One of the benefits of a Costco membership is that the membership is valid at any Costco location worldwide. For example, I purchased my membership in Canada, but I can still visit a Costco in Japan. Currently, Costco has 26 locations spread across Japan. In my Costco Wholesale Japan Review, I’ll list the similarities and differences when shopping at a Costco Japan.
- Store Design – Signage and layout of the store is comparable to what you would find in a North American location. Obviously, Japanese is everywhere but the main signs are all in English. In addition many of the products are the same, and have their original English labeling.
- Location – Just like in the United States and Canada, Costco stores are typically in the suburbs and near highways. If you visit a Costco in Japan, it’ll probably be much easier to visit if you have a vehicle. The sizes of most products are huge, just like in North America. You won’t get very far carrying that 40 kg bag of sugar back to your hotel if you visit! Lol.
- Size – Costco warehouses are large buildings and this remains true in Japan. In fact, the particular location featured here is the Izumi location, near the Osaka Kansai Airport. I didn’t bring my tape measure with me, but I believe this warehouse was probably bigger than most North American locations I’ve been to. It was huge!
- Many of the Same Products – Many of the products that you find in North America, can be purchased in Japan. Pricing for items from North America will be a bit higher. For example, maple syrup costs 1,728 Yen, working out $15.78 USD or $20.95 CAD. (I think it’s around $15.00 a bottle. I’ll check next time I’m in Costco. and update.) Not bad considering it came all the way from Canada, or maybe Vermont! (I guess we will never know for sure… 😉 )
Above are (2.l lb/907 grams) bags of Kirkland Sea Salt Potato Chips. The Costco Japan price was 698 Yen, equaling $6.37 USD or $8.46 CAD. Next time I’m at Costco, I’ll check the price and post it here for comparison.
- Gas Station – If you have a close look at the above photo, you can see that Kerosene is also sold at the gas station. Kerosene is a popular fuel for heating homes in Japan, and is typically used in small room heaters.
- Food Court – The menu had more options than what you find in North America. The Costco classics like the Hot Dog, Pizza, Soft Ice Cream and Lattes remain. However, I think some of the menu options would do well in North America. For example the Chicken Bake or the Bulgogi Bake. I also saw they had a Green Tea Sundae.
- Interesting and Unusual Japanese Products – Japan is known for having odd combinations of English words. There’s many reasons for this, (i.e. direct translations that just come out sounding weird, mistakes, etc.) but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy these anomalies… For example, Nudy Feel Shorts? Man, if they made mens versions of this product, I would simply buy it based on the name!!!! lol!
Costco Wholesale Japan Review Conclusion
Visiting Costco in Japan was a pretty interesting experience. To be honest, there is so much more that I could have posted but maybe I’ll save that for a future post.
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