


Three Star and Flamingo cater to American style aficionados in different corners of Japan. Three Star, with its focus on larger sizes and gender-neutral clothing, is particularly popular in Kansai’s Kyoto and Osaka, while Flamingo offers the same Americana vibe in Tokyo’s Shimokitazawa.


Harajuku Chicago pays homage to traditional Japanese clothing, all the while balancing it with a selection of modern items. Its sections devoted to kimonos and yukatas are a rare find at thrift store prices, making it a must-visit for anyone looking to bring home a piece of Japanese heritage.


Whether it’s luxury brands you’re after or quirky street style, Japan’s thrift store chains offer an array of choices to cater to diverse tastes and needs. Each chain, with its specific specialisation and unique shopping experience, ensures that the absence of Goodwill is hardly felt.2

Unique Thrift Stores in Major Fashion Capital Japanese Cities

In stores in Tokyo the fashion capital, the thrifting scene is bustling and vibrant, with stores catering to all kinds of tastes and preferences. Harajuku Chicago is renowned for its eclectic mix of traditional Japanese clothing like kimonos and yukatas alongside modern luxury items. The store’s ability to marry old-world charm with contemporary fashion makes it a standout.

No equivalent to goodwill stores in japan next stop  to find out

Moving over to Shimokitazawa, Flamingo is a beacon for those in search of retro Americana style. With stock imported directly from the US, the store offers a slice of nostalgic charm—think vintage denim jackets and cheeky 1950s dresses.


In contrast, Boy, another gem in Shibuya, caters to a different crowd. Known for its collection of vintage Japanese fashion labels and music-related merchandise, Boy is the place to go for classic sneakers, band tees, and rare fashion pieces from iconic Japanese fashion designers like issey miyake.


Over in Osaka, Next51 stands out for its comprehensive array of vintage and luxury items, ranging from classic watches and perfumes to DJ equipment. This two-story store provides an immersive thrifting experience, drawing both locals and tourists with its eclectic offerings.


Kinji’s Japanese fashion capital Osaka outlet offers a sprawling selection of high-end vintage outerwear and footwear. Known for its gender-neutral collection, Kinji is particularly popular among fashion-forward shoppers looking for luxury pieces without the hefty price tag.

Kyoto, with its rich cultural backdrop, offers its own unique thrifting experiences.

Three Star focuses on Americana with a twist, providing larger sizes and gender-neutral clothing. This store’s ethos revolves around sustainability and fashion-forward thinking, making it a beloved spot among thrifters who appreciate both style and substance.


Little Trip to Heaven in Kyoto caters to lovers of 60s and 70s retro fashion. With a boutique-like ambiance, it offers imported vintage collections from Europe and the US. Each piece feels like a blast from the past, taking you on a sartorial journey through decades known for their bold fashion statements.


JAM in Kyoto and Osaka is the go-to for those wanting to stay ahead of trends with a pinch of nostalgia. Known for its diverse array of vintage sportswear, old band tees, and funky fashion, JAM epitomises the blend of past and present.


Rounding off Kyoto’s offerings is Handkerchief, a hidden gem specialising in well-preserved vintage clothing and accessories. What makes Handkerchief unique is its focus on intricate details and quality fabrics, attracting those who appreciate the craftsmanship of yesteryear.


Exploring Japan’s unique thrift stores is not just about snagging a bargain; it’s about experiencing the diversity and richness of fashion history from different cultures. Each visit unveils stories woven into the fabric of pre-loved items, offering a rewarding and sustainable shopping experience.

are there goodwill stores in japan - Interior of Harajuku Chicago thrift store in Tokyo, showcasing a mix of traditional Japanese clothing and modern luxury items

Interior of Harajuku Chicago thrift store in Tokyo, showcasing a mix of traditional Japanese clothing and modern luxury items

Are there Goodwill stores in Japan – Thrifting Culture and Practices

In Japan, thrifting is a popular and respected practice that aligns with the nation’s values of sustainability and quality. The careful attention given to maintaining second-hand items in pristine condition attracts a loyal customer base and reflects the cultural concept of ‘mottainai,’ representing a feeling of regret over waste.


