Tag Archives: shopping

More Shopping in Tokyo: So Many Options

After Tsukiji Market we wanted to keep our day going, bust most of Tokyo isn’t open until later. We ended up waiting twenty minutes for a Starbucks to open at 7 AM so we could nap for an hour before we headed out onto the town.

If you look at the way the Japanese dress, it’s fashionable but also very subdued. There are no bright colors. I felt like the odd man out with my yellow shirt.

Stores seem to be one-stop-shops, carry everything. It’s GAP on the first floor and IKEA on the second floor.

The stores there are huge on aesthetic appeal, even using ┬áitems they don’t seem to sell. like these plants.

Inside Muji, they had an eating area for shoppers to stop and have a beverage and a wide variety of pastries.

Next door was Loft, another store carrying just about everything from notebooks to cosmetics and travel gear.

Options are not lacking. Here is the notebook/3-ring binder section.


There are some really cool things, including Moleskine notebooks with actual LEGO pads so you connect your LEGO figurines.

This is the first place I’ve actually seen these Moleskine notebooks.

While Michelle was busy looking at fake eyelashes, I contemplated a new look for myself too. Creepy Perv 2.0!

You can’t rock a mustache without the beard or so I’ve heard from people that can grow facial hair.

I wish department stores in America were more like Japanese stores. Although there are no benches where I can sit and wait while my wife spends all my money, there is enough variety that allows me to also drain our bank account at the same time. That way Michelle can spend all the time she wants looking at clothes and makeup while I look at electronics and toys in the same store. It’s like having an Apple store combined with a Nordstrom’s!

Shopping at Tokyu Hands

With no real plans for the first day, Michelle and I wandered around Shibuya and poked our heads into different stores to see what was going on in the world of shopping in Tokyo. We stopped into Tokyu Hands, and it was an eye opener. For any given product, there is never a lack of options.

They have a crafts floor that has a section just for masking tape.

Yes, I said masking tape.

There were lots of stickers in the craft section, some of which were a bit risque.

There was an entire floor dedicated to cleaning supplies. Sprays, rags, dusters, trashcans, and detergent. They’re also pretty hot on the Roomba too.

I think this section was for bath salts and bubble bath, but they had children’s cartoon character packaging mixed in with some very suggestive adult themed packages.

They toy section had an excellent selection though.

There was a whole floor dedicated to bento lunch boxes.

When I say a whole floor, I am not exaggerating.

The Japanese are consumers in every sense of the word. While they tend to follow trends as a society, they still hold to their own unique styles with a market that provides so many options to the same concepts. It creates a sense of community while allowing individuals to have their own identity.

Furniture Overload

We’re living in the apartment now, but up until today our apartment activity has been limited by the pieces of furniture we own. Our activity has pretty much consisted of sitting in the bed and surfing the Internet. That’s why this weekend was spent looking for furniture, primarily a couch. That way we can spend our time surfing the Internet from the couch instead.

After visiting what feels like a million stores, we still do not have a couch. We have a deposit on one but it’s not coming in until late June. That might be kind of a long time to wait for a couch. Does anyone have a place to get furniture that’s not shitty and not going to cost me an arm and a leg?

The good news is we found a new bed set! It wouldn’t be stereotypical if we were to buy this. It would actually be just plain weird.

This is Living…Kinda.

So I’ve spent a couple nights in my new apartment. Here is what I’ve learned thus far.

  • Both Trader Joe’s and the bank are within walking distance. I hate walking anywhere, but I think it will become part of my regular routine.
  • Buying beer without knowing if you have a bottle opener is dumb. When you are without a bottle opener, you will desperately try anything that has a remote chance of working, from oven racks to pliers.
  • If you buy only a bottle opener and a Toblerone, the cashier at Trader Joe’s will give you funny looks.
  • Trader Joe’s has it’s own beer they call Trader Jose. I have a 6-pack in my fridge now because I was curious. Has anyone else tried this?
  • There are about a dozen visible access points viewable from my apartment. Two are open without any security. The other ten I think I can crack within a week. I will try later.
  • Both Michelle and I are okay with having wine and beer in the apartment but no food as long as we have Internet.
  • The drive to my office is an additional ten minutes, but I think I can do some alternate routes to cut it back down to my normal commute.

