Buying Pearls in Japan: A Comprehensive Guide

Japan is known for producing some of the highest quality pearls in the world. From freshwater pearls to Akoya pearls, Japan has it all. If you’re planning a trip to Japan and are interested in purchasing pearls, this guide is for you.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about buying pearls in Japan, including where to shop, what to look for, and how to identify genuine pearls.

Where to Buy Pearls in Japan

When it comes to buying pearls in Japan, there are a few places you should consider:

Location Description
Tsukiji Fish Market One of the largest fish markets in the world, Tsukiji also has a section dedicated to pearls.
Mitsukoshi Department Store A luxury department store that sells a wide variety of pearls.
Shinjuku Isetan Department Store Another high-end department store that sells high-quality pearls.

Of course, these are just a few options. There are many other places to buy pearls in Japan, including smaller shops and markets.

What to Look For When Buying Pearls

When buying pearls, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  1. Color: Pearls come in a variety of colors, including white, black, pink, and lavender. Look for pearls that have a consistent, even color.
  2. Luster: A pearl’s luster refers to its shine and reflection. A high-quality pearl will have a bright, reflective surface.
  3. Size: Pearls range in size from tiny seed pearls to large, statement-making pearls. Consider what size will work best for you.
  4. Shape: While most pearls are round or oval, there are also pearls that are baroque (irregularly shaped) or drop-shaped.
  5. Surface: A pearl’s surface should be smooth and free of blemishes.

How to Identify Genuine Pearls

When buying pearls, it’s important to be able to identify genuine pearls from imitation pearls. Here are a few tips to help you:

  • Real pearls will feel slightly gritty when rubbed against your teeth, while imitation pearls will feel smooth.
  • Real pearls will have imperfections on their surface, while imitation pearls will be perfectly smooth.
  • Real pearls will be heavier than imitation pearls of the same size.
  • If you’re still unsure, take the pearls to a professional jeweler for appraisal.

How Much to Spend on Pearls

The price of pearls can vary widely depending on their quality, size, and rarity. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars for high-quality pearls.

When deciding how much to spend on pearls, consider how often you’ll wear them and what kind of occasions you’ll wear them to. If you’re looking for an investment piece that you’ll wear for years to come, it may be worth splurging on a higher-end piece.


Buying pearls in Japan can be a fun and rewarding experience. By knowing where to shop, what to look for, and how to identify genuine pearls, you can find the perfect pearls to fit your style and budget.


Q: Are pearls in Japan more expensive than pearls in other countries?

A: It depends on the quality and rarity of the pearls. However, Japan is known for producing some of the highest quality pearls in the world, so you may pay a premium for that level of quality.

Q: What’s the best type of pearl to buy in Japan?

A: It depends on your personal preference. Some popular types of pearls in Japan include Akoya pearls, freshwater pearls, and South Sea pearls.

Q: Can I negotiate the price of pearls in Japan?

A: In general, prices are fixed in Japan and bargaining is not a common practice. However, you may be able to negotiate a discount if you’re purchasing multiple items or if you’re a frequent customer.

Q: Are pearls a good investment?

A: Pearls can be a good investment if you purchase high-quality, rare pearls and take good care of them. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the value of pearls can fluctuate over time.

Thank you for reading our comprehensive guide on buying pearls in Japan. We hope you found it helpful and informative. Until next time!

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