Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mitsukoshi Basement

Window shopping in a Japanese Department store is as much fun as window shopping gets. What happens in the basement before closing is that all the perishable goods go on sale. The closer to closing time, the bigger the discount. Frugal shoppers can get the best deals 5 minutes before 7pm, when the store closes.
Link to Mitsukoshi's Website (in Japanese)
These are box dinners that can be ordered in advance.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Inside Mitsukoshi Department Store

Department stores in Japan are more than just a store. They are places to take a break at and enjoy a snack with coffee (ko-hee). In Matsuyama, Takashimaya is the most popular department store but Mitsukoshi is also a well respected store to visit. The upper floors are for shopping but the real treat is visiting the basement for the food shops and small bistro's that line the basement walls.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Book Off Hard Off

Book Off Hard Off is a typical Japanese book store, DVD, CD store combined with rental DVD's, Games and Game Hardware. It is like walking into a typical Japanese bookstore with extra's thrown in you don't find in a typical bookstore, namely games and mature adult entertainment. The adult material is kept in the back with the games. Nothing too bizarre, it's expensive gadgets and erotic fantasies along with a well kept book store. Book Off Hard Off also sells used books and DVD's. If you want to find it cheap, you can find it here. They also have hard to find or CD's no longer available commercially. If it's hard to find, you may find it here.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Inside Dogo Onsen

These pictures were taken during an evening visit to Japan's oldest Onsen. The place is warm and filled with a sense of time and history. You can look out of the Onsen on a cold night and still feel the warmth of the hot spring filling the building.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hojen Square

A group of school kids on a field trip. The hats help the teachers keep track of their students. There will be different groups of students out at the same time and they will have hats unique to their class. Next to the Ashi-yu there is a suggestion box shaped like the Ashi-yu. The backpacks the children are wearing are outing backpacks and not the formal school backpacks that cost a small fortune. The formal backpacks are traditionally purchased for the children by the grandparents.

Hojen Square

The area outside of Dogo Onsen is a popular meeting spot. Besides the Ashi-yu, there is a Meiji era station, a shopping district and other attractions. It is also a place to meet someone for a walk around town or find a place to eat. Many school outings begin and end in the area near the Ashi-yu.

Friday, May 4, 2012


Ashi-yu are Japanese foot bath's. Outside Dogo Onsen there are nine for visitors to sit down at, remove their shoes and socks and enjoy a free soak in the wonderfully warm spring water. This Ashi-yu is the most popular one outside Dogo Onsen. It is located in Hojen Square, opposite Dogo Onsen and the train station.

Lonely Plant Guide to Dogo Onsen