Last year Levi and I got a membership to Costco. Costco in Japan is actually very similar to Costco in America. The membership cost 4000 yen (compared to $50 in the States) for a gold membership. The only thing is that in Japan, none of us have a car to haul everything back.
The closest Costco is in Tamasakai, about40 minutes away from Hon-Atsugi by train. This means we have to bring a huge luggage container to Costco so that we can easily haul everything back through the train with ease. The first couple of times we went, we bought beer and had to carry back the heavy cases through the train, lately we have wised up and only got stuff we can put in the luggage.
This last time I went with Levi and Kozasa-san (my language exchange from work). Kozasa-san I think was a little overwhelmed with everything. With those who aren’t familiar, at Costco you have to buy everything in large quantities. For example, you can’t just buy 200g of ground beef, you have to buy 1kg (which I did). SO I think for her it was really fun seeing all of these imported foods in huge quantities. It was also I think weird for her to see everything all together in the same room Kitchen appliances, food, books, games, clothes; Costco had it all.
One thing that I particularly liked about Costco is the bakery. You can get really big and delicious bread/muffins/bagels for really cheap. The big twelve pack of muffins only cost about 800 yen.
Other than that I just got a lot of snacks and food to last me through the month. I forgot to take a picture of all the stuff we bought, but here is a small breakdown of everything and the prices:
Tostitos Tortilla Lime Chips: 460yen
Pace Picante Huge Salsa: 1000yen
1kg Ground Beef: 1000yen
12 pack Muffins: 800 yen
12 Cheese Bagels: 600 yen
Huge Block of Mozzarella Cheese: 1000 yen
7kg Angel Hair Pasta: 1000 yen
There are a bunch of other things too that I am leaving out, but generally everything was really cheap. When we bought beer it was about 3500 for a 24 pack of Corona and 2000ish for a 24 pack of Asahi. They had a good selection of import beer including Coors, Grolsch, Heineken, XXXX, and a few other European beers.
Afterwards we went to Red Lobster that was near by. Red Lobster is pretty much the same as it is in America except that it didn’t seem as popular when we went. Granted that it was a Tuesday night, there were only a few people there and business didn’t seem to be booming. It was also really expensive. I dropped about 3000 yen on my dish. I got a nice variety plater that was delicious but hard to eat. Kozasa-san got a lobster dish and Levi got a steak.
It was a really good night and I got a lot of cheap stuff that will last me through the month. We go to Costco about twice a month now and it really saves money in the long run. If you are in Japan for an extended period of time it is definitely worth getting a membership.