Translated by MATCHA_En
Shopping At A Shotengai - Enjoy Local Food And Looking For Souvenirs!
Written by MATCHA-PR
A shotengai is a shopping spot that caters to the needs of the nearby local residents. From vegetables, meat and fish to daily use items, you can find almost anything in a shotengai. There are unique foods and souvenirs that can only be found here!
Shopping Rules and Things to Be Careful About
As the shotengai serves the local residents, most of the staff speak only Japanese. Basic Japanese phrases are listed below, so try using some of them. Although it may not be perfect, using Japanese might make shopping more fun.
The local residents come to the shotengai to do shopping for their dinner, so most shops close at 6:00 p.m., or 7:00 p.m. at the latest. It might be best to visit the shotengai during the daytime.
Visiting the Shops
Most shops at the shotengai are small in size, so it would be better to leave large suitcases behind. Also, drinking or eating while shopping is considered to be bad manners, so be careful.
Price negotiation is not recommended, as the customers are expected to pay the price written on the tags. The taxes are included in most cases, but there may be exceptions. If you're uncertain about the tax, be sure to ask about it before the purchase.
The tags are written in Japanese. At delicatessens, there are no comments on the tags about whether their products are fit for vegetarians. If the staff happens to speak English, you should ask about it.
Most shops accept only Japanese currency. Credit cards may not be accepted, and a money exchange booth may not be in the nearby areas. So it would be better to have some cash ready beforehand. The shops handle mostly inexpensive items, so 1000 yen bills and coins should come in handy. Receipts are rarely handed out, so, if necessary, be sure to ask for one.
Japanese Phrases to Use at the Shotengai
Here are some basic Japanese phrases that can be used at the shotengai. They should help to communicate with the shop owners.
Calling Out to the Shop Owners
"Sumimasen" or "Suimasen" (Excuse me)
Asking about the Price
"Kore wa ikura desuka?" (How much is this?)
Asking about the Merchandise
"Kore wa nan desuka?" (What is this?)
Asking about Recommendations
"Osusume wa ari masuka?" (What do you recommend?)
Pointing out a Merchandise
"Kore wo kudasai" (I'll take this.)
Commenting about the Food
"Totemo oishii desu" (It's very delicious.)
If you would like to know more about Japanese pronunciation and expressions, please read Basic Information about Japanese Pronunciation and Polite Speech. You can also listen to various Japanese phrases with these articles: Basic Japanese Phrases You Can Use While In Japan! and 13 Japanese Phrases For Shopping In Japan.
The Japanese shotengai streets have a unique appeal, something you may not experience at a regular sightseeing spot.
Use the information in this article, and enjoy the shotengai! Try the local dishes, look for souvenirs, and enjoy chatting with the shop owners!
Sponsored by Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry