Mami still hasn’t been to the new shopping center that opened recently in Kakamigahara. Saying that, she hasn’t been out much at all since the baby was born. I, on the other hand, get to drive past the AEON shopping mall on my way to and from work everyday, so I had the pleasure of watching them build it over the last year, and now I can pop in to grab a Mega Mac or something for lunch.
Needless to say, it’s huge. There must be over 200 shops, and a bunch of restaurants, along with a ten-screen cinema and parking for 4,000 cars. I was really happy to see a massive Joshin electronics store in there, and shops selling toys and things that I know Rikuto will love.
It’s a welcome addition to Kakamigahara, which until now didn’t offer much in the way of shopping or entertainment.
The above was originally written (but not published) a week ago. Now there’s more to the story…
Last night, I took Mami and Rikuto to the shopping center. It was their first time, and Rikuto’s first time anywhere other than the hospital.
We were a little bit anxious taking such a young baby to such an overwhelming place, and that only grew when we couldn’t fit the pram in the car! Since Riku was already fastened into his baby chair on the back seat, we just decided to go anyway and carry him if we had to.
We were both surprised to find that the babycare facilities at AEON were excellent. We found a little pushchair and wheeled Rikuto over to the elevator. Our first stop was the baby section on the third floor and I swear Riku’s eyes doubled in size when he saw all the toys. We stayed there for a couple of hours and spent half of that in the “baby room”.
The Baby Room is bigger than a typical Japanese apartment with rows of nappy-changing tables, a breastfeeding area, hot water on tap for making powdered milk, toilet facilities and a play area for siblings, scales to measure height and weight (Riku is now at 5kgs), nappy bins, and a vending machine for thirsty parents. Everything is spotlessly clean, too.
We came away with a new dummy for Rikuto – he loves his dummy – and a couple of 1.5 liter bottles of Coca-Cola for mum and dad (which were on sale for just a 150 yen ($1.30) each!). On my way out, I popped into the men’s room and was stunned to see full babycare facilities in there, too!
I have to take my hat off to AEON. They’ve done a superb job and we look forward to many family trips there again.If you like, you can find me on Twitter at @nick_ramsay. I'd love to hear from you!