Jul 11, 2018
Nestled at the end of the block that used to contain Sakurano department store, Don Quijote, the variety good shop popular throughout Japan, has arrived and brought with it a number of strange goods.
They even have a mock up of the Don Quijote mascot, who is for some reason a penguin, dressed up as Date Masamune, the one-eyed samurai founder of Sendai. He's holding a kamaboko, the bamboo-leaf-shaped reconstituted-fish-bits on a stick, frequently served fried and with a variety of sauces and flavors. It's a regional favorite, especially in this shape.
I have many friends who have told me of the things they have seen and purchased at this chain store elsewhere in Japan, but I never lived close to one and I don't drive. Since my husband has no interest in discount stores, we never make a point of stopped there, so it was only today that I finally got to explore most of the inside of the store. I've actually entered this store twice before, each time spending my pre-approved budget before I found the escalator and having to leave without a proper exploration.
I expected to find the extremely cheap and extremely interesting, and some of that was true. It reminded me in some ways of the tiny Village Vanguard shop I found in Nagoya my first year in Japan, when I practically danced and sang in excitement over their having cherry coke. There was no cherry coke here though, and my budget for extravagance and random fun is not what it once was. All-in-all, it felt like a mix between Village Vanguard and Sanki, with prices high above the latter for not entirely dissimilar quality, but more interesting variations in selection for most products. Their Sanrio section was interesting enough that I will definitely be back before my daughter's birthday, but their prices were high enough that I could not buy interesting souvenirs for my family back home.
A working mom/writer/teacher, Jessica explores her surroundings in Miyagi-ken and Tohoku, enjoying the fun, quirky, and family friendly options the area has to offer.