Round the corner is the season for moving house since mid-March to April 1st is when human resources are shifted around the country, in and out of the nation for new positions at work, for the beginning of the new Fiscal year and new school year in Japan. There is a word coined for this period, “hikkoshi-bimbo” … now bimbo here doesn’t mean “nothing between your ears beautiful gal” but it translates literally to “(house-)removal poverty”. This refers to the state we feel in Japan after having to empty our pockets of great wads of cash for the cleaning up old homes, paying for repairs of the old ones(new tatami and paperscreens), the costs of furnishing new homes, and the costs of paying the movers …
One interesting consumer phenomenon (only in Japan??) around this time is the “bargain” assembled-packages-of-electrical-appliances- deals that you can get, eg. we looked at Yamada Denki (the electrical supplies chain store that promises you the lowest prices in the nation, and money back, with proof that a purchase isn’t) and below is an example of the nifty package you can get, not to mentioned a fully color-coordinated set of equipment! The products aren’t assembled from loser-cheapkate brand-names either, but consist of Toshiba, Panasonic, Zojirushi, Casio and other reliable makers.
There are about eight different combinations of appliances and equipment to choose from, another package including 7 items minus the large items costs about 30,000 yen for example. Of course, the silver lining is that with the ever despiralling deflation in Japan, electrical things seem to be always getting cheaper and cheaper, while being state-of-the-art-ier!
[Note: I checked the Yamada Denki website but can’t find any page with the package deals on it, so you will have to pick up the brochure from the Yamada Denki outlet nearest to you … the pamphlet is called “hitori-kurashino-tameno Yamada Serekuto-denki”].
The nation’s entrance exams will end in about a couple of weeks’ time, after which will be released a new catalog with a new set of items designed for students moving into dorms and students apartments. We will be on the lookout for those deals too (which will probably include laptops/notebooks and iPads too!
Yamada Denki locations page (in Japanese only sorry!)
IKEA is also useful because you can buy furniture online (and the website is in English), have it delivered without leaving home.
And then there’s TELL AND SELL subscribe to the email list, one of the most useful expat lists, where you have free giveaways of just about anything by expats leaving in a hurry. Delivery is also trouble-free, because “chakubarai” delivery can be arranged, which is cash and delivery costs paid upon delivery by the deliveryman.
Tell and Sell Japan is a mailing list for people living in Japan who want to sell, buy, trade or give away new or gently used merchandise and other personal items such as:
- Brand new items ordered from overseas, but the size/style/colour was wrong
- Quality clothes for special occasions you have worn only once or twice, a formal dress, suit, etc.
- Maternity clothes, or outgrown babies’ or children’s clothes
- Unwanted gift items, unused cosmetics, etc.
- Books, videos, DVDs, CDs
- Items that have to be sold because you are leaving Japan or moving (“Sayonara Sales”)