Thursday, September 04, 2008

Costco Japan

We planned on doing Costco this past Monday because of the holiday here. Nothing else would be available to us on base so we were going off base for some adventuring. The lady who sold us the Delica told us it would take 20-30 minutes. Well, it almost took an hour and a half. Of course we didn't take toll roads since we didn't have exact directions. It was painful, and of course I packed for a 30 minute drive so I ran out of snacks almost as soon as we took off. Oh well, we'll get something at Costco.
Here's a map to get there, the only thing we knew was the express way (toll) and 16 is just outside of the base. How far could it be?

The last mile was the hardest since we weren't exactly sure where it was. We had a general idea so we just kept driving around until we accidentally came to it. Since space is such a problem here in Japan several floors of parking for Costco is on top of the building. Very different from what we are used to in the states. You can pick up a cart on the parking level and take it down a long moving ramp. The cart locks in place. So neat. By the way, the carts aren't nearly as big there as they are in the states. Almost the same size of a normal grocery cart. More on grocery shopping in Japan once we've moved to Shizuoka and I can take pictures of grocery stores.
Our Costco card gets us in and we assume we can buy stuff since Americans have been talking about Costco. It's set up just like a normal Costco and has a mix of what you see in America as well as Japanese products. We beelined it to the electronics to see how much an all region DVD player would cost. About $60, we decided to wait and see if we can find something cheaper. If we rent movies in Shizuoka, they won't play on our DVD player.
We found the gigantic box of animal crackers and we had to get them. We need snacks for the drive back. I remember they weren't cheap in the states, but can't remember the price, they were $15 here. I also so Jelly Bellys for $25. I know it's not that expensive in the states. The prices are much more here, but that's to be expected. Japan is more expensive in general and then to have American stuff shipped there only makes it worse. But, not gigantic box of gold fish. How sad.
I've been bummed about milk here. You can't get it in gallons on or off base (obviously not off base since they do metric). The biggest you can get on base is half gallon cartons and the biggest off base is a liter. I was hoping they would have big jugs of milk at Costco since the girls love there milk. Nope, just a pack of two 1L. We have to ween the girls off of all the milk they drink. A half gallon costs almost $3 on base and 1L runs anywhere from $1 to $1.75. We could easily go through a half gallon a day in this house.
Anyway, back to Costco. We didn't end up getting much else. They had the big containers of California grapes that we can't even get on base. Yummy, the girls are happy. I also got a big thing of Yakisoba noodles, super cheap. I also randomly found a two pound bag of sesame seeds
that I bought. It's hard to find them in mass quantities in the states and we use a lot for a recipe and figured I should get it now. It is funny to see all the Japanese products. A whole isle with gigantic bags of rice, boxes of cereal that I have no idea what's in them (can't read!), and veggies you rarely see in the states. It was fun, but the cost is still so much higher than buying directly from the base. So, we'll be doing our shopping here until we leave and will make trips to the base once a month or so to stock up on canned and dry goods.
As for the food court, it's almost identical to the states. It has the hot dog, pizza, and chicken bake. We wanted to split an ice cream and that was a mistake. I swear it was made from cream and was way to rich, but the girls loved it! My tummy was not happy after that.
That's it from Costco. We just got news that we have a new move in date of the 18th! No!!!!! Two more weeks of not getting settled into a house. What a pain. We are bored so we have decided we're going to Tokyo Disney on Tuesday. So, I should have something good to blog about soon.


Tara said...

Wow! I had no idea there were Costcos in Japan. Interesting! I'm looking forward to hearing what Disney is like out there; that sounds fun!

Vicki said...

Cool shopping trip! I need a big bag of rice - our Costco doesn't sell the reclosable bags any longer. I love hearing about the adventures of settling into a new culture. Have fun at Disney!

Jen said...

Sounds like you need to start packing snacks for 3-hour trips, even if you expect to be gone for only 20 minutes!! :) I know how grumpy one red head gets...can't imagine dealing with two of them!

I wonder, at Disney, do they have Japanese women dressed up as the princesses?