It’s Saturday. No classes, and it’s beautiful outside. So I went to Nagoya to do some shopping for some much-needed necessities.
No photos on this trip, because I didn’t take my SLR with me. It was too heavy to carry around while I went shopping.
I needed to buy sheets, a wireless router, and after lugging my big digital SLR camera around Tokyo, I decided to find something small and cheap to take pictures with. My Nexus One is a good smartphone, but it’s a terrible camera.
I hopped on my bike and headed to JR Okazaki, and grabbed a train to Nagoya. That’s about 680 yen each way. Ouch. So I’ll be down ~$18 just on train fare each time I want to go to Nagoya. I wish the yen wasn’t so strong these days.
It’s Saturday, so everything was crowded.
JR Nagoya is one of my favorite places, because it’s full of all kinds of neat stores, and there are a ton of restaurants here, mostly on the 11th and 12th floors.
But I didn’t come here to eat, I came to get a router, sheets, and some kitchen supplies.
First, I got my bearings. For some reason, I always get turned around at JR Nagoya. After I figured out where I was, and where I wanted to go, I went out through the West Exit, crossed the street, and went into Bic Camera, one of my favorite electronic chain stores. (I’ve mentioned this before.)
The thing about Bic Camera is that for someone not used to it, you can experience sensory overload. There’s a crush of people trying to get in and out at the same time, there’s a guy yelling indecipherable stuff into a megaphone trying to sell you something you don’t need, there’s music playing the store’s jingle at repeated intervals, and of course, there’s electronics piled high and in your face with strange writing all over them. (Well, the level of strangeness is proportionate to how much you study, I guess.)
I love it.
Bic Camera is one of my favorite places to shop for electronics. I don’t always buy there, but I love to shop there.
The first trip is always a bit stunning, in the “hit in a head with a heavy blunt object” kind of way, but once I got over the initial shock, I was okay.
First off, I looked for a router. The salesperson steered me to the cheapest one, since I’m only going to need it for 3 months. I also grabbed a power strip, because I have so many electronics vying for limited outlet space that I thought I’ll need it.
Then I headed down into the basement, where there are row up on row of cameras to try out.
If it’s currently made in Japan and takes pictures, you’ll find it in Bic Camera’s basement. I spent a good hour or so checking them all out and agonizing over each one. I got some help (in Japanese) from the sales staff, but in the end, it was my decision.
I wound up with a cheap but not dirt-cheap Canon IXY, which is the same as the ELPH in the US. It cost around 13,000 yen. I wanted to spend a little less, but I think the IXY was a good trade-off for price/performance.
I need something I can stuff in my pocket and pull out for those “Oh, that’s unexpected. I want a shot of that!” moments, and I don’t want to have to worry about having a giant SLR to deal with for those kinds of things. The IXY isn’t the smallest or thinnest, but it’s cheap and takes pretty good pictures, and that’s all I need.
I headed back to JR Nagoya for part two of my excursion.
Now it was time to get some housewares, and the best place for that is… huh. I don’t know. So I went to Takeshimaya, a big department store chain in Japan, which has a store in JR Nagoya, and I started looking around for sheets and blankets.
I went up about eight or nine floors on the escalator to the linens department.
Yeah, it’s a big store.
Unfortunately, I found out that although I’d measured my bed, the measurements didn’t mean anything, because the numbers I kept repeating to her just didn’t seem to match anything she had in stock. She said I probably had a single, but she wasn’t sure. (Of course, I didn’t use the best measuring stick in the world. I used a sheet of paper and a calculator.)
Frankly, the other problem I was having with Takashimaya was the price. I just wanted the Japanese equivalent of a $10 Wal-Mart/Target bottom sheet, and she was pulling out some fancy stuff. I don’t mind getting it wrong on a $10 sheet, but I mind if it’s a $50 sheet. Yikes.
Knives and Forks and Spoons, Oh My!
Having failed at bedding, I took a look at the kitchen section at Takashimaya, and it was nice, but a bit ritzy for my taste as well. Since Tokyu Hands was sharing floor space with part of Takashimaya, I started nosing around there a bit.
They had the kitchen knife I wanted, but I couldn’t get any help. It was in a case, and nobody was coming by. Not even close.
I decided to come back and went up to look for sheets– oh, hey, stationery and calligraphy supplies! No, must go look for sheets.
After a bit of digging, I found a sheet that was cheap and “good enough,” then went back to the kitchen section to try again. This time, I got someone to help with a nice ceramic santoku for all-purpose cutting, and a pair of kitchen shears. When all else fails, kitchen shears can probably handle it. A true multi-tasker.
I also grabbed some stuff like a small cutting board (with happy vegetables on it), a decent pan, some chopsticks, one setting of cheap silverware– you know, the stuff you don’t really know you need until you don’t have it handy.
After all of that, I headed back home, because I was carrying a ton of stuff.
Getting it back on the train wasn’t too great, but once I got to my bike, the last bit wasn’t so bad.
Now I’m going to enjoy some Japanese TV with my conbini dinner.