Wabi-Sabi Sole

Finding Beauty with Imperfection

Category: Yorkmart

Watermelon 

Nothing taste better on a warm humid summer day than a cool refreshing watermelon. Fruit in Japan is beautiful and expensive. For example, the large watermelon at Costco was ¥2,378 (about $23.00). 


At our local grocery store, Yorkmart, there were more size options. The larger one was ¥3,218 including tax! That’s more than $30 for a watermelon! Don’t you love how they are wrapped for easier carrying? Genius!! 


The store also sold a variety of watermelon pieces. 


I selected a smaller watermelon from Family Mart for us to enjoy. The price (¥650 – $6.00) seemed a little better and the size was perfect. 


Plenty of delicious watermelon for us to enjoy for a refreshing dessert. 

In June, I was able to find watermelon Chu-hai at the 7-11. I had dreams of making a nice watermelon spritzer by pouring a watermelon Chu-hai over with freshly frozen watermelon. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find watermelon Chu-hai since I returned from America. I suppose, I’ll need to wait until next year for that delightful beverage. 

Strawberry Season

Yes, that’s right. January through March is strawberry season in Japan. The strawberries are mostly grown in greenhouses, enabling a winter growing season. Fruit in Japan is often considered a dessert. Strawberries are no exception. They are beautifully packaged and can be very costly also making them a nice present.

These strawberries are for sale at YorkMart, the Japanese grocery store near our house. One of the packages pictured below is ¥753 including tax. With 11-15 strawberries in a container, that is a pretty steep price! However, for the fresh right off the vine taste, the price was worth it. The strawberries taste delicious and freshly picked!

This is the package I purchased from the YorkMart.

These Japanese strawberries were for sale at the Commissary on base.

The package I purchased at the Commissary for $4.99.

Fresh strawberries are not the only popular item during strawberry season. Looking around the grocery store, I found strawberries in a variety of items. From snacks, cookies, chocolates and nuts!

I also found strawberry chu-hai, strawberry pocky and chocolates with strawberry filling.

The best find was the delicious pancake with strawberry and cream filling.

As with other things, the Japanese didn’t invent the strawberry, they just found a way to make it a little bit better. They made it better by offering fresh vine ripened strawberries in the middle of winter when everyone is craving a little extra vitamin C.

Gashapon

Throughout Japan there are vending machines that will dispense small toys inside plastic capsules. 


They are called gashapon or gachapon or just gacha for short. The word gachapon is a Japanese onomatopoeia. “Gacha” for the sound the dial makes as it turns and “pon” for the sound of the capsule dropping. The gacha machines are everywhere and have toys designed appeal to all ages. 


The gacha have a variety of available toys. Most of the gacha machines I have seen cost either 200¥ or 300¥. The machines only take a 100¥ coin. Typically, the toys are sold in sets of 5 – 7 different toys. However, your purchase only gives you one toy at a time. Trying to collect all of the toys in a set can become frustrating and expensive because you are making blind purchases. Not to mention, the series you are trying to collect may be difficult to find. 

I keep trying to get a dog drinking beer. All I have gotten is a sad cat drinking Sake, twice. 



Each time I go shopping, I check the gatcha machines. The closest one to me here in Zushi is at the Japanese grocery store, Yorkmart. Here are the gatcha I have collected from the grocery store. They are supposed to be little cherub statues. Peeing. What in the…?? 



I have also been looking for my favorite Japanese characters from the Neko Atsume (Cat Collector) app. I finally was able to find them today while in Yokosuka. Yay!

Jeeves and Kathmandu



This series are like the opposite of wine charms. They sit under your wine glass instead of hanging on them. The brunette with a smashed umbrella makes makes me giggle. I think of my friend, Sue, enduring car rider circle in VB during a Nor’easter. Just make it wine time already!! 



A couple more things you should know. During my gacha collecting, I have gotten duplicates. These I plan on sharing with you and I hope they make you laugh. Second, when you come to visit and if you fly into Narita Airport, there is a expansive collection of gacha machines. You will be able to search and find your favorite to look for throughout your visit! There are so many choices!!

Gacha!!  

 

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