The kids and I headed to Hiroshima Saturday. I was looking for a birthday gift for a party we were invited to on Sunday, plus I had heard about a small scrapbook store near Hondori Street that I just had to visit. The kids just wanted to get out of the house, not that I blamed them.
While walking around, I found a real estate office that had this sign outside, so I took a photo to study later. I have been wondering how much rent costs in Japan, and this gave me an idea. For your reference, with today's exchange rate, 50,000 yen is roughly $540. These prices are per month. I am not sure what utilities are included, because I cannot read Japanese, of course, but you can tell from the schematics that the apartments are not at all large. Additionally, to keep this in perspective, the average American annual household income is about $50,000, while the Japanese is about $67,000.
About two blocks from the real estate office was DUO, a scrapbook and sewing shop.
The store was basically two rooms, each about the size of a standard American living room. The shelves were tightly packed and it was tough for me to maneuver through the aisles with my backpack on and two boys in tow. But, with permission from the store owner, I took some pictures so that American scrapbookers can appreciate their local scrapbook store (if they still have one... sniff. The recession has not been kind to my hobby.) The photo below shows you the scrapbook store from the front door. That's the entire store, but it has very high shelves throughout. The doorway to the back right goes to a room roughly the same size that has specialty sewing goods.
Some of the supplies will look very familiar to American scrapbookers, many of them you can find at the big box craft stores:
I never leave a scrapbook store without buying something when I am touring a new one. Part of it is that I am always in "need" of something. The other part is that I want to support local scrapbook stores when I can. Here is what I purchased: