I went to Costco in Japan WAY back in 2009 when I went camping with some other teachers. At the time I thought it was cool to buy some foreign food that was hard to buy in the regular supermarkets but I never thought to get a membership.
I think that one was near Sagamino. I didn't really know where we were because I didn't drive. Recently I found out there was one only about a kilometre away from where I lived in Tomioka, Kanagawa! I really regret not exploring more when I lived there.
So today armed with my Australian Costco membership I thought it'd be a good opportunity to see how different it is to the local version.
Although there is a closer Costco in Kawasaki, we opted to go to the Kanazawa Seaside (closest to Tomioka). We also wanted to check out the marina and Mitsuo outlet stores not too far from Costco. To get there we caught the Keikyu Seaside line (change to it at Shin-Sugita), and got out at Torihama. Note that this is where to get out only for the Mitsuo Outlet/marina!
The place is quite nice. I took a few photos here. We looked at some interesting shops. She liked a watch in the Seiko store, and I bought a cool Graniph t-shirt to replace the similar one I gave to my brother. There was a Lego store but the prices were normal. I couldn't find a R2D2 keyring. I had bought a new one but darned if I can find it.
She had in mind to catch the train to get closer to Costco, but I didn't think it was that far away. Being a hot sweltering day it definitely felt longer to get there. My bad.
Costco in Japan is quite similar to back home but definitely more "Japanified". Here you can buy a sushi tray which sadly they don't do in Australia. The bagels have a few extra flavours too. They had samples out like in Australia but whereas there isn't any formal etiquette to getting said sample, here people LINED UP to receive their sample. I actually got told off for not following local custom. I am a BAD, BAD gaijin ne.
We bought what we could practically carry to the station. We first walked the wrong way back but soon got back on track. The closest train station is Sachiura station.
If I was still living there I think I would've got a membership. Access to western food in Japan, while available, is fairly limited. For 4,000 yen (+tax) I think it's definitely worth it, probably more so than here in Australia.