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Department Stores in Japan

by Tina Dudley on July 15, 2013

in Japan, What's New

Department Stores in Japan

Well so far we have gone to three departments stores as we are surrounded by stores here at the Tachikawa Palace hotel. Each store has their own variety of merchandise. But they all have one thing in common, one does not simply walk into the store when it opens, you are welcomed into the store. The stores all open at 10:00 am. You know this because a crowd of people gathers outside the store waiting for the store to open. At precisely 10:00 A.M. on the dot a bell rings and usually a very pretty girl will bow and say “Ohayōgozaimasu” that means Good Morning.

In fact it sounds more like they are screaming Good morning to the crowd.

At the fancy high end department store the welcome girls are dressed in pink formal outfits that look more like flight attendant uniforms from the 1960’s. They stand by the door, then they bow to and say “Ohayogozaimasu” for several minutes to all that pass thru the doors. As you walk thru each department all the sales people are also at the front of their departments and they also call out “Ohayogozaimasu” after you walk thru the store things calm down a bit and the sales staff go about the business of trying to sell you product.

We went to the store to look for a bed. The selection compared to the New Zealand or the United States was lacking. At the store we went to we were met with two sales people who tried so hard to commutate with us and try to get us to buy what I have now figured out is a very expensive bed. No wonder the sales staff tried so hard the bed was prices at ¥818,000.Yen which translates to approximately $10,584.92nz or $8,237.26US. The bed was nice but needless to say we are not buying that bed, even if the sale price is ¥518,000.

Today we went to the electronic store that was a full fledge assault on the senses. It was very over whelming. Go to your lounge and turn on all the things that make noise and see how that feels. Imagine going into an electronic store and every device is turned on with the volume turned up. This was the electronic store. Of course it seemed as I was the only person who had a problem with this. Every TV, every stereo, every video game that had a beeping sound was on. Then you had people on  loud speakers and standing at the front of the department store yelling “Ohayogozaimasu” and daily specials at you. It didn’t take long for this country mouse to get over whelmed and scurry away. We did manage to purchase shampoo and vitamins at the electronics store go figure out why this was being sold at the electronic store. You could also get your eye glasses and your prescriptions filled there too. I guess they figure while you were waiting for your prescriptions you would look at purchasing electronics.

This store we went to had 6 floors of goods but the last floor was my favourite floor. I found my first craft store. This craft store made spotlight in NZ look like a 7 eleven corner dairy. There were acres of fabric and notions and craft dilly bobs and the most beautiful paper I have ever seen. This paper is for wall dividers or screens. You can buy a frame and select the kind of paper you want in the screen. I will not be leaving without some of this paper. We also found a place in the sewing department where we can have a tailor made suit made for Kevin this is another activity we will be doing before we leave. I must get much better at Japanese before we attempt this project. As I want the correct fit and style for my darling husband. All and all going to the stores has been an experience I won’t soon forget. I have so far been to about five stores and have seen more stuff in that short span of time then I have my entire time living in New Zealand. Amazingly   I only managed so far to buy a purse and sun glasses and a personal fan for which we have no tools to open and put the batteries in to make it work.. In my next blog I will tell you all about the grocery stores another experience to be had.