Rinku Outlet Review: The Spot For Budget-Shopping Families In Japan?

It’s our last day in Japan, and we’re on our way to Rinku Town.

Rinku Town is a district, one station away from Kansai International Airport. This place is great for stopovers or a last minute destination before a flight. Rinku Town spans over 320 hectares, covering a vast area. It has many facilities such as hotels, restaurants, parks, beaches, and a huge Ferris wheel. But those aren’t the reasons we’re here. We’re here because of its premium outlets.

This post is about our family shopping experience at Rinku Premium Outlets.

Kids playing at Rinku Premium Outlets.
Kids playing at Rinku Premium Outlets

Rinku Premium Outlets Review

Overall, Rinku Premium Outlet is a great place for families to do their last minute shopping. There is a wide range of popular brands for men, women, and children that offer great discounts. But the best part is, there are playgrounds and comfortable benches where dads and kids can spend their time while waiting for mom to finish shopping.

What we love:

  • Great brand selection.
  • Terrific deals.
  • Kid-friendly attractions and activities.
  • Luggage lockers.

What we didn’t like:

  • Food experience.
  • Intermittent Wi-Fi connection.
  • Early closing time.
Rinku Premium Outlets

Kishi Station, Kuroshio Market, & Rinku Premium Outlets Tour from Osaka

  • Meet Nitama, the cute cat stationmaster of Kishi Station on the Kishigawa Line
  • The spirit of Tama, the first cat stationmaster, is enshrined in the Tama Shrine on the platform of Kishi Station
  • Kuroshio Market is a bustling seaside fish market offering fresh seafood, and the tuna filleting show is held three times a day
  • Experience a rich shopping experience in the spacious locale of Rinku Premium Outlets, the largest outlet mall in western Japan

Great brand selection

Henn Na Hotel Dinosaur Front Desk Assistant.
The Henn Na hotels are renowned for their innovative and efficient services. There are two multilingual front desk dinosaurs that will assist you on your check-in.

We are staying at Henn Na Hotel Kansai Airport today. Our agenda is to do our shopping at Rinku Premium Outlets (RPO) before we fly home tomorrow. This is a strategic move because Henn Na is just a 15-minute walk to the outlet and one station away from the airport. As a parent, I learned the importance of eliminating hurry in my life to keep myself mentally and emotionally healthy.

RPO is famous for its great brand selection and reasonable prices. The outlet mall has over 200 stores, making it one of the largest in Japan. It is also conveniently located near a train station.

Cole Haan at Rinku Premium Outlets.
I like these shoes at Cole Haan. Sadly, I still can’t afford it even at discounted price.

I’m not a big shopper, but I enjoyed my shopping experience here. These are the stores that interest us as a family:

Brands for men

  • Lacoste
  • Onitsuka Tiger
  • Cole Haan
  • Seiko
  • Asics
  • Casio Watch
  • Under Armour

Brands for women

  • Coach
  • Coleman
  • LeSportsac
  • Longchamp
  • Michael Kors
  • Samsonite
  • Thermos
  • Zara

Brands for children

  • Sanrio
  • Lego
  • Miki House

You can check the full list of brands here.

Terrific deals

Discount tags at Lacoste - Rinku Premium Outlets

I am a fan of outlet stores. But I have become skeptical about them lately, to tell you honestly. The general purpose of these stores is to sell outdated, damaged, and broken-sized products at a bargain. This is a win-win approach for both business owners and consumers. Owners can turn their hard-to-sell inventory into cash, while buyers can have a great deal for high quality products. I know because I have experience in the retail industry.

But what frustrates me about “outlet” stores nowadays is that they don’t offer real bargains anymore. They look like an outlet, but their prices are already at par with the regular stores. Yes, they have a few items here and there that are sold at lower prices, but 90% of what they offer are not.

Lacoste at Rinku Premium Outlets
Can’t decide which colorway to take. Spoiler alert: I went with the red one.

I appreciate RPO because they offer real discounts, especially at Lacoste. Their deals are so good that I didn’t spend my shopping money elsewhere. Come to think of it, I never bought any Lacoste merchandise in our country. But here, I got myself 2 pairs of shoes, 1 shirt, and 1 belt. My wife got 3 pairs of shoes: One for her, one for Joab, and one for Jrue. She also got herself 3 bags, and a belt.

