Market Friday At My Costco In Japan


My Costco in Japan for #MarketFriday by @dswigle.

For those of you who don't know, Costco is a staple in American shopping. It's a membership, bulk, shopping warehouse initially started for small businesses, but expanding to everyday shopping needs, in bulk.

It spread to Japan back in the 90's and since then has opened 31 locations all over the country. The Costco near my home is only a few miles away, but because of the hills takes about 20 minutes to get to via car. You can take the train, as I used to 20 years ago, but getting bulk items home on the train is a pain in the ass.

There are two things significantly different with Japanese Costco's that people will notice right away. Rooftop parking is one and food is the other.


My Costco, like many other shopping centers in Japan, put their parking lots on the rooftops. I'm not sure why this is preferred to basement parking, but it's very common.


The views are nice from the roof(4th floor) though.


When you enter from the rooftop, you can get your shopping cart or get one at the entrance on the ground floor. The escalator ramps & carts have strong magnets in them so the cart can not move when going up or down.


Once inside you will notice it's almost exactly like the American Costco's.


Including crowds...

The foodcourt is the same too. My kids always have to have the pizza when we visit.



The products are a mix and match between American & Japanese. When I first used to shop at this location 20 years ago, American foods like cheddar cheese or refried beans were very hard to find in Japan. Now there are foreign food shops everywhere, but it's much cheaper to buy certain products at Costco like cheese!


Or specialty items like mini cronuts.


There are some nice items from other Pacific nations like this delicious butter from New Zealand.


We literally go to Costco now when ever we get low on butter because this brand is so good.

However, the reason I go is for the real good stuff, Wagyu A4 beef!



Unfortunately those were Dec. 2020 prices so now that same pack of beef will set you back about $70. It's still worth it for A4 beef though. If you've never had real A4 or A5 wagyu you are missing out. There is nothing like it.

Real bacon from Wisconsin! And it's thick cut!


You can also get whole roasted rotisserie chickens for like $8. That's insane in Japan and they often make you take a number in order to purchase one because they sell out so fast.

Of course, Japanese foods are plenty, for example this squid snack that my family loves, but I won't touch with a 10' pole.


How about ramen snack that I think was mutton flavored? This ramen you snack on like you would a potato chip.


Then there are oddities like this massive, 6kg chocolate Easter egg that probably originates from the US, but who knows.


Recently I noticed a huge increase in camping & outdoor goods. Due to the covid restrictions people have been opting to go out camping to get away from the city restrictions.


Conclusion, Costco is basically the same as the American version, but with Japanese & Pacific Rim nation products mixed in. You'll feel like you steeped right into America. Still, those different products really make it a great place to shop at and try out new foods you might not otherwise.

If you are interested here is a link to Costco Japan in English:

Thanks for reading!

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