I'm an addict on all things Japanese. I admire their incredible attention to detail, their focus on packaging, and their superb customer service, just to name a few. So...I always find myself going to Tokyo at least once a year and I usually go when they have their International Gift Show. The show is held twice a year--February and September. It's an opportunity to see what's new out there in gifts, toys, baby goods, stationaries, beauty, and cosmetics. I drool over all the neat stuff at this show so I always look forward to going. If you're in the creative business, you should definitely go because you will surely get lots of inspiration there!
Unfortunately, they don't allow cameras inside, so I was unable to take photos of my favorite booths but I did sneak a picture with one of the hot new Japanese characters Rody!
If you are interested in attending, here is the website detailing the upcoming September show:
You do need to have a licensed business and resale permit to register as an attendee.
While you're there, you should definitely spend a few extra days in Tokyo! Here are my must-go recommendations:
Serenya--this is a very well known steakhouse in the Ginza district. I guarantee you that their Kobe Beef is well worth the 17500 yen. The beef simply melts in your mouth!
Kani Doraku--known for all things crab, you definitely have to try the crab sashimi and nigiri here. They have three locations in Shinjuku, and you likely won't miss it because there's a huge crab hanging from the exterior of the building!
Itoya--9 floors of endless stationary items...it's definitely heaven for me because I love all papery items! You can also find cute gift packaging things here, as well as rubber stamps and craft items. Be prepared to spend half a day here! http://www.ito-ya.co.jp/store/
Tsukiji--you've probably heard of the fish market in Tokyo. Definitely make a trip there for not only the freshest sushi, but also for the small traditional Japanese shops there that sells Japanese tea and snacks. As you arrive, you will also see a line of small Japanese shops serving ramen, tempura, etc. and they are all delicious as well!!
Kiddy Land--For those that have children, you will surely find great gifts here. 4 stories high, there is a section devoted to each popular cartoon character, such as Hello Kitty, Sesame Street, Thomas the train, My Melody, and many more.
Shimyokohama Raumen Museum--A museum all about ramen! Make sure you restaurant hop there to taste all the different ramen from the different regions of Japan. Then, stop by the store to custom make your own Cup O Noodles!
I can probably go on and on about more places to visit in Tokyo, but that may be too overwhelming. I'm still discovering new places every time I go...I just can't seem to get enough of Japan!