Thursday, November 26, 2015

Just Moved to Japan: Where to Buy Affordable Things

Shopping in Japan

Someone emailed me recently about where to buy affordable clothes, mattresses and other household products. Her family just moved to Japan and they're just about to start their lives in a new place. 

If you're in the same situation as hers, I'm sure you can find the following tips useful: 

For clothes: 

If you're okay with second-hand clothes, the best place to buy is King Family. It has shops all around Japan. Get a free membership card from King Family. They have regular campaigns for card holder. For example, if you get 2 clothes they'll give you 20% discount, if three to four you'll get 50% discount. If you get more, you'll get as much as 70% discount. I usually buy 3-4 items and they only cost me less than a thousand Yen.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Japanese Transportation is Not Convenient, Really

A pokemon school bus!

Japanese public transportation is not convenient.

It is efficient, reliable and even comfortable. But, it's not convenient.

How it is so?

Let's take the buses. From the main station, they leave on time. But from the bus stops, they're usually 2-5 minutes late because of traffic. Some areas also have few buses. They only pass once in an hour. Personally, I always have to take the 7:03 bus to go to work so I can arrive at around 7:45 in school. If I miss that, I'll be late. The next bus passing by my school leaves the station at 7:50.

Then there's the famous "on-time" trains of Japan. Sure, they're almost always on time. If a delay happens, it is still certain that the train operators will do their best to keep the trains running. However, most people have to walk, ride a bicycle or drive to the train station. With my own experience, I have to walk 20-25 minutes if I need to take the train. If I live near the train station, I'd have to deal with costly rent and constant sounds of the train. Also, not all local areas in Japan are accessible by trains. In smaller cities, a private car is still the primary mode of transportation.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Unlimited Pizza at Grazie Gardens

Craving for some pizza? Satisfy your cravings with Grazie's unlimited pizza.

Okay, that sounds like a sales pitch. But really, I love Grazie so much it's a sin not to share it.

Grazie is an Italian restaurant chain. I think they have three branches in Hamamatsu- one near where I live, one near where I work and I don't know where the other one is.

The one near my apartment is where I frequently go. It's along Nakatajima Road,  south of Hamamatsu Station. It's about 20 minutes from the station by bus or car. You can take Bus No. 4 to get there.

Grazie has the usual offerings of an Italian place- pasta, pizza, salad, dessert and wine. What makes them unique is their wide variety of pizza. They have the usual kinds and some rare ones. They have curry pizza which I highly recommend you try. They have dessert pizza which resembles a crepe. They have Japanese flavored pizza. Take note that the pizza are all thin crusts.
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