Modern life is geared towards convenience. In the West, we like everything to be easily accessible, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Japan is no different. Let’s focus on one specific aspect: convenience stores. Here’s how Japan is getting it oh so right.
A Shop of Different World Views – Irregular Rhythm Asylum and the Heartbeat of Japanese Counterculture
The moment you venture into the infoshop, be prepared to gaze upon reams of posters, books, “zines,” t-shirts, and other goods that favor countercultural ideas. From anarchist thinkers such as Mikhail Bakunin to early Japanese nonconformists like Noe Ito and Kotoku Shusui, you’ll find something to sink your political teeth into without much trouble.
Manga Souko is a chain of second hand stores found throughout Japan. Touted as a “recycle store”, they buy and sell games, DVDs, manga, books, clothing, furniture, toys, decor, textiles, musical instruments, leisure equipment, electronics, and collectibles. With stores located in the Chubu, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, Kyushu and Okinawa regions, you aren’t too far away from experiencing one of these magical places.
If you have been living in Japan or traveling the country, you are very familiar with the 100 yen stores called Daiso. You can get anything here. It is a paradise of abundance. But maybe you have found yourself frustrated with the number of times you had to run back here because the purchased item repeatedly broke.
You will find power tools, gas torches, multi-purpose folding knives, and all the usual goodies found in hardware stores anywhere in the world. But as always there are subtle cultural differences. What kinds of cultural differences can you expect in these hardware stores?
Japanese candies are famous world-wide, so when I first came to Japan I thought that I knew a lot about Japan’s various snacks. Little did I know that there are so many delicious shapes and flavors that tasting every one can be a thrilling adventure.
Spiderman: Homecoming is the feature toy theme throughout the store. At the Jingumae’s Toy Sapien headquarters in Tokyo we see right from the outside that this is going to be something completely different.
If you miss snacks and food items from home, we have compiled a list of a few places in central Sapporo where you can get your fix.
Horie. This area combines boutique fashion of areas and intimate coffee shops without the bustle of areas such as Umeda and nearby Shinsaibashi. This area is also home to bicycle stores, furniture shops and second hand clothing stores.
It’s actually a large chain of discount stores, with over 160 locations in Japan, and 3 in Hawaii. It carries pretty much anything you can imagine, including groceries, homeware, clothing, and cosmetics, as well as some off the wall products (more on these later).