Saturday, August 18, 2007


by Sandra Isaka

The Odawara City Mall has a lot to offer,
including 'Nitori', a home furnishing and furniture store.
If you have ever visited a 'Home Place' or similar
home furnishing store back home, 'Nitori' will be a
pleasant surprise.

It is wide and spacious, with a good
selection and great prices. I purchased a 20 piece dish set
for only 2000 yen. There are at least 20 patterns to
choose from, all ranging from 2000 yen to 4000 yen. I
was also very suprised and happy to see self-adhesive
wallpaper borders. They are a great, inexpensive way to
dress up a Japanese apartment. You can peel them off in
seconds if moving or remodeling. There are also many
items that would make great gifts. If you want a taste
of North America, try shopping at 'Nitori'.


by Shawn Thir

I think you are right in but allow me to play
devil's advocate by saying if the big box stores move in,
what will happen to the small store owner? Of course,
a lot will go out of business.

Look at City Mall which Nitori is in. It's a bustling place.
Look at all the other shops around it. Compare that with
downtown Odawara-dead. I wonder what will happen to small
towns like Odawara in the future. They need some kind
of plan to draw people to shop and spend their money
in town.
Yes, Japan is changing but at glacial
speed. You can't realy blame the Japanese, either; they
are simply trying to protect the system they have now
without having to go through the American restructuring
of the 1990s. However, I personally feel it is only
a matter of time before the American Way of doing
business becomes the norm.

More on This

by Kevin Burns

Shawn, I agree in terms of reforms things are
going glacially. But in terms of consumerism,
changes have been dramatic and quick.

Only a few
years ago many people were willing
to spend a lot
of money for many things. Now,
no way. Many stores large and small with
inexpensive items abound. The restaurants too have followed

I agree, the Odawara downtown core will have
to be revitalized in some way. I think once the
flow of customers starts to ebb, the downtown
stores will spruce up their store fronts and do
other things to attract customers, otherwise they
will die.

The problem is the whole area will really need to
do this, and I find that many shop keepers
are rather complacent about simply painting their shops
and doing things to make them more attractive.

My wife had a store in Kayama and it was a beautiful
little store. The problem was the surrounding stores
weren't. No flowers, old crumbling paint and not very
attractive. Kayama could be a fun little shopping area if
everyone got together and spruced up their stores. But
many of them, at that time anyway, hadn't been
painted in years. My wife's store in downtown Odawara
or Kamonomiya would have been a success, but in Kayama it
withered and died with the end of the Bubble economy.
The rent was very high and the
customers petered
out. It was too bad. Unfortunately we thought we had
chosen an up and coming area, but what we really had
chosen was one with very complacent store owners.

Update: The downtown area of Odawara is witnessing
a revival with many downtown stores being renovated.

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