The neighborhood of Liberdade is home to the world’s largest Japanese population outside of Japan and is the perfect place to spend a leisurely afternoon exploring the many Japanese shops to be found there. Every Saturday and Sunday, Liberdade welcomes people of all ages and backgrounds who join the throngs at Liberdade Square to try authentic cooking, buy traditional objects, and take part in the general laughter and good feeling that comes so naturally to Brazilians. However, if competing with the crowds is not your thing, visit during the week when you will be able to explore the numerous Japanese shops at your own pace. If your children are otakus, that is, dedicated anime and manga fans, you cannot miss taking them to either Livraria Sol or Shinokazi bookstores. The latter was originally founded in 1970 to house Japanese magazines, whereas today it is a shrine to all things manga. There is even a special room for playing manga-related card games.
At SoGo Plaza Shopping, you immediately enter into another world full of small independent shops selling an array of Japanese-related products. Here you will find lots of items for cosplay, and on the fourth floor you will find a large collection of silk robes and kimonos at affordable prices. The mall caters to all tastes, so be prepared to see lots of people exploring each store looking for ideas for their own unique costumes. During Halloween, the mall is especially busy and sometimes just to enter places like the popular gothic store, Profecias, you will need to wait in a line.
Fancy Goods has a range of charming multi-use gifts inspired by modern Japanese culture, such as glasses, pencil cases, pens, home accessories, magnets, and much, much more. One of the classic names in Liberdade is Ikesaki. This perfume company has two enormous stores in the neighborhood where you can lose yourself among some of the world’s finest beauty products.
Liberdade is also a place of pilgrimage for devotees of Japanese, Korean, and Chinese food. So, take a break from all the shopping and make a pit stop at Bakery Itiriki, which mixes Brazilian snacks with Oriental recipes like Japanese curry bread, and serves unbeatable homemade cakes. Banzai!