It can be heaven for some or bordering on hell for others. I learned how to shop at my mother’s knee. I know what I like and easily make decisions about items, their value and appropriateness for me. No internal struggles. “When in doubt, count it out,”I learned from Mom as well! It’s never led me wrong.
By the way, please touch the towels. The colors are never better, the weave never softer, anywhere!
Shopping is seemingly ingrained in the Japanese pursuit of leisure. You see young couples, teens , new mothers, and befuddled tourists all enjoying the pursuit. Each depato houses several restaurants so in case hunger strikes, that can be easily satisfied without leaving the building.
My pulse rate quickens when I walk into a sophisticated Japanese depato (department store). Welcome to fantasy land for anyone who likes to shop. This world exists to coddle, support and take away barriers that might make it difficult to separate you from your money. The best in the business create displays guaranteed to make you stop, gaze and consider.
Salespeople here have learned how to hover discretely; there to help when needed, but almost never intrusive. That’s a skill not see in the West too often.
I can be expected to make a pilgrimage to a favorite depato soon after arriving in Japan. It just comes with the territory. I must see what the treasures of the day await in the Exhibition Hall. Often, I discover a wonderful ceramic artist. I seek out special displays of Japanese made objects, often finding the artisans themselves at work in the store.
Here, form=function and materials shine. Seasonal displays are always varied,fun and engaging. I must browse through the basement food floor, hungry or not, just to gaze at the art of the possible. Presentation of food is always taken to a new level of beautiful (if unnecessary) packaging and gastronomic allure.
Time and cares have a way of disappearing on these outings. It’s escapism at its finest for those of us who appreciate such things. For American spouses, not so much.
Depato shopping for me is usually best for me as a solitary pursuit, prefaced by an airy and indeterminate “See you later!”