Musings about Japan and life as a human, a cosplayer, a minority, a music lover, an English teacher.

Grocery Shopper’s Nightmare, otherwise known as Costco.

The other day I went to Costco in Japan for the first time. The nearest store location is Amagasaki, which is a good 2 hours away from Ono by car. I never really thought a membership would be worth the money for someone living alone like myself, but I was curious about what kinds of products they had that I wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. If you’ve never been to Costco, it’s one of those members’ only bulk grocery stores, kind of like Sam’s Club and BJ’s in the US. Costco has stores worldwide, Japan included.

I had heard from a friend that this particular Costco is quite ridiculous. And he was telling the truth. Aside from all the good stuff I got, it was a nightmare being there.

First off, it’s crowded. Japanese people–just like how they can’t drive*–cannot operate those large Costco-sized shopping carts, bumping into people, other carts, and random things. Also, they will often leave carts right in the middle of the aisle to look at something, not even realizing that they are blocking the way for other customers. In fact, my own Japanese friend who had taken me there had done that several times; I had to move the cart out of the way just to make sure there was room for others to go by. On top of that, there are little kids everywhere. You’d think that as an elementary school teacher, I would not mind this. Negative. I do mind when they are loud, running around and screaming in a crowded store.

*I mean in the general sense, but yes, my international friends and I have come to the mutual conclusion that Japanese drivers can be pretty bad.

But it’s okay. I managed to escape with the following:

A large bag of chocolate-covered pretzels
Salsa along with tortilla chips
2 jumbo jars of queen-sized Spanish olives (I eat them like a snack, no joke)
A huge bag of Ghiradelli chocolate chips (stay tuned for Valentine’s Day 2012, because the next handmade chocolate gift will be for ME).
A bag of limes that I split with my friend
A box of Swiss Miss hot cocoa, also split
A box of Twix
A large bag of dried cranberries
A container of Kraft Parmesan cheese
Salt and Black Pepper grinders

Seeing that none of this stuff is food that I eat on a regular basis, it really is an extra expense. Stack a Costco membership as well as transportation costs on top of that and you realize that, unless you have a big family or own a business or otherwise consume a large amount of products in a short time (that’s what Costco is for!), it’s really expensive.

That being said, I heard that in January there will be a new Costco opening up in Kobe, which will be closer. I still don’t know if I’d want to get a membership, but it’s nice to be able to get my hands on food that I can’t find anywhere else.

I eat these as a snack. Healthy and great for those who get bored of raisins.

Looks like I'll be cooking spaghetti more often.

I'm most excited about these. <--sad life, I know 😛

I have 2 of these.


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