Oh, Soft Bank, with your adorable doggy mascot, bravely setting paw where no pup has stepped before.
While I meandered around the shopping center quite a bit, I actually came with a singular goal in mind:
Ah, my sweet Mamachari. I had that bike for the rest of my stay in Japan all the way up until the day I left, at which point it was handed down to my coworker Jason who lived a few blocks away.
The bike cost roughly ¥10,000 and some change, about $100US, which is pretty reasonable. With the basket, the bell, and the price, it was a great find that would make my life so much easier. Many a grocery trip ended with the basket stuffed full of veggies and bags dangling off the bars. What I didn't realize is that I had just purchased the two-wheeled equivalent to a minivan, usually owned by mothers who need to get around with baby in tow. Womp womp.
Honestly though, it was my first breath of true freedom here, allowing me to cruise all around the town like a bat out of hell.
While I had to wait for the bicycle shop employee to process all the paperwork and prepare the bike for me, I took the time to continue browsing the enormous entertainment/shopping center.
On the third floor I found a small petshop tucked away!
Oh my goodness, this dog was beyond adorable! Too bad he was over $2,000 to take home. X_X
The 4th floor was the restaurant floor. It's pretty common to have an entire floor dedicated to food in Japanese shopping centers and Shin-Urayasu was no exception. In addition to a floor full of restaurants, the ground floor had a large grocery store as well.
So many noodle dishes~ 食べたいな！
I miss Japanese Subway restaurants… Shrimp & Red snow crab sandwich, Prosciutto & mascarpone…both sound so much better than whatever cheese drenched bacon-stuffed monstrosity they're advertising now at my local subway. u_u Can American subways do anything "special" that doesn't involve extra cheese and bacon? Delicious as those things can be, they've been overdone to the point of being boring.
Back on the ground floor, there were a few more restaurants, grocers, and bakeries to explore.
Teriyaki chicken & egg pizza, anyone?
At an import shop now, I found these brats! Yum yum.
Taco shells for ¥428, box of couscous for ¥525…
Mixed cheese platters, naan and more!
So many sauces! Curry, norma, tikka masala, crab curry, chicken curry, spicy curry, etc...
A bag of kidney beans for about $4US. That seems quite high, but to be fair beans that are quite reasonable in Japan tend to be expensive in the US...
Hot sauce! I like how they have the One Piece skull on the one ^_^
If you thought pasta sauces were expensive in the US, how about shelling out $6.30 for a jar of alfredo sauce?
Or $6.30 for regular old flour tortillas?
Uni sauce! I actually tried the uni cream sauce and found it quite delicious. I'm fond of sea urchin in general, though. :P
Whole bunch of French wines...
Corona by the bottle...
Salsa con queso, almost $6!
Mountain of Japanese beer & beer-like beverages with a reflection of another building across the lot.
All sorts of spicy delicious goodness.
Hoegaarden used to be one of my favorite reasonable priced beers here in Vegas…a 6-pack at my local Albertson's was about $8-9…in Japan it's nearly $4US per bottle.
I actually bought one of these and they weren't too bad. I used the skull keychain for ages!
At least M&Ms are reasonable.
Hot drinks on top, cold drinks on bottom. Easily distinguished by the color of the sticker underneath.
I don't know why these vending machines aren't everywhere, they're brilliant!
A 6-pack of Guinness for $17US. Ouch.
How about a low calorie, zero-purine, non-alcoholic beer alternative?
Real Maple syrup, $30US.
Expensive coffee pots… D:
Wine, wine, wine! Somedays there'd be a sweet little Japanese sales girl offering samples of the wine. Score!
Kaldi coffee farm and their wide selection of coffee beans.
Step aside, Starbucks. These guys know what they're doing.
Flower shops were everywhere, but the prices of the flowers themselves were often surprisingly reasonable!
Mind your step.
Traditional Japanese toilet, more or less a horizontal urinal.
Squat facing the toilet paper and hope your thighs are strong enough to get you back up, but just in case there's a handrail for safety.
Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor.
photos circa 2011-12-19