Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Yaohan, Best Denki and Singing Aeon (and Jusco)

It's amazing when you travel to a new place you learn more and more and sooner or later the jigsaw pieces begin to fit together. I experienced this so many times in Shanghai already.

Whilst we were in Naha Mike was sick with a cold and we desperately needed a cable or card reader for me to upload my photos and clear the SD card, and a plug adaptor thing.

I went to the busiest street in Naha thinking I could find this but the only thing they sold were souvenirs and trinkets. I then wandered into a department store thinking I could find it there but nope. I went up to the first person I came across who was a beautiful short lady working in one of those cosmetics counters. She didn't know a word of English and I barely knew a word of Japanese. I pointed to the slot on my camera and mimed a long object and said "USB cable". She took me to a Fuji photo place nearby and they didn't know where to get one either. She then took me back to the department store and came to the conclusion I could get it from a store called Jusco. Since our hotel was near the monorail station it was only a convenient 3 stop trip too.

So I stopped at a nearby eatery to bring Mike back some lunch, had a rest for about an hour and then set off again. Prior to going out I asked at the hotel front desk and they suggested I go to a store called "Best Denki" or as they say "be-su-to den-ki". She said I had to take a short taxi ride to get there.

Not having a clue what Jusco OR Best Denki sold, I looked them both up on Google on the hotel's free internet computers. I came to the conclusion that Jusco was a general store like Kmart and Best Denki was a sole electronics store. It was a hard choice to choose which one to go to but in the end I decided on Jusco simply because it was easier to get there and I could look at other stuff too (like groceries or clothes).

So I went to this Jusco and was in absolute heaven. It was similar to Carrefour in Shanghai in that it sold general household goods and had a big supermarket attached.

It sold everything under the sun for a reasonable price and it was all just so beautiful, sparkly, cute and perfect.

It turned out that only the supermarket was called Jusco and the budget department store was called Singing Aeon and had musical notes as the logo.

So where is all this leading?

Well, I am still wishing I was in Japan and pining for anything Japanese. I did a quick search on Google and it seems that there is a Yaohan store in Pudong. So I go to wikipedia and look up Yaohan.

It turns out that is it no longer called Yaohan in Japan and was bought out by the Aeon group, ie Singing Aeon. As well as that, Yaohan had an electronics store called Yaohan Best which started in Singapore and is now called..... (drum roll)... Best Denki.

So it turns out that no matter if I went to Jusco/Aeon or Best Denki to buy the cable and plug adapter it was actually the same company all along!!

Just some random trivia I found about Yaohan Next Age in Shanghai - it is the second largest department store in the world, surpassed only by Macy's in New York :)

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