Thursday, June 9, 2011

Introducing Donki

Donki, short for Donkihote/Don Quijote (ドンキホテ), is a chain of discount stores in Japan. They sell almost anything and everything, and at lower prices compared to what you'd find in other stores. For some, it's like a paradise squeezed between the floor and ceiling; for others it's a claustrophobic nightmare^^ But me, I love Donki, I went to at least one each and every day I was in Tokyo hehe (´౪`)

In any case, it's fun to walk around and see what they've got and how they make use of space! Some Donkis even have eateries and salons on certain floors. The Roppongi one even has a (non-functional) rollercoaster on its roof! The largest Donki is the one in Akihabara, which even has a theater. Most Donkis are multiple storey buildings, the floors usually sectioned into the type of goods sold.

This is the Ikebukuro Donki, near the East Exit of the station.

Donki at Shinjuku.
Take the exit leading to Shinjuku ALTA/Lumine EST. Cross the street towards ALTA, continue along the street, past MatsuKiyo, continue down and Donki is somewhere behind. The prices differ at different Donkis! For example EyeLabo lashes were 980yen at the Shibuya and Ikebukuro Donkis, but even more discounted at 798yen in the Shinjuku Donki! I think the Shinjuku Donki is more tourist-friendly? I saw more English signs compared to the other 2 Donkis I went to (but wasn't really paying attention because I know Japanese anyway^^)

They even sell baviphat, a Korean brand whose fronted by FT Island.

Lavshuca sets.

Candy Doll corner

Sadly, model-produced/gyaru brands like Candy Doll, Diamond Beauty, Jewerich, Eyemazing etc are hardly ever discounted anywhere. Donki included.

Pink toilet paper!

Karacon! (Colored contact lenses)

To prevent stealing, all the boxes at the karacon shelves are actually empty, you take the empty box to the counter where they'll get the actual product and you pay on the spot. The same applies to perfumes; empty boxes that you bring to the counter to pay.

Random shelf of rollers and toe separators?

They have household goods on the upper levels.

Donki even sells fake money!
These are fake million yen notes heehee.

Cute monkey-themed items.

Crystal nail seals.

More nail goods.

Pre-made fake nails, they even sell Love Boat ones (non-discounted)

And of course there are snacks too.

All discounted, chocolates, biscuits, chips, candy...etc

Stacked high from floor to ceiling.

And of course, Donki is a false eyelash heaven.
You'll find the most variety of lashes here!

More lashes! There were at least 5 shelves of these in each of the Ikebukuro, Shibuya and Shinjuku Donkis. Seriously, you'll feel the temptation to reach for more when you're amongst these!

Yellow is Donki's color, their shopping bags are a recognizable yellow and so is the store's name on the building. Their mascot is a blue penguin!

The official website:
There you can find a list of all the stores, which they have all over Japan, and even a few in Hawaii. If you're short on time, just go to the Shinjuku branch. It's relatively near the station and is quite large, and is more tourist-friendly.

Plus a lot of department stores have branches in Shinjuku: Takashimaya, Isetan, Mitsukoshi, Lumine (there are 3), Keio, Odakyu, Marui etc. Lots of gyaru/109 brands have branches in ALTA. There's also a national garden in Shinjuku: Shinjuku Gyoen. A shrine too, Hanazono Shinto Shrine. There's an 8-storey Tokyu Hands. Also, the main branch of Kinokuniya, (7 or 8 storeys?) is located in Shinjuku, right beside Isetan. So, lots of stuff to see and do in Shinjuku. Sadly I only had like 4 hours there so I didn't get to see much (´Д` )


  1. Is it just me or are a lot of Japanese/Asian stores cramped like this? My local Daiso is stacked high, and a lot of the Asian grocery stores here are packed to the ceiling too! But I think it's great cuz I like exploring too ^____^ I will surely check Donki out when I go to Japan.

    By the way, do you have any historical/traditional sightseeing spots around Tokyo to recommend? TIA!

    - Ginny

  2. @ Ginny

    Hehe, a lot of the littler shops were stacked high too^^

    Ehmm, around Tokyo, I'd recommend Kamakura! It's about an hour away by train and the scenery is stunning, especially in autumn. Kamakura used to be the old political capital, so if you're not going to Kyoto you could visit Kamakura for remnants of past, traditional houses and food. It's quite a large area, lots of things to see so you could spend a day there strolling and taking in the sights (:

    Kawagoe is 30min away from Tokyo, has lots of old buildings from the Edo era. Can be covered in half a day, main sights are the bell tower and traditional candies (:

    In Tokyo there's Asakusa, good for souvenirs and it's well-frequented by tourists and Japanese students on trips alike. Starting from Kaminari-mon there's a whole street selling souvenirs and snacks, leading to the Sensouji Temple.

    In Harajuku there's the Meiji Jingu shrine, very near the station so you can just walk over after shopping at Harajuku/Omotesando.

    These are just a couple of places I've been to that I've liked^^ I'm sure there are a lot of other wonderful sights to see~ Kamakura is really a pretty place (:

    ♥ Karisa

  3. I love Don Quiote!!! I used to always go when I lived in Japan, the stores are so chaotic, but packed with so much awesome stuff!!!!!!!!!!!

    I love your blog :)
    Come visit mine :)

  4. @ Mischievous Mack ♥

    *envious* I'd love to live in Japan someday! Teehee I love the chaos, it like searching for treasure~! (: Great place to kill time, but the queues at the cashier are horrible in the evenings!

    ♥ Karisa

  5. I would love to go shop at there everyday ~_~
    I have a question do you live in Tokyo ? and are you Japanese ?

  6. @Ling - Ling♥
    Nope I don't, I just visited for a while in May (: I would like to live there for a few years though! And nope I'm not Japanese, I just learnt it for a really long time (:

    ♥ Karisa