One of the things that I love to do when visiting other countries is to take a gander at the local supermarkets - there you can see a slice of life and experience the local culture too through seeing what the locals eat.
Japanese supermarkets are no exception and when you come to visit Japan I recommend that you check them out - probably a good idea to pick up some noms while you are at it too ^^
Today we take a look at Aeon Supermarket in Honmoku Yokohama.
Many folks say that Japan has one of the highest costs of living in the world - I've lived here for 15 years and I disagree. Sure you can buy a box of 14 apples for 64800 yen (about 640 USD) if you really really wanted to but usually they are about 70 yen or so each.
The thing is that when tourists come over to stay in Japan, they usually are in a hotel or guest house or whatever paying much more than what folks normally pay for rent.
Tourists usually eat out all the time and are more often that not shopping in places which are convenient because they don't know where all the bargains are (that the locals do know). But once you start to live in Japan, you will learn that the cost of living is relatively cheap.
From the past few visits to Europe, I find the cost of a meal for example much more than what it would cost to eat out in Japan.
How many of you have been to Japan and what do you think about the prices of stuff here compared to other parts of the world or compared to your woods even?
Potatoes! Being brought up in the UK, half of my body is made up of them.
Veggies - lots in the supermarket but if you are a vegetarian eating out in Japan then you don't have that many choices ><
Then again, if you are a non smoker then your choices are pretty much the same as smokers are given priority in Japan ;-;
Japan is a pickle nation which is why you will find loads of it on the shelves - they go great with rice.
Many vegetables and fruits are imported from outside of Japan and are cheap. The Japanese locally produced stuff is more expensive and more often than not has a photo or illustration of the farmer that produced it together with their name - this builds trust with the consumer and appeals that its worth paying more for local produce.
Calpis - these ones with free Rilakkuma magnet sheets.
The bento corner - when it gets closer to closing time, the supermarket staff will come to put price-reduction stickers on them which will save you a few hundred yen.
You can also buy tempura side dishes for dindins.
Bread was another thing I was brought up on in the UK. The bread in Japan however is very unlike the bread back in the UK - they don't have loafs of bread - instead they got small packs with 4 - 10 slices or so.
The cold meat section.
One thing I do miss about the UK is the packs of ham or chicken which come in something like 30 slices - they dont pack them like that over here and just like the bread its in very small amounts.
Mini fizzy drink cans.
Packs of health drinks.
Yogurt section - said to be good for the hayfever.
A chart to manage who has checked the temperature of the refrigerators and how often they do so.
More health drinks in a pack.
Dried mixes that you stir into your fried veggies and wot not.
This is something good to pick up - packs of miso soup - just add hot water.
Tubs of Miso paste - folks mix it in hot water or use it when cooking other dishes.
Dried seaweed - wrap it around rice for an instant dish.
A machine in the rice section which turns brown rice into white rice.
The self service checkouts where you scan and manage your own payment.
Koi nobori or Carp windsocks.
The locals like cheese and there seems to be a lot of it - I can only eat it once its been heated though ^^;
We got peach flavoured Calpis too.
This snack is dangerous - as soon as you take a few nibbles then you won't be able to put it down until the bag is empty ^^
You are in luck if you thought the Idolmaster girlies were nice enough to eat.
Supermarkets usually have a character related snack section.
You would probably come across goodies that you would not be able to find in the average hobby shops.
Characters designed to be so ugly that folks started to think they look cute.
Puzzle and Dragons is big in Japan - I never got it to run on either my Xperia or HTC one ><
How many of you have played it?
I hardly see anybody talking about the anime Anpanman outside of Japan - any of you watch it?
Small magazine section with some Ikemen on the covers.
And thats it for today's look at a Japanese supermarket - do try to take a look at one when you in Japan next time.