Saturday, June 25, 2011
4th August, 2010 - One of our typical days out when we go back to Japan is invariably.... shopping. Shopping for the house, that is. Japan is most definitely a consumer's paradise for many things... and house products is one of those things. And one of the best places we've found for cute or interesting goods is known as Sweet Decoration (Japanese site only)... and the one we went to today is around Nishiku district.
The company first started in 1950 in Obihiro in Hokkaido, and whilst it's expanded to 12-15 different stores they remain a Hokkaido specific company - though they're now expanding into all sorts of commercial areas, including insurance. So appologies if you're reading this outside of Hokkaido. The good thing about these big stores is that they are largely one-stop-shops in terms of house interiors... including furniture, rugs and carpets, curtains and bedding...
It's times like these that we wish that we could buy lots of stuff and transport back home (actually, I am pretty sure that T-chan's real desire is to buy lots of stuff, and move back to Sapporo!). And the furniture doesn't cost that much either. I have to say that it's very reminiscent of walking through an Ikea store, as most of the furniture is designed for small spaces. It's always funny to see Japanese sized kitchen tables and chairs (it always feels like I've suddenly appeared in Hobbit-land where everything is half-sized). Sometimes we take the space we have back home for granted.
And whilst they focus mostly on interiors, they also have a smattering of exterior/garden decorations as well.
But as the name suggests, their strength is decoration - and they have lots and lots of different decorations. Of all sizes, shapes and natures... and we can spend hours (at least T-chan can) walking around this shop having a look at all of the great things. It's somewhat ironic that for a country where space is a premium that there can be such a focus on 'things' to fill what space they've got.
Of course, there are other shops around as well, such at Nittori, but for us Sweet Decoration is a lot more charming (and bright and cheerful)... to match my wife's character. Seriously - it's just a great place for cheerful mood-enhancing products without being too super cute.
And speaking of which - my wife's real favourite is the kitchenware section... Ok, we don't buy that much, but the range is fantastic. I never used to be a big fan of house shopping, and L-kun followed in his father's footsteps. However, even I can enjoy spending time in Sweet Decoration. Actually, there's quite a few kitchenware things that I'm not entirely sure what they are... but they at least almost always meet an aesthetic requirement.
It may not the cheapest of shops out there... but I'd recommend it if you've got time to kill (or you live in Hokkaido). Whilst this store can be reached by train (get off at Hassamu Station - and it'd be a 10 min walk), it's really best to drive here. Thankfully there are a number of other stores that you can visit.
View Sapporo Map in a larger map
And if you visit here, you can always visit the sento (public hot baths) right next door... which we may have done on more than one occasion before.