We also came back the next day before our flight for our final last minute shopping. We can’t get enough of the deals we got here at RPO. If we’re blessed to go back to Japan, we’ll visit this place again for sure.

Kid-friendly attractions and activities

Outdoor Playground at Rinku Premium Outlets.
Outdoor playground at Rinku Premium Outlets.

I don’t know how you shop. But men generally get what they want, then go home. Women are different. They visit all the stores, compare prices, before they decide which items they want to buy. Men can finish their shopping in thirty minutes, while women at this time are just warming up. What about the kids? Well, all they want is ice cream and a playground.

Baskin Robbins at Rinku Premium Outlets.
You can’t go wrong with ice cream.

RPO is an ideal shopping spot for the family. In addition to a wide variety of stores, they also have:

  • indoor and outdoor playgrounds,
  • coffee shops,
  • ice cream stores,
  • and comfortable benches.

Because of this, moms can have her undisturbed shopping time while the kids go play, and dads sip coffee on the bench.

Mario event at Rinku Premium Outlets.
There’s a Super Mario event at RPO.

When we were there, they even had a special Super Mario Brothers event going on. Unfortunately, it seems like the activity is only for the locals. We were getting error messages when downloading the app. In essence, it was like a treasure hunt activity, where you find hidden items.

Luggage lockers

Japan travel with kids

Another thing I appreciate at Rinku Town is that they offer luggage lockers. I usually see this at train stations in Japan. It’s a safe space where you can store your luggage, so you can comfortably stroll around the town. This is big, especially on our last day when we had already checked out of the hotel. We don’t have to carry around three 30 kilogram suitcases while shopping.

To use these lockers, you will need about ¥500 – ¥800 worth of coins. The price will depend on the size of the locker you choose. After you put your luggage inside the safe, insert the coins to lock and remove the key. Generally, you can keep your baggage there for up to 3 days.

If all lockers are in use, don’t worry. Check the shops nearby. Some of them will gladly keep your baggage for a fee.

Intermittent Wi-Fi connection

Waiting for mom - Rinku Outlet Review
While waiting for mom to finish shopping. Selfie because there’s no internet.

One of the downers at RPO was their internet connection. You can connect to their Wi-Fi, but it’s unusable. I’m not sure if it’s always like this, or just the two days we were there. Being online is important for us since we didn’t avail of roaming services. We only depended on our mobile Wi-Fi during our entire Japan trip. We’ve been to Kyoto and Kobe without problems. But since we are going to split up here to give my wife her shopping time, we need to have separate Wi-Fi to get in touch with one another.

In the end, we simply agreed to meet at the Lacoste store after an hour.

Food experience

Nda Nda Pork - Rinku Town

Where to eat at Rinku Town? Here’s the full list of restaurants at Rinku Premium Outlets. The food choices in RPO are a bit underwhelming for our taste. There aren’t any food houses that made an impression for us to try out. We went to the other side, where another shopping mall called Seacle is located, to check. We tried Nda Nda on the first day, and Tokisake on the second day. Sorry, maybe it’s just me. But overall, I couldn’t recommend both restaurants.

  • Nda Nda = 2.5 out of 5 stars.
  • Tokisake = 1 out of 5 stars.

Early closing time

Snack at Rinku Town
8:29 PM. The stores are already closed. There’s nothing left to do but eat.

Rinku Premium Outlet closes at exactly 7 PM. There are shops that don’t even entertain any more customers 15-minutes before the closing time. Again, maybe it’s just me. I’m used to outlet malls closing at 9:30 PM. I just feel like there’s still so much to do in Rinku Town, yet you have no choice but to spend the rest of the night at the hotel.

To be fair, there are still a few shops and restaurants that are still open past 7 PM. We were able to enjoy some dessert, and shop for chocolates and skin care products.

Is Rinku Town Premium Outlets worth visiting?

Rinku Premium Outlets View from the bridge.
Rinku Premium Outlets view from the bridge.

Consider dropping by Rinku Town if you are flying via Kansai International Airport. The stop-over is worth it if you and your family want to chill or do some shopping before heading home. I’m confident you will find great deals from your favorite brands.

Jed Chan

Jed Chan is the principal creator of TheLearningDadBlog.com, a website dedicated to providing helpful resources on fatherhood. He is a passionate learner who would normally immerse himself in topics of his interest. Jed carefully studied the subjects of finance, e-business, and parenting before becoming a full-time stay-at-home dad.

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