I needed to buy a present for a friend (or better: her son), so I went shopping today, to the Yodobashi Camera near Kyoto station. They sell mainly electronics, cameras, and household appliances, but I have also seen bicycles, watches and jewelry, and some clothing.

It was an interesting experience to say the least. First of all, the store is huge and spreads over five floors altogether, one of them underground. Everywhere there was something bouncing on a screen, some voice coming from a device, some other announcement from the speakers, and I did not even go to the HiFi and TV departments… The choice in all departments was almost overwhelming: there were dozens of similar but not quite the same printers, cameras, fans, refrigerators… crammed into the tiniest space next to each other, with only rather narrow aisles between the displays. I would call this a constant sensory overload – I am glad they didn’t do anything with smells outside of the “beauty” department – and I am seriously wondering if the shop assistants, neatly clad in blue uniforms, actually still hear any of the noise.

In any case, I was quite surprised by the prices – but I have to admit that I haven’t bought any electronics in years, thanks to my frequent moving. Scanners, printers and faxes for 20000 YEN, one very small photo printer for only 8000 YEN (but I assume the ink and the photopaper will earn the company enough). Interestingly, the small pocket dictionaries many people carry around unless they have a smart phone were much more expensive than that, about 30000 YEN and more. And then there were the thinnest computer screens I have ever seen, tiny laptops that barely weigh anything, huge, A3 sized touchpads… I can understand why some people – men especially – drool over those things. Not me though. Not now. Not until I need a phone. And a new laptop. And general household stuff for my new apartment…

Sorry, no picture today – didn’t think of bringing my camera.. Next time though!