Time may be priceless, but watches certainly aren’t. Finding something you want to wear on your wrist day in, day out can be a tricky and sometimes expensive business. At Tokia, there is not only a huge range on offer, but – since Tokia is a watch wholesaler – there are no middle men to raise the prices of the products, so you can get the lowest possible cost (even less for tourists, since Tokia offers tax-free shopping).
What’s more, all their stock is kept on the premises, which means there’s no need to wait for your watch of choice to be shipped in from some far flung warehouse. Fukuoka Now went to check out our newest sponsor, and to hopefully pick up some Christmas presents at the same time…
This conveniently located Tenjin-based store, only a few doors down from Muji and H&M and across the street from the Apple Store, is decorated with industrial metal flooring and blue and white paint; an unobtrusive backdrop against which to view the main event: over 2,000 different kinds of watches line the walls. We asked the shop manager to show us some of their most popular and/or unusual products:
Jumble is a brand which uses Japanese design and movements, which make these timepieces a good choice for tourists who want a “practical souvenir”. They come in a broad range of colors and sizes, starting from ¥4,800 – Jess couldn’t resist nabbing an electric blue one! Though this brand is available online, Tokia is the only retail store that sells them in Fukuoka.
One of the points Tokia prides itself on is having a broad range of watches for each brand they stock – they don’t just keep the latest models in store, but stock a range of previous year’s models too. This is particularly the case for Casio: Tokia has some of their older, more retro models (starting from ¥3,980), which are great for fans of fashion and Back to the Future alike!
The Seiko 5 line consists of watches made in Japan specifically for export, but Tokia is one of the few shops to stock them. If you want to buy one of these elegant timepieces, prices range from ¥13,800 to ¥51,800.
Looking for something unusual? Maybe even eco-friendly? For every WeWood watch sold, a tree is planted. These timepieces would make a great gift for the eco-warrior in your life, or anyone who wants something a bit different (¥16,200 to ¥20,520).
The Imazine sports watches are perfect for those looking to buy omiyage for friends back home. All of the watches in the range are ¥1,280 and each color has its own Japan-themed packaging, from a sakura design for the pink and white watch, to a ninja design for the black one. These inexpensive watches are slim, making them easy to slip in a suitcase or backpack.
It seems to be a particularly Japanese custom for couple to dress in co-ordinated outfits – if you and your other half are looking to indulge in Japanese ways, then why not get a couples set from Daniel Wellington? A watch from this elegant brand will cost you somewhere between ¥14,600 and ¥29,800.
The shop manager, Shima-san, told us that many of the more brightly colored watches were popular with tourists. For this reason, G-Shock (¥9,980~) and Baby G (¥8,600~) watches are always in demand. There’s even one that looks like something Iron Man would wear (one for the Marvel fans!).
Tokia also offers some “parody brands”. Can’t afford a Frank Muller watch? Then pick up a Frank Miura: Frank Muller’s distinctive style has been closely imitated by a Japanese designer, but it costs a fraction of the price (between ¥4,090 and ¥5,120).
In the end, the temptation was too great, and we ended up buying more presents for ourselves than for loved ones (our editor came away with two watches…), but in principle this is a great place to pick up presents for the holiday season! Make sure to stop by next time you’re in Tenjin.
1-1-44 Daimyo, Chuo-ku