Saturday, August 18, 2007


by Sandra Isaka

The new 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 suprise.

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'.

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.

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
ago many people were willing to spend a lot
money for many things. Now, no way. The callback
services abound, as do many stores large
and small with
inexpensive items. The restaurants
too have followed
I agree, the Odawara downtown core will have
be revitalized in some way. I think once the
of customers starts to ebb, the downtown
will spruce up their store fronts and do
things to attract customers, otherwise they
The problem is the whole area will really need to
do this, and I find that many shop keepers
rather complacent about simply painting their
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
got together and spruced up their stores. But
of them, at that time anyway, hadn't been
in years. My wife's store in downtown Odawara
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.
That could
happen in Odawara too. It may stay dead
or mediocre as Kayama is and Kamonomiya is
Odawara could be the next Kamonomiya if it
itself up though. We'll have to wait and see.



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