Apple's first retail stores outside of the US – in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district – opens on Sunday.

The company also announced plans to open a second Japanese retail store in Osaka, the country's largest city in the latter half of 2004.

The five-floor Apple Store will include dedicated Solution Centers for music, movies and photography; a Genius Bar, an 84-seat theatre for workshops, demonstrations and other events, an Internet café, and a Kids section with educational software and games.

Apple senior vice president of retail Ron Johnson said: "Over the past two years, Apple has redefined computer retailing for Mac and PC users in the US and now we are bringing the best personal computer buying experience to one of the greatest shopping destinations in the world – the Ginza in Tokyo.

"New Yorks' Fifth Avenue is great, the Champs Elysées in Paris and Regent Street in London are both great, but there is nothing like Ginza," he added. Apple's new outlet rubs shoulders agianst a range of famous names who have taken up residence in Gginza, including Louis Vuitton, Hermès and Gucci.

Visitors will find Apple's entire range of Macs on the first floor, clearly visible as they walk through the doors.

The second floor offers three themed areas, split between music, movies and photos. Shoppers will be able to take a look at Apple's iPod here, along with a range of digital cameras from leading brands. The Genius Bar is also here.

Apple has a theatre on the third floor, where Mac users and Windows switchers will be able to choose between a schedule of nine or ten events each day. Floor four is software, a kids play area, and a showcase for printers and scanners from a range of manufacturers.

Finally, Apple has put a training centre on the top floor, where a variety of fee-based courses will be available. December's courses are already fully-booked, Johnson explained.

The company employs 140 people at the shop and says between them ten languages are spoken: Japanese, English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Thai, Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

Apple's 70 retail stores in the US have hosted more than 24 million visitors since the first Apple retail store opened in May 2001. In a recent analyst meeting Ron Johnson said: "In our stores last year we had 14 million visitors, equivalent to 175 Macworld Expos.

Johnson refused to comment on plans for other retail outlets in Asia.