Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Getting Essentials in Osaka

I remember my first week in Osaka, gathering essentials: toilet paper (pack one roll along first cause there wasn't any in the room! You can get them subsequently from the Dorm Manager actually, don't need to buy them!), food supplies, cooking tools and appliances.

On our 2nd day here, after admin stuff, my friend and I went to the nearby Garden Mall (15min walk away).
There's a path next to Dorm 2 along a tennis court. Walk on that path out of the campus and go to the end until a zebra crossing. Cross that and walk along the path with apartments to your right. You'll see a bridge. Cross the bridge and turn right at the end of it. Walk straight and you'll pass a post office, Rikuro Ojisan (nice Japanese fluffy cheese egg cake). Then you'll see the Family Mart Signboard and head towards that direction! There's a fancy but pricey furniture shop called Francfranc and walk pass it to reach Saitonishi Monorail Station. Garden Mall is a little further from there!

Garden Mall mainly has a supermarket called Friend Mart, a Seria (a 100 yen store) and a drugstore, to stock up. While Seria and the drugstore are quite decent, the supermarket is on the pricey side.
BUT on Tuesdays and Wednesday, Friend Mart has a sale on vegetables(mainly carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, onions) and meat in general, and you can check out the offers here
Only then, do I find it worth buying from there! And whenever you need something immediately.

There are cheaper options at Apro and Maruyasu down the hill 25min away, but the vegetables are more expensive than Friend Mart on its sale day. The uphill climb back is tiring/good exercise depending on how you see it.

I'd say the cheapest is Gyomu Supermarket, but it's nearly an hour away on foot. Usually I'd go there once a month and stock up with friends (having someone to talk to makes the journey feel shorter). You can also check out the food along the walk there! There's delicious stuff which I'll cover in some other post! Though some vegetables can't beat Friend Mart on sale day, nearly everything is cheaper there. Especially fruits!! Look out for 見切り品 too! They're priced cheaper as they're nearing expiry dates. If I remember correctly, I got those peaches for around 400 yen or even lesser!

                                            Peach Stock in June                               Mikan Stock in December

The downside is: food is packed in bulk; the least amount of meat you can get is around 1kg. With usually 2 hand carry bags and 1 backpack full, going back by bus is a must! (the bus fare is 220 yen, but the discounts make up for that).

For appliances, I remember the time my friend and I went to Umeda to get our electronics. It wasn’t the smartest move, lugging a rice cooker back, with an electric kettle each and what not back on a 1h+ journey. Neither was it the cheapest.
The nearer, cheaper option would be Recycle Shops, like 2nd Street and Peace. I've been to 2nd Street (got a bento box for around 500yen and a ceramic bowl for 200yen) but not Peace though but Recycle Shops usually sell a variety of things from appliances, pots and pans (there was a takoyaki pan for 200 yen), to used clothing, toys, and even yukatas at some shops, so I'm supposing Peace would have them too! Do check them out!

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