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Mega supermarket in Tokyo 2014/3/22 06:34
Hello I will be staying in Ikebukuro area in July. I wonder where are the nearest public transport (not taxi) accessible mega supermarkets such as Costco? Costco are rather far away and seems that a car is required, if there is a lot to buy. :P

Thanks for any tips!
cheers ^_^
by anqip (guest)  

Re: Mega supermarket in Tokyo 2014/3/22 09:25
If you buy a lot isn't it going to be difficult to carry it all home without a car or taxi?
by ed (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Mega supermarket in Tokyo 2014/3/22 15:34
Well I could make a few trips. :-)
by anqip (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Mega supermarket in Tokyo 2014/3/22 18:01
are supermarkets like Itoyokado and Seiyu not large enough for you ?
by ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Mega supermarket in Tokyo 2014/3/22 18:12
Oh yes, they look big enough. Thanks! =^.^=
by anqip (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Mega supermarket in Tokyo 2014/3/22 21:30
I've gone to Akabane before because it has three major supermarkets (Ito Yokado, Seiyu, and Daiei) close to the JR station. (The Daiei is a couple of blocks away, the Ito Yokado is right next to the station, and the Seiyu is between Daiei and the station.) None of these are mega in size but all are full-size supermarkets, and each tends to have a few things the others don't. Akabane also has an arcade with some reasonably priced okashi and o-sozai shops, and a fairly large Daiso 100-yen store. Totally ordinary place, but it works for me... I never figured out where a good supermarket is in Ikebukuro itself. (Admittedly I get sidetracked by the department store basements there.)

Akabane is 8-10 minutes from Ikebukuro, though. If all you need is a single ordinary supermarket, surely you can find something closer. What were you wanting to buy? You can't eat that much in one month, and many grocery items are things you'll want to buy a week or less in advance.

In case you can read some Japanese, here is a list of supermarket chains that have stores in the Tokyo area. If you click on the links, you will get to corporate home pages where you can search for branch information (usually a tab labeled X܏ or something like that):
http://www.jp-super.com/super-2tko.htm

When I go on a shopping excursion where I plan to come back with a lot of grocery items (such as a huge haul of okashi to bring back to the States), I always bring a sizeable foldup duffle bag and/or some non-see-through tote bags to pack it in for carrying on the train. If you have a lot of grocery bags, people will give you funny looks.
by Uma (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Mega supermarket in Tokyo 2014/3/22 22:38
Hi thanks everyone for taking the time to share! :)

I kinda like to browse the local supermarkets when overseas to see the variety of food. I won't be buying a lot (saying that now) probably just some fun stuff to bring home and snack.

Do the locals not buy a lot of groceries and bring on the train? Wonder why the funny looks. :P

Thanks again! Looking forward! ^_^
by anqip (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Mega supermarket in Tokyo 2014/3/23 14:30
I'm a westerner who brings loads of shopping home on the subway. I don't travel in peak periods if at all possible. Never been deterred by strange looks:) Western habits of shopping weekly haven't been replaced by Japanese habits of shopping daily!!
Have also done visits to Costco, but only when I've had a car available.
by LoveJapan (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Mega supermarket in Tokyo 2014/3/23 21:43
You should have a lot of fun at the supermarkets in Japan. Try several different ones, if you get a chance.

It just isn't common for Japanese people to ride trains when laden with grocery bags, and at least one Japanese native I know thinks that carrying even one bag of obvious groceries is embarrassing, for some reason. (I frankly don't know why, if it doesn't cause any trouble for other passengers and you aren't displaying feminine hygiene supplies or something.) I honestly don't care if some Japanese people on the train think I'm a weird gaijin, but when I know I'm going to be carrying a large amount of groceries I do plan ahead and bring a duffle bag and/or tote bag. Besides hiding the fact that you are carrying groceries (gasp!), it also makes them easier to carry and less likely for something to fall out of a bag. If you're just carrying a bag or two of groceries, then honestly, I wouldn't think twice about it. When you will really attract stares (if that bothers you) is if you have a whole lot of bags, I think.
by Uma (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Mega supermarket in Tokyo 2014/3/24 11:52
Some of the food floors in big Japanese department stores are bigger than my local Costco and Walmart, and they have much better quality food...not cheap mind you..though prepared food, like sushi, is discounted ear closing time.

In Europe and other continents they have hypermarkets that are truly huge. Some have 2 floors and have something like 50 plus cash registers..all open at peak hours and on weekends..
http://anteupfitness.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/supermarket_checko...
by Monkey see (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Mega supermarket in Tokyo 2014/4/27 10:31
Japan has the best convenience stores on the planet but is short of good supermarkets, at least in central Tokyo. I was running out of toilet rolls and could only find them in the local Family Mart-nowhere else. Overjoyed at actually finding some, but shocked by their apparent rarity, I bought two 4-packs (in the UK I buy them in packs of 24). The assistant couldn't fit them in the store bags so, as I would at home, I spared her the trouble-she stuck the little bits of tape on them (that show the goods to have been sold) and off I wandered back to my apartment with a 4-pack of toilet rolls in each hand. I think it was the only time that I really got stared at by visibly amused locals. Pehaps not bagging your shopping is a major faux pas in Japan.

If you want to really stock up at the start of a longer stay, just use your suitcase to carry everything back.

FWIW, the best supermarket I have ever been in is in Japan: the Kinokuniya International store on Aoyama street. The range of goods is remarkable. Well worth a trip.
by David (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Mega supermarket in Tokyo 2014/4/27 22:31
If you want to just have fun browsing local food markets, you should check out the two massive department-store food halls in Ikebukuro - one on either side of the station - in the basements of Tobu and Seibu department stores. Also, right next to Seibu is another massive basement market called ISP that's well worth a visit. Much more interesting than Costco!
by Umami Dearest rate this post as useful

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