Gotemba Premium Outlet
So what do you in Tokyo? Shopping, what else! Well, last month (June 2008), we shopped at Gotemba Premium Outlets. To get there, we took the Odakyu Highway bus (1.5 hours) from Tokyo (Shinkuju station) to the town of Gotenba, then took on 10 minute shuttle bus from the bus terminal to the mall.
This outdoor mall is very similar to other Premium Outlets in the US and Canada, all US stores and many designer stores like Gucci, Prada, Versace, Hugo Boss, etc. For a moment, it felt like we were back in North America, and not in Japan.
One difference is the food court. Gotemba offers Japanese fast food instead of Western fast food, though they were serving American beer like Budweiser as you can see by the sign of the picture below taken inside the food court. We had Udon noodles for lunch.
As a bonus, Gotemba offered a great view of Mount Fuji (unfortunately, it got cloudy in the afternoon). It was a great way to spend a day. We have to go back once we finish paying all the credit card bills :-).