More life lessons to come. Man it’s been a long time since I’ve lived out of my parents’ place.

Personal Shopping Assistant

For a long time now I’ve been preaching the benefits of the Firefox web browser for a few reasons, because I am a huge nerd. My favorite reason for using Firefox is the third party plugins that add a lot of functionality beyond standard browsing.

I’ve always said if you’re buying anything but music, DVDs or appliances from Best Buy, you’re probably getting ripped off. Fortunately Invisible Hand is a plugin for Firefox that allows real time shopping comparisons for products on major shopping websites, including Best Buy. If there is an identical product with a better price on another shopping site, a little notification will tell you, “Go buy it elsewhere.”

So now you can go stimulate the economy and do it prudently thanks to Adam Smith’s metaphor, now in Firefox plugin form.

Shopping Time!

I save links to products that I come across that I would like to own, except that they are completely useless. Those are the most fun things to buy anyway. Here is my list of useless wants.

Solar Climbing Orangutan
Solar Frightened Grasshopper
Flipside Wallet
8-Bit Tie
Classic Batman Hoodie
Mimo Monitor
Fake Mustache Pack
Shock Pen
LED Flashlight Pig

I’m beginning to think that this downturn in the economy might be because people bought things like this instead of paying their mortgages.



Eleven bucks from Walmart! What else is there to say about these shoes? I would have paid sixty bucks for them. Sure they’re just a pair of sneakers, but this is a pair that I have been seeking out for a long time. When you look up velcro shoes you see two styles. You get the flat Vans or you get the geriatric version. The look I found in this pair is the old Roos style but without the useless pocket on the side. Do you know how good it feels to look for a pair of shoes for over a year and finally find it?

As I was putting away my new shoes in my closet, I realized I have way too many pairs of shoes. I just counted them, and although some are ready to go into the trash can because of holes, this currently ties the most pairs of shoes I’ve had at one time back in college. Seventeen pairs.

I’m so gay.

Spend $1,000 or More in 60 Seconds or Less

What defines a good shopper? I like buying things, but I don’t really like going shopping. Making an outing to a store just to look around is not my idea of fun at all. Seek and destroy is how I shop.

I like to look at items that I stumble across, but I will almost never buy them right away. Generally I hold out telling myself, “I don’t really need that. I can’t justify spending money.” I go through shopping droughts, which is why I can keep my credit card bill under $300/month, including meals and gas.

Eventually I end up buying whatever it was I was refusing to buy, buying it all in a storm. All the things that I haven’t bought get purchased all at once. My credit card bill will soar over twenty times my normal spending. Now is the calm before the storm.

Alarm Clock – I have no idea why, but my clock is not getting the job done. The analog controls for the radio sometimes leave the radio sitting in between stations, giving me a quiet static rather than loud radio. I’m thinking of getting this one, or even going as far as getting an iPod alarm clock like this.

Jeans – I am a shorts and sandals guy through and through. It’s not that I hate dress clothes. I don’t really even like wearing jeans. For the few times it does get cold enough, or if I am going out where shorts are not acceptable, I have one pair of jeans. I need to get some new ones.

Shoes – I need work shoes. I have been wearing my work shoes without backs on them. Imagine black leather clogs. They’re super comfortable for making my way around the office, but I need some steel-toe shoes for entering different customers’ facilities.

Fish Stuff – I keep a couple aquariums and have been neglecting them. I need to get some things to clean up a bit as well as get some new fish, since I never really finished stocking my fish tank. I also promised Michelle I’d get her a real fish tank with filtration and all so she can share in the hobby with me.

Christmas Gifts – I do need to pick up a few things for gift exchanges with friends. The girlfriend should probably get something too. It’s birthday or Christmas, right?

UMPC – An ultra mobile PC. I absolutely don’t need one of these, but I have been eyeing one for almost a full year now. I’ve had my eye on either the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 or the Acer Aspire One.

I know there’s a whole list of other things I need and want, but I think that’s a good jump start to help the economic healing. After this splurge, I will go into spending hibernation as usual and the economy is on its own.