Mitsui Outlet Park Tama
While outlet malls have been around in the US since the 1980’s, they didn’t make an appearance in Japan until 1993. Since then, more than 20 have opened nationwide, supported by enthusiastic Japanese consumers who enjoy bargain prices and the American-style open-space shopping and dining experiences these facilities offer.
The two largest developers of outlet malls in Japan are US-based Chelsea, which focuses on high-end brands in their Premium Outlets, and Mitsui Fudosan, whose Mitsui Outlet Parks comprise mostly mid-level brands with a few accessible premium outfits mixed in.
Earlier this summer, we visited the Gotemba Premium Outlets in Gotenba. So last weekend, we went shopping at the Mitsui Outlet Park Tama in Minami-Osawa about an 1 hour train ride from Tokyo. The Mitsui Outlet Park English web page describes this outlet mall as follows:
The tale of a family of four who lives on a hill in Provence, in the south of France, forms the backdrop for La Fete Tama. With its design like a village in Provence, and a theme of “La Fete” (the Festival), murals, set pieces, and weekly live events bring this charming concept to life. This is a place to come together in celebration.
Stores include Coach, Adidas, Reebok, G-Shock, Columbia, Billabong, Eddie Bauer, The North Face, Levi’s and Nike (where my son bought some pants and shirts).
Live entertainment included a monkey act (he drank from the same bottle as the monkey!) and a guitarist as shown in the video.