Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Japan: Hiroshima 4 - Grocery shopping

The Grocery stores have a large selection of pre-made foods. And aisles and aisles dedicated to noodles. Their produce is interesting…things like bell peppers are super tiny like the size of a small tangerine. Other stuff like leeks and green onions are super thick and 3 feet long. Cantaloupe is considered a very nice gift. They are sold in cellophane boxes and I’ve seen them anywhere from $18 - $44 for one. Everything is sold in small portions, much like Europe. All restaurants give the perfect amount of food that will fill, but not stuff you. The grocery carts are like the toy ones you had when you were little. Feels like "pretending" to grocery shop.

Hiroshima is mainly a cash society. Beware if you use your credit card, they'll ask how you want to break down the number of payments to your credit card. Much like financing, the store can charge your credit card anyway you want, even if you want to pay $20 in 4 installments.

After check out, they give you like 1 plastic bag for every 10 items and you bag it yourself at a long row of tables in front of the cash registers. There are no baggers in grocery stores. On the other end of the spectrum, clerks in department stores will wrap your purchases 2-3 times in paper and small bags before giving it to you in a larger plastic bag which they tape closed. No wonder the trash system is needed...