It’s Valentine’s Day and I received gifts, social media greetings, post mails, and e-mails. One interesting electronic mail comes from IKEA. I really feel I belong to a big family receiving this monthly, mass-produced ad e-mail from this 76-year old Swedish furniture company.
There’s a big hype when IKEA was being built in my city. The famous international houseware store and the only branch in Metropolitan Tokyo can be enjoyed first by Tachikawa residents! Twice a week when I passed by this place by bicycle on my way to my private classes, I checked the building progress and even took pictures. In 2014, the 9th IKEA store in Japan was finally launched here and I was one of the happy spectators. It was so crowded then that I cannot really take my meals nor go around window-shopping.
My adult student who lives just at the back of the IKEA building was giving me updates if the store is not crowded so I can visit and take my lunch or dinner. 🙂 It took 2 months before I can shop here without so many buyers. The first things I bought were chairs and tables for our toddler-students. True enough, I need to assemble the pieces of furniture before I arranged them in our classrooms. I thought it’s just a joke that most products at IKEA are “ready-to-assemble furniture.”
After eating mostly Japanese dishes in my more than 2 decades in Japan, it’s a great break to eat varieties of Swedish foods at IKEA. Though the dining area on the second floor is very spacious, it’s always crowded by families and students. The “drink bar” is a good come-on for people on a budget! I’ve shopped here at different times of the day and I’ve noticed that more and more students meet here instead of the usual fast food restaurants. 🙂
Whenever my family visits me in Japan, IKEA is always part of their itinerary. Good to enjoy the discounts through my IKEA membership and we can’t let pass to eat salmon, meatballs, blueberry cheesecake, and Swedish cookies and sweets.
One time my former Japanese co-teacher asked me about IKEA in Tachikawa City. She lives in another prefecture but I highly recommended to her to shop houseware and items of furniture here because many of the products are cheaper than the local stores. It’s also a great place for her children to play while enjoying their meals.
Another unique selling point of IKEA is their seasonal products like fresh Christmas tree, ginger bread-ready for decoration plus accessories/ingredients, Halloween goodies, candles with different aromas. Schools, houses and offices can also opt to buy lampshades or hanging lights aka interesting chandeliers here.
IKEA is like a foreign city within a local city. Try to experience the “Little Sweden” here: 6 Midori-cho, Tachikawa City, Tokyo 190-0014 Phone #: 050-5833-9000 Website: https://www.ikea.com/jp/en/store/tachikawa/services