The Body Shop: Ecologically Minded Soaps and Shampoos
I know this store is on the luxerious side, but it is one of my favorite stores of its kind. Actually, I don't even know the names of any of its competitors that are all about the same thing.
Over the years I have bought several products from The Body Shop. I like there thinking as far as trying to make this natural. Some particular favorites I'm hoping they will bring back are the coconut shampoo and the peppermint shampoo. The peppermint shampoo that they've featured before left a cooling feeling on the scalp much like Sea Breeze but better.
What to buy: They also have good sponges and soaps.
What to pay: The Body Shop is not cheap. Be prepared to spend significantly more than what cheaper shampoos cost.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Arts and Culture
Eddie Bauer: American Size Clothing
Eddie Bauer's is good for brand name casual wear. They have a better than usual selection of clothes ranging from 1,000 yen plus to more expensive prices. Since I'm a reguler, here is the low down on getting better deals.
What to buy: 1st point, for each Eddie Bauers store you shop at, you can usually get a free 1000 yen gift certificate on your first visit at their store in exchange for you mailing address.
You can usually get some good prices on goods that are just about going out or season.
What to pay: Depends on what you want to buy.
- Hiking and Walking
Komeri Home Center: Indoor/Outdoor Goods for the Home
Komeri carries a wide range of inexpensive goods as to indoor and outdoor goods.
For the outdoors their are sapplings, sprouts, buds, flowers and everything you need to make your garden happen.
For the home there's the paint section, the lighting section, some furniture goods, some computer printer goods, and lots of other stuff that fits just right in the home. A key point to Komeri is that it is cheaper than many other stores.
What to buy: You can also pick up a new bicycle at Komeri for about 8,000 yen or so. That's cheaper than many other stores. If you're in Niigata for a short spin then an inexpensive bike is a cheaper and easier way to get around when the whether is better.
What to pay: You will usually pay less here than elsewhere... except the 100 yen store... which has some goods that are just as good as Komeri's.
- Budget Travel
Junkudo: Best Choice for buying FOREIGN (or Japanese) books
A few years ago, this book store became the absolutely biggest bookstore in Niigata. For foreigners (especially those who prefer their reading in English), Junkudo is far better choice than anywhere else in Niigata and most likely this side of Japan. This Junkudo is even larger than most other bookstores I've seen in Japan. The bookstores huge, takes up several floors and I have only walked through a small portion of it.
Junkudo also has a nice indoor cafe to sit at and read while you are waiting for a freind or family member to finish their shopping. Sometimes the cashiers will provide customers with a free ticket for a cup of tea or coffee downstairs at this cafe after making a purchase.
What to buy: This is where to get books for children studying English, textbooks for teachers teaching English, or for your reading pleasure. The magazine section is ok and if they don't have this months selection of magazines try Kinokuniya instead which offers a few more English magazines. In terms of books however, the selection here at Junkudo is about 10 to 20 times more.
What to pay: The prices are higher than what you would pay using online services, but you get what you want faster for that higher price.
- Budget Travel
Love La 1: Bandai's Love La 1
Love La (1) contains a variety of clothes shops. My particular favorite stores located in this building are:
The Body Shop
Other stores inside worth mentioning;
Kinokuniya: For Books, Magazines, and other stuff shop at
Kinokuniya is one of two bookstores in Niigata (the largest bookstore chain in Japan) that carries a some foreign (mostly English) books, magazines, and other print media.
It`s also a good place to pick up some books and study materials for those who are studying Japanese.
(For cheaper prices you can try amazon.com)
What to buy: This is a good place to pick up popular magazines such as:
What to pay: Foreign books and other foreign print media are expensive through Kinokuniya (Kinokuniya seems to have a monopoly in this area in many parts of Japan).
- Study Abroad
Yamaya: for inexpensive tea, cereal, & other stuff
This is the place to shop if you want to pay a lot less for tea, sweets, cereal, crackers, wine,
cookies, and the like.
A good portion of Yamaya's food stuff are imported from all over the world. Regardless, the stuff is actually a lot cheaper than more popular famous American brands or Japanese brands of the same type found in stores like Uoroku, Josco, Cupid, Shimizu Food Center, and others.
This is where you ought to go if you just don't feel like wasting money that you really don't need to waste.
What to buy: You can also get tortilla chips, tortillas, chilli beans, Thai food stuff, Indian curry, ... basically, a load of stuff from all over the place.
Toriya: Where to get a Turkey in Niigata
This is the place to get yourself a turkey in Niigata. The turkeys are pretty small compared to American sized ones but just as tasty. You can either have them cook it or you can do it yourself. If you do it yourself it's cheaper.
I felt the price of the turkey is worth it. After my girlfreind and I finished off most of the turkey we used the remains to make a delicious turkey soup that lasted several days. YUM YUM!!!
What to buy: Besides Turkey you can also get a Cornish hens and more.
What to pay: Depending on whether you're the one cooking the turkey. Expect to spend between 1500 - 3500 yen.
- Food and Dining
Dekki 401 Mall: The Other Good Place to Shop
Dekki 401 is the other good mall in Niigata.
This is a good place to shop if you're looking for cheaper clothes and other items. The Mall contains a good 100 YEN STORE,
various cheaply priced clothing stores,
McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken,
other restaurants, a good bakery with a very wide selection, a great Uoroku Supermarket (this one actually looks like a supermarket rather than simply a grocery store) with a wide selection of food choices, Toys R Us,
and most important of all, Dekki Theater, Niigata's best theater with big screens and American style movie theater food. The downside about the theater and most others in Niigata is that they are a bit expensive. But, there are cheaper rates. The usual price is 1,800 yen for a movie. But at Dekki, ladies can go on Friday for 1,000 yen. And guys can go on Monday for 1,000 yen.
Dekki also has convenient and free parking.
Also notable, there are a large number of good restaurants located near here.
What to buy: See above
What to pay: Depends on the store. Check out the 100 Yen store for miscellaneous nicknacks, all of which cost only 100 yen each.
- Budget Travel
Billboard Place: Mid budget range shopping
Billboard Place is a good location for shopping. There's a number of good restaurants located in the area. There's a movie theater across from Billboard. If you're
looking for clothes that'll fit a foreign man then you can go to Eddie Bowers or a number of other shops in this mall.
What to buy: One shop in Billboard place has a variety of over 100 kinds of tea. Another restaurant has a menu that will meet every vegetarians desire. I don't think they serve meat there. It's located on the second floor of Billboard Place in the back of a clothing store.
What to pay: It really depends on what you buy.
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