The store like a theme park for character goods- “KIDDY LAND”
Specializing in “Rilakkuma”, “Hello Kitty” and “Snoopy”, the KIDDY LAND Harajuku store sells popular character goods and toys from Japan and overseas, including “Studio Ghibli”, “Disney” and “Star Wars” as well, across 5 floors from the first basement to the 4th floor.
For 1,000 yen, you can also buy various cool items such as stationery, sweets and accessories.
KIDDY LAND Harajuku store
Access: 1 minute walk from Meiji-jingumae station or 7 minutes’ walk from Omote-sando station on the Tokyo Metro Line. Or, 5 minutes’ walk from JR Harajuku station.
Address: 6-1-9 Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays: 10:30-21:00
Fixed holidays: None, open all year round
*Opening hours and holidays are subject to change without notice, so please check with each store.
A specialty shop for cheap snacks – “Dagashi Yumeya”
Stores named for specializing in “Dagashi”, cheap sweets that you can buy a for a few 10’s of yen and toys, were popular long ago with grade school children who could enjoy shopping there with just their pocket money and were found all over Japan. In modern Japan, their market share has been taken by convenience stores, and though they greatly declined in number, now they have started to appear in places like shopping centers all over the country as concept shops selling sentimental candy favorites. They stock a wide variety of things from candies, snacks and chocolate to traditional items like senbei (rice crackers) and kinako (soybean flour) sweets. Seeing all the exciting novelty sweets, and enjoying their flavor is the cheap version of Japanese gourmet style.
Dagashi Yumeya (LaLaport Yokohama store)
Access: 7 minutes’ walk from JR Kamoi station on the JR Yokohama Line
Address: 4035-1 Ikonobe-cho, Tsuzuki-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa, LaLaport Yokohama 2nd Floor
Opening hours: 10:00-21:00
Reasonable, delicious and fun! “Kaiten Sushi”
When thinking of the most famous kind of Japanese cuisine, it might be appropriate to suggest sushi. Although there are many high class sushi restaurants, there’s a popular way in Japan to enjoy sushi reasonably from 100 yen per plate called “kaiten-sushi”. At a kaiten-sushi shop, plates with 2 pieces of sushi each ride around slowly on a conveyor belt. Even if you can’t read the menu, you can just pick the ones that look good to eat, which makes it easy. Of course, if you make an order, the sushi chefs will make it fresh for you on the spot. It’s pretty much safe to say that near every major train station in Japan there’s a kaiten-sushi restaurant, so please try it at least once!
A reminder on exchange rates
Just to be sure, listed here are the current exchange rates as of March 2013.
Other than the things introduced to you in this issue, for 1,000 yen there are many more edible things you can buy too, such as oden from the convenience store and groceries from Ueno’s Ameyoko shopping arcade.
If you visit Japan, please be on the constant look-out for good deals.
The Big Mac Index
For a simple illustration, let us compare the relative price of the Big Mac from McDonald’s.
A Japanese Big Mac costs 320 yen (about US $3.40), an American Big Mac costs about 403 yen (about US $4.33), and in Great Britain, a Big Mac costs about 387 yen (about US $4.16). Of these countries, you can see Japan is the cheapest!
*Comparison was carried out using 2013 exchange rates
*There may be some differences in price between regions and stores