Jumbo shopping trolley
Slightly prison-vibey entrance
Lots of (apparently very cheap) Levis
They even have cameras!
The clothing-electric-furniture department
I reeeeeally wanted these but I was over-ruled
The famous bulgogi bake
Lives up to its reputation
Variety of ways to become a member, none of them cheap
All I ever wanted out of life
Feels like being back in Dublin
Wreaths, though not half as nice as the ones I used to make with my family
It wouldn't be Christmas without a tin of biscuits
or boxes (and boxes and boxes...) of buscuits
(and boxes and boxes...)
Have you ever put one of these chocolate muffins in a microwave? If not, do it!
Obligatory octopus photo
All the toilet paper you ever wanted
Potato selection gets the Irish girl seal of approval
Pumpkin pie, the remnants of which are still lurking in my freezer because it was so damn big
Turkey! In Japan! It's a Christmas miracle!
Giant sacks of flour for any budding bakers out there
They even sell brand cosmetics!
And some sketchy looking off-brand ones
This was basically my image of what Costco / America would be
Happy surprise: very short queues at lunchtime on a Sunday. In your face IKEA!
I have never been to America,
My image of American food consists of things mentioned in Kenan & Kel, chain restaurants and my brother's description of Man v Food. So when my friend invited me to join her for a Costco Japan trip, it was the chance to answer some childhood questions (although I never did find Twinkies or Ding Dongs). I can't tell you the differences between American Costco and Japanese Costco. However, as a 5+ year resident of Japan, I can tell you that Costco is a gift from the money-saving gods.
I'm going to let the pictures do most of the talking in this post but I can't recommend Costco highly enough. I had heard friends rave about it before and never thought I "needed" to visit. However, 2 months since my trip there I'm still using the meat, drinks, spices, toilet paper and more that I bought there. I'm lucky to live in a house and have a large freezer so storage isn't a problem for me. People in typical Japan-sized apartments may not have the same space. The prices are good though, very good.
Of course, membership isn't free and you need a car to make the most of it. Personally I think it's worth it and will consider a membership once I run low on supplies again. One thing worth mentioning is BRING LOTS OF CASH. Costco doesn't accept credit cards (except AMEX) and you don't want to be caught out.
Being Irish, I didn't have the experience of finding familiar and nostalgic brands. But I did find lots of "Western things" that aren't easy to get in normal Japanese supermarkets. Case in point being a roast chicken which didn't survive long enough for me to take a picture of it. But it was goooooood.
Anyone planning any kind of party should pay a visit Costco - they even have turkeys for Christmas!
God bless America and God bless Costco!