Sunday, May 14, 2006

"Why do people like IKEA so much?!!" Mike asked...

I used to be a frequent IKEA's "showroom walker" (yea, the kind that just walks but not shops), but Mike trained me to NOT be one anymore (yea, he HATES Ikea for some reasons). Unforunately, the sad news is that to get cheap furniture without a pickup truck in Tokyo, the only really feasible way is to go to IKEA. And that's the "FUN of today" -


Unlike the Ikea in the US or in Hong Kong, the Ikea in Tokyo, well, I should say the ONLY Ikea in Japan so far, is very far from the tokyo-proper in Minami-Funabashi (南船橋). It's about 45 minutes if you take the normal JR train that stops at every stop and about 30 minutes if you take the rapid one that skips some stops. Despite the relatively long train ride, once you get off at the JR station, you'll see the HUGE blue and yellow Ikea sign right across from the exit. And that's where the Ikea entrance is (about 2 min walk from the JR exit).

There was no line at the entrance at the time we went in (probably due to the rain), but we have heard from people who had been there telling us that there is ALWAYS a line waiting to get in. I did see a lot of "waiting facilities", such as the ones that you see at Disneyland, for people to wait in a big filled circle (or in Cantonese "snake cake").

"Why do people like IKEA so much?!!" Mike asked...

Well... the short answer is that IKEA stuff is cheap, conveniently-packaged, visually-plesant, and nicely presented in their show rooms, so even if you are not really buying stuff, it's still a pretty good entertainment for couples or familes to go and enjoy a short afternoon.

"And why do you hate IKEA so much?" I asked.

"Well... they are cheap furniture that do not last long." he said.

He is right in that aspect; however, for our purpose - to live in Tokyo for a year or two - IKEA serves it well (plus the easy delivery option). So... IKEA it is !!

I wouldn't bore you with the details of what stuff we bought there, but let's just say that we get "mostly" what we need (mattress, sofa, desks, lamps, floor mats, etc... and even an iron broad, ha!!) Below are some "before/after" pictures of how we got defeated by IKEA (i.e. it sucked out most of our energy for the day!!)

Before going to IKEA (~1:30pm)

We were in a rush that we didn't have time to eat lunch. That explains why you can see Mike "inhaling" a spicy taco (unfornately, a not-so-yummy one) within 5 seconds inside the Tokyo JR station.

And after 4 hours of IKEA shopping and furniture searching...

I took this picture quite by accident on the subway (on our way back) as you can tell from the angle of the picture. But I decided to keep it just because of Mike's amusing response after seeing this picture of himself. He said
"My mouth looks tired..."
Long day for the poor guy!!

Just show you how tired we really were!!! =p

The good news though, is that we now only need a fridge and a washing machine, then we are READY to go!!!! (oh... and the chairs that are out of stock at IKEA too!)

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