Shopping Baskets of Japan

A recent trip back to ‘Merica has had me really contemplating some of the aesthetics of shopping. One of the primary memories of that last trip was me scouring Super Walmarts (and other like sized storage depots of abundance) looking for a shopping basket. Not a shopping cart. They are everywhere, and getting larger with each passing year I am away from the land of the free. A simple plastic shopping basket. Usually they can be found stacked at the entrances. But I had no such luck finding them. I did occasionally find a few stray ones unattended in some random aisles. But it was a real rarity. Like some kind of shopping Moby Dick. When I did managed to find one in a North Carolina Cabela’s, my friends mocked me for using one.

It seems to be all or nothing in America. Use an enormous shopping cart for the overwhelming amount of products you will be purchasing in that one shopping session. Or, bolt around the store empty handed in order to find that one product you need and then get the hell out of dodge. No in-between. That really is a sticking point with me.

We need more shopping baskets so that people can be reminded that you really don’t need to be buying everything all in one go. Take your time, inspect the wares, compare, and then make a few selections. I understand that not everybody has the convenience of being able to stop by their local butcher, then pick blueberries at the co-op every afternoon. But that’s no excuse to cruise around the cereal aisle in a cart stacked with enough sweets to power a pack of Roman Gypsy children for several weeks. Moderation people.

I enjoy my humble shopping basket. I also often carry around a sturdy reusable shopping bag to carry my goods home in. It’s called and eco-bag (エコバグ) here in old Nippon. Eveybody uses them. Even people driving to the supermarket use them. Their trunks aren’t stuffed to the brim either. Just a few eco-bags at most.

I have an eco-bag in my backpack right now. I will use it to transport three or four alcoholic beverages, which I will by at the Sapporo Drug Store. That’s right, I will buy boos at a drug store. It’s kinda the go to spot for cheap liquor here. I’ll save that oddity for another post.

What do you think?