Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Shopping at Don Quijote Ginza and Japanese Vending Machines - New Year's Japan Travel Day 2

      My husband and I traveled Japan during this New Year's holidays. As I mentioned in my previous entry, after checking in to the hotel, Mitsui Garden Hotel Shiodome Italia Gai, we headed toward Don Quijote, which is also called Donki and is one of the biggest Japanese discount chain stores, located in Ginza, Tokyo.  It took us 13 minutes to Donki from the hotel by walk.

Donki Ginza
8 Chome-10
Ginza, Chūō, 
Tokyo, Japan
Open: 24 Hours
Donki Ginza

     It was very crowded with customers in this store. Some of them looked like young business men and women who work around Ginza area. They were purchasing a lot of snacks there. I guessed that they were purchasing snacks for bonenkai (忘年会), a Japanese end-of-year party. Many Japanese companies have end-of-year parties on the last work day of the year. At large Japanese companies, younger employees are often expected to prepare for bonenkai (It depends on the company's policy though, and smaller companies usually don't expect young employees to do so.).   

     I purchased some beauty items and snacks there. You can check what I purchased there in my previous entries, 14 Best Japanese Beauty Products I Purchased in Japan - Drugstore, Discount Store, Daiso and Loft Haul and 8 Japanese Snacks and Candies I Purchased in Japan - Japan Haul.

Donki's Roasted Sweet Potatoes 
Roasted Sweet Potatoes (yaki-imo) at Donki
     At the store, I found that there were freshly roasted sweet potatoes, which are called yaki-imo (焼き芋) in Japanese, right next to the cashier. I remembered that I read Japanese celebrity's blog in which he mentioned that Donki's yaki-imo tasted pretty good! That's why I decided to purchase one without a second thought. :)    
Donki's Roasted Sweet Potato (Yaki-imo)

      On our way back to the hotel, we purchased a hot coffee drink from a vending machine and had the yaki-imo with it. The yaki-imo was very hot and had natural sweetness. I really loved it. We didn't even know how much it was when we were purchasing it. I checked the receipt and was surprised that it was only 128yen! "Seriously? It was as affordable as a raw sweet potato! I had expected that it cost around 400yen!" When we have a chance to go to Donki, we will definitely purchase yaki-imo again. :)   (Yaki-imo is one of Japanese seasonal foods in fall and winter, so I'm not sure if they sell ones all year round.)  
Doutor Coffee Café Au Lait

Japanese Vending Machines
     By the way, vending machines are everywhere in Japan. I believe that running vending machines is a kind of an investment business for some people in Japan. (Many vending machines are owned by companies, but also many of them are owned by individual owners.) If you own an extra small space in a good area, you might be able to make money from your vending machine. It's not easy investment though because there are too many vending machines in Japan already. Don't you think it's very unique to Japan? :)
     During cold season, many vending machines also sell hot drinks. "あたたか~い" (on the red line) means hot, and "つめた~い" (on the blue lines) means cold. This vending machine was selling one for only 100yen, which is cheaper than regular retail price. :)
Beverage Vending Machine in Tokyo

The Most Interesting Vending Machine I've Ever Seen!
     We also found that there was an interesting vending machine near Donki. I first thought it was selling some tea, but I was surprised that each bottle was 700yen! "Why is it so expensive?" Then, I noticed that it's actually selling agodashi (あごだし)! I've never seen an agodashi vending machine in my life! Agodashi, fish based broth made from dried flying fish, has been very popular in Japan these years. People in Japan use agodashi for making miso soup, udon soup, ramen soup and etc.
Agodashi Vending Machine

     Can you see that each bottle has whole grilled flying fish? Many Japanese people review that this agodashi from Dashi Doraku (だし道楽) is so rich and delicious. You can make 13 servings of delicious udon soup with one bottle of agodashi. To make one serving of udon soup, mix 40ml of agodashi and 300ml of water, and bring it to a boil. You can find the locations of Dashi Doraku vending machines from here.
Agodashi Vending Machine

     Then, we went to convenience stores nearby the hotel. I'll write about it next time.

      These are my entries you might like.
14 Best Japanese Beauty Products I Purchased in Japan - Drugstore, Discount Store, Daiso and Loft Haul

8 Japanese Snacks and Candies I Purchased in Japan - Japan Haul

Don Quijote (Donki) Haul - What He Got in Japan 

13 Best Japanese Products I Purchased on Amazon Japan! - Beauty, Kitchen and Stationery Items  

2 Convenience Store Skincare Products I Got in Japan - Japan Haul

13 Muji Products I Purchased in Japan - Muji Haul 

What You Should Take to Japan - Japan Travel Tip

Top 3 Japanese Powder Sunscreens  

3 Best Facial Sheet Masks Loved in Japan This Year

7 Best Japanese Beauty Products Hall of Fame 

Top 5 Life-Changing Japanese Beauty Products  

10 Best Japanese Beauty Products on Amazon Japan, You Can Also Purchase Them at Drugstores in Japan

Starbucks Japan Geography Series City Mug - Tokyo

     My entries related to Tokyo can be seen here

     My entries related to Best Japanese Beauty Products can be seen here.

     My entries related to Japan can be seen here.

     My entries related to beauty can be seen here.

     My entries related to Japan Haul can be seen here.

     You can find my beauty entries by categories from here.


  1. Hi Ringo! I recently found your blog and I can't stop reading it, especially for your snack hauls! I love Japan and go there several times myself since I live so close in Hong Kong. Keep blogging, love it! ❤️❤️

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog