Fun things to spend your money on!

by Celia Mulderrig

Merry non-denominational Holiday!
The holidays are many things: decorating a tree, sipping hot chocolate, seeing old friends and shoving your way though a hoard of crazy-eyed last minute shoppers all desperate to buy a final gift. Ahh, the holidays…

Luckily, this year you can avoid all that by doing your shopping in Tokyo, which has the crowds but has somehow managed to control the chaos. Here is a list of some great prezzies for everyone on your list. Although, come to think of it, they are so good maybe you will need to fight people off to get them.


If you are looking for a beautiful present that Mom (or a mother-in-law) will adore, head to Kurofune Antiques. This well-loved antique shop in Roppongi has long been a favorite with those looking for a unique gift. Just in time for the holiday season, they are having a special sale on items like these lovely wooden boxes, which are not only beautiful but also perfect for transporting home. With prices starting at only ¥5,000, you can find gifts that range from the simple to the sublime, and are sure to delight even the most hard-to-buy-for individuals.

Kurofune Antiques, tel. 03-3479-1552,


This season, Dormeuil have reinvented that old standby gift for Dad: the tie. The European luxury designers have created a surprisingly affordable line of ties that come in 75 luxurious styles, offering enough colors and patterns to ensure that they have something for every taste, like these made from 100 percent silk. This is especially important for anyone on your list who considers cartoon character ties acceptable…

Dormeuil Aoyama Boutique, tel. 03-5412-7022,


If your partner is a motoring enthusiast, now is the time to fulfill their wildest automotive dreams. Gaijin Inc. is offering a variety of Christmas packages to personalize any kind of automobile. For the interior, they can install navigation systems, so that the fellows will never, ever need to ask for directions again. They also do customized audio systems and drop-down DVD players, creating the ultimate in-car entertainment systems. The best part is that they offer these for all  makes and models, so that you don’t need to be a millionaire to afford it. Now if only they could do something for my bicycle…

Gaijin Inc., tel. 04-7575-1355.


To make sure that your own Holly Golightly never gets a case of the “mean Red’s,” head to the newly opened Tiffany’s store in Roppongi Hills and choose a present that will make her eye’s sparkle as bright as the Christmas Illumination.

Tiffany’s Roppongi Hills, tel. 03-5770-5652,


Need a gift for a fashionable someone? The British style beacon Paul Smith has come out with a line of incredibly stylish new watches. Available in several delicious colors, they have something for all tastes and make a unique present for those who want something more original. With over 200 shops in Japan, you’ll have no problem finding this simple but fantastic gift.

Paul Smith Shibuya, tel. 03-5466-1950,

Tiffany’s storeTiffany’s store

The new Tiffany’s store is now open in Roppongi Hills, this incredibly rare antique plate from Kurofune dates back to the Meiji era, Dormeuils’s ties will color your Dad’s life, the PlayStation 3 hits stores in time for the holidays.


While the only videogame machine I’ve ever owned was a hand-me-down Atari, even I’ve heard about Sony Computer Entertainment’s PlayStation 3, one of the hottest items this holiday season. The sleek black box holds built-in Blu-ray Disc™ drive, making it two times more powerful than the Xbox 360, fifteen times more powerful than the Nintendo Revolution, and thirty-five times more powerful than the PlayStation 2, introducing the player to a new generation in high-definition gaming. Already launched in Japan and North America, PS3 won’t be available in Australasia until March, so Aussies and Kiwis can be the first one on the block to snag it. ¥49,980


For kids, Lego never goes out of style, although it does get updated continuously. Now children can build their very own Hogwarts with the Lego Harry Potter collection, or a DeathStar, or even the Batmobile. Otherwise, you could just go with the standard box and let their imagination take over. Even adults can’t resist the urge: recently after co-constructing a house with a friend’s child, I briefly considered buying my own set, rather than waiting until getting some nieces and nephews to buy one for.


One year during Christmas dinner, our family dog snuck into the kitchen and ate an entire box of chocolate that got left out, resulting in a trip to the vet emergency room and a stomach pump. This might have been avoided had we headed to Three Dog Bakery and bought him a Gourmet Holiday Beast Feast, or made him something from Cooking The Three Dog Bakery Way. With this book, you can create some easy-to-make homemade treats like “Cheesy Tail Chasers” or “Chicken Pug Pie,” which will be much appreciated and are much less than the vet bill.

Three Dog Bakery, Shibuya, tel. 03-5458-0085, or Jiyugaoka, tel. 03-3723-7070.


I almost don’t ever want to buy a new iPod, because every time I do, Apple comes out with an even cooler version. Just in time for the holidays, they’ve introduced the ultraneat iPod nano in a new range of fun colors. Also, a portion of the sales from every special edition red nano goes to AIDS medication in Africa, giving this version a special meaning. Now you can finally justify upgrading…

For Apple Stores, go to, or call the English Help Line at 0077-78673-6.

The World

If you’re over buying things that aren’t really necessary, then how about buying a goat?
Well, a goat for people who need a goat. Oxfam Unwrapped allows you to buy things, such as wool blankets, maternal health care, schoolbooks, and yes, goats, for those who would benefit from them in place of the person you are buying a gift for. Rather then buying socks for your sister again, how about buying a goat from your sister for people who would really appreciate it. After all, we don’t need more stuff, but it’s nice to know we’re being thought of.

For more information, see

Now there’s no excuse for giving socks, unless of course they are of the really cute stocking-stuffer variety. That’s it for the shopping list this year, have a wonderful Christmas/Hanukah/Dwali/Kwanzaa!


The Harry Potter Lego set should delight children and adults alike, buying the red iPod nano benefits the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa, cook your four-legged friend a treat with Cooking the Three Dog Bakery Way, the Oxfam Unwrapped goat.