Blogged at Kansai Airport! I haven’t taken too much of an interest in shopping itself so far in the three cities we’ve been to this trip. I find merchandise and product pricing to be quite expensive for many goods, and the fact that the exchange rate between Japanese Yen and Singapore dollar isn’t favorable for us at the moment.
That said, we passed by a large department mall on our way back from the Umeda Sky Building yesterday night, and the Osaka Explorer Guide map we had noted that this mall, the Yodobashi Umeda, is one of the largest and best-stock electronics store in the country. That’s too tempting for a visit to resist, so after our visit to the Osaka Aquarium (the photos are on the D300 and I’ll do a blog post on it when I’m back in Singapore) and lunch, we returned to Umeda Subway Station for a look-see.
And boy, I wasn’t disappointed. This is the most well-equipped electronics mall I’ve seen yet out of Singapore. Unlike Sim Lim Square where the mall comprises all small and separate retailers, a good part of the Yodobashi Umeda mall comprises a single business entity which offers everything you can think of that’s electronic. What especially interested me though was the camera equipment floor at level 2. Every mainstream camera model and lenses were on display and for people to try out at their convenience. Oh, you could try out similar equipment in Singapore stores, but the shop keepers back at home routinely give you the evil eye if you ask to inspect the equipment unless you convince them first that you’re a genuinely interested buyer.
The Yodobashi Umeda camera floor was thus a godsend. I tried out all the camera models to my heart’s content; including the top-of-line full-frame Canon and Nikon models (Nikon D3S – ooh lala with the 24-70mm f2.8!), the very new Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 OS, the new Olympus E-PL1S, the new Panasonic GF2, and an entire bunch of micro-4/3 lenses! Even Ling remarked that she’s never seen me so thrilled with shopping in Japan before.
And that was just the camera floor. There are six other floors (the top two floors are restaurants) in the mall, with entire floors dedicated to mobile phones, games & DVDs, home electronic appliances and the like. I could easily spend an entire day just in this mall alone. Most of the items though were priced at standard retail and comparable if not slightly more expensive than if I bought in Singapore; so I was satisfied just to pick up two 40.5mm filters (a Marumi CPL and a Kenko ProDigital clear glass) for my E-PL1, and a green funky looking camera brush. If I’m ever back in this city, I’m gonna plonk an entire day just for this mall.
Well, it’s nearly time to check-into the airport departure gate now for our 7 hour flight back to Singapore. There are a couple more posts I’m going to do to wrap our visit up; including our visit to the world’s largest aquarium, and walkabouts in Kyoto and Osaka.:)