Several weeks ago, some friends and I decided to make a trek out to Costco (and surprisingly yes, there are several branches in Japan). Unfortunately, the 21 mile journey that would normally take half an hour, per GoogleMaps, took us 2 hours (each way) because of construction on the highway.
Speaking of highways, it also brings up the fact that in Japan, it seems like most of the highways are toll roads, and the toll was quite expensive. The 10-15 miles that I was on the highway (each way) cost about $10 USD!
Anyways, after finally arriving, I happily stocked up on my Tide laundry detergent (oh, how I have missed thee); I just don’t think the Japanese brands that I’ve used are getting my clothes clean enough. I’ve also been on the hunt for a Downy ball since arrival to Japan, but alas, no ball at Costco.
Then, I was able to snag a faux Swiffer WetJet with a huge container of PineSol. I’ve also not been able to find a similar product at typical Japanese stores.
I was also made very happy by my Nutella find, in addition to some caramel popcorn.
All in all, the Japanese Costco seemed to have the same type of items sold in the US. They may not carry all of the same brands, but for each type of product (i.e. laundry detergent, cleaning solution, foods, etc), they usually had 1-2 US brands (and of course their Costco Kirkland brand) and several Japanese brands also. They did have an optical and photo development departments. I’m still not sure if they had an official pharmacy.
What I did find lacking was their Health and Beauty section. It did not contain as many products or variety compared to the US (although one may argue that there are too many in the US to begin with). They just had some shampoos and soaps and lotions.
Overall, it was a good trip, and I’m very happy to have gotten the above items. Given the time to get there, however, it might be awhile until I make another trek.