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06/15/2016

Snack Around Japan (without having to travel)

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   Japan is so packed with delicious foods and snacks that it might be a little overwhelming. However, if you’ve been in Tokyo for a while, you start to get the hang of things. But what if you want to get a taste of the rest of Japan, but can’t leave Tokyo? The dmart47 project has the answer. For a short period of time, the project has an open space in Shibuya where you can get your share of diverse local flavors. Located on the 8th floor of the Hikarie mall, you will find a tiny, but very colorful konbini. It might be a bit puzzling at first to see a little convenience store snuggled in between art exhibits on this floor, but it’s selection make it not only unique, but fun. The little pop-up is definitely aimed more towards local Tokyo-ites, but it also offers plenty of fun for any visiting student or tourist.

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              You walk in the door, a cute voice chimes “D-maaaaaruto” over the intercom, and all the goodies lay out before you. While the size is not very impressive, the space was very neat and all of the stock looked amazing! Most of the stock here you won’t find in any other local konbini, and some of the selection is not even produced on a large scale anymore, (A fact that was confirmed by my host parents, when I brought back a favorite childhood snack for them). The space was divided into several sections, the closest being favorite household goods, stationary supplies, and other odds and ends. This is the most eclectic collection with goods ranging from nice soaps to weirdly expensive umbrellas priced around 8,500 yen! (near $85 dollars) Thankfully the umbrellas appeared to be the only very expensive thing in stock, weirdly enough. The next selection was snacks and candies. All carefully packed in cute wrapping, the selection ranged from dried squid, to crackers, and sweets. My favorite section however, was the drinks. The entire back wall is chock-full of sodas, beers, juices, and sake. Most of them are so tempting, and that was just from their cute packaging. I did cave, and bought a delicious pineapple cider from Yamagata.

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              Unfortunately, the pop-up konbini ends mid-June, but Hikarie’s 8th floor has various other interesting rotating exhibits to offer all year round. Ranging from limited art shows to conceptual design stores, a “creative comic” café, and minimalist book store, the “museum floor” has a lot to offer, and that is just this month’s selection. Of course, if you’re looking for a change of pace, you have an entire mall at your disposal. However, I highly recommend keeping an eye out for pop-ups here and in other parts of Tokyo. Since I come from a small town, the idea of pop-up stores is particularly special, and being in a large city gives you the opportunity to check out conceptual stores like this. Keep your ears to the ground, eyes on the internet, and a good Japanese friend close, and you are sure to find an interesting pop-up store like this one.

 Here is their promotional video, if you would like to get a further taste:

8/TV/088 d mart 47 - 47都道府県のご当地ものコンビニ - / 日本のちゃんとでお買い物編 from 8/TV on Vimeo.

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