Thrifting appeals to all generations in Japan. Younger consumers express their individuality and access high-end brands at affordable prices, while older generations enjoy the nostalgia of discovering items from their youth. The positive societal attitudes towards second-hand goods through goodwill stores in Japan contrast with some Western perspectives, as thrifting is seen as a smart and stylish choice.


Japanese thrift stores are meticulously organised, making it easy for shoppers to find what they’re looking for. Dressing room etiquette is important, with customers removing their shoes before trying on clothes and being mindful of time spent in fitting rooms. Items are handled with care and returned to their proper places to maintain a pleasant shopping environment.


The rise of online thrift shopping platforms has further expanded the reach of second-hand items in Japan. Websites and apps dedicated to reselling pre-loved goods have made it even more convenient for shoppers to find unique pieces. In fact, the online resale market in Japan is expected to reach ¥1.9 trillion ($17.5 billion) by 2025.1


Thrifting in Japan is a reflection of the nation’s evolving stance on sustainability. It offers a way to enjoy the thrill of new-to-you items while reducing the environmental impact of fast fashion. Governmental initiatives and grassroots organisations promote sustainable practices, including thrifting, as a means of reducing waste and supporting a circular economy.


Japan’s thrifting culture is a fascinating blend of economic savvy, environmental stewardship, and cultural pride. Whether you’re a seasoned thrifter or new to the scene, exploring Japan’s second-hand treasures offers a unique shopping experience and a deeper understanding of the goodwill values that shape this practice.

are there goodwill stores in japan - Diverse group of Japanese people of various ages enjoying a thrift shopping experience together

Diverse group of Japanese people of various ages enjoying a thrift shopping experience together

Tips for a Successful Thrifting Experience in Japan

To make the most of your thrifting experience in Japan, familiarise yourself with the layout of thrift stores. Items are typically grouped by category, with further subdivisions by brand and style. Signage is usually clear, and larger stores often have English indicators to guide you.


Certain districts in major cities are known for their excellent thrift stores:


  • In Tokyo: Shimokitazawa, Harajuku, and Shibuya


  • In Osaka: Nipponbashi and Shinsaibashi areas


  • In Kyoto: Kiyamachi and Ponto-cho districts


While language barriers may seem challenging, many larger thrift stores have staff who can speak basic English. Knowing a few key Japanese phrases can also be helpful. To find the best deals, keep an eye out for seasonal sales and consider shopping mid-week when stores are less crowded.


When shopping for luxury items, be cautious and look for authentication cards, original packaging, and serial numbers. Reputable stores like Brand Collect and Ragtag are known for their rigorous quality checks and authenticity guarantees. Always inspect clothing items thoroughly for any signs of wear and tear.


Perhaps the American equivalent of goodwill stores in japan does not translate so easily in the table of Japanese recycled thrift fashion clothing stores found in this article in Japan today.


Are there Goodwill stores in Japan

Remember to remove your shoes when using dressing rooms and be courteous to other customers by returning items to their proper places if you decide not to purchase them. Online thrift shops like Mercari and Rakuten offer vast selections of second-hand goods, making it easy to shop from the comfort of your home or hotel.


Embrace the thrifting journey and discover with an open mind and enjoy the experience of discovering if there are unique items from goodwill stores in Japanwhile supporting sustainable living practices.

are there goodwill stores in japan - Fashionable young Japanese woman examining a vintage clothing item in a thrift store

Fashionable young Japanese woman examining a vintage clothing item in a thrift store


Japan’s second-hand vintage shops offer an enriching shopping experience that aligns with the country’s commitment to sustainability and quality through goodwill donations. Whether you’re searching for high-end Japanese fashion or nostalgic pieces, Japan’s well-curated thrift stores promise a rewarding and eco-friendly adventure.