chris vs. the arctic

chris: 72 // the arctic: 47

Tread Carefully at the Grocery Store

Japanese grocery stores are quite a phenomenon. I'll never forget my first experience shopping at my local Albis. On the surface, it looks just like any other North American food market. It has a fruits & vegetables section, a meat counter, aisles, check-outs, carts... All typical, right?

Not on closer inspection. The fruits & vegetables have price stickers attached to them with seemly random numbers. Apple - ¥128. Green pepper - ¥299. Watermelon - ¥4,400. Oh, I'm sorry. I only brought ¥20,000 to the store with me today. Perhaps there is a common denominator I was forgetting to divide all the prices by? No? Oh, okay.

The meat counter is another story. Instead of selling meat they opt to sell the actual animal. I guess that's easier...

Yum! But that's Asia, right? Actually, I highly respect it. It brings the connection between your food and you closer. Probably a lot closer than most North Americans would want.

Unfortunately, the Japanese break that food connection in other ways. Let's take a look at a typical grocery store aisle:

The Japanese Grocery Store

All that plastic can't be healthy for either you or the environment.

Here are some other aisles:

Japanese Dainties

Just the essentials, please. You'd be hard-pressed to find more than one type of cream soup. Nevermind one that is less than ¥400. Baking section? I think there's one shelf somewhere in the soy sauce aisle. You'd like some cheese to put on a hummus sandwich? Bahahahahaha!

Here's another enigma of the Japanese grocery store -- cheap bananas:

12 for ¥183

One can easily imagine why they are cheap. (Developing nations' bananas in a developed country...)

For you pizza lovers, watch out! Here's the favourite pizza combination of Japan:

Tuna and Corn Pizza

Yes, that's tuna, corn, and mayonnaise on top of that pizza! Actually, as strange as it sounds, I really do enjoy it. But I'll take my good ol' pep & mushroom any day.

I think the grocery store is truly my weak point when it comes to culture shock. When I went back to Canada for Christmas this past year, nothing really phased me, save the market. English signs? Meh. Being able to understand everything? Overrated. Grocery store filled with more than two kinds of bread, aisles upon aisles of Western food, cheap produce, and a dairy section? I... I... Let me just lean against this chair... Okay. I think I'm all right. Being able to pay for your groceries with a debit or credit card? Sorry, I can see the screen through my tears...
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On June 08, 2006, Blogger Brad said:

I'm not at all sure I want to know what was in the Japanese Danties isle. Did they then, conversely, have a "Foreign Danties" isle?    

On June 09, 2006, Blogger Mark said:

What is it with you and bananas?    

On June 10, 2006, Blogger Chris said:


On November 03, 2011, Blogger stephen6780 said:

The fast and convenient online store offering your favorite british food store right here in the USA. We invite you to browse through our store where you can find a wide range of British food favorites including English teas, Cadbury chocolate, Mcvities and Heinz to name a few. Order today, we offer the cheapest prices online and guarantee a fast and friendly service.    

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