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Japan With Kids - Forums: Shopping in Japan: Costco
By Tokyomama on Wednesday, September 8, 2004 - 1:24 pm:

Can anyone tell me the driving direction to Costco? Much appreciated!!

By Bethan Hutton on Wednesday, September 8, 2004 - 10:10 pm:

There are two Costco branches in the Tokyo area, one in Chiba (Makuhari) and one I think western Tokyo somewhere, towards Yokohama.

To get to the Makuhari one, if you are on the Bayshore expressway coming from Tokyo, you take the Wangan Narashino exit, which will also be marked for Makuhari Messe (the exhibition centre). After paying the exit toll, stay in the left-hand lane and take the exit ramp up to the left, then turn right at the traffic lights, continuing to follow signs for Makuhari Messe. You should now be on a road which heads down towards Tokyo Bay, and you can see all the towers of Makuhari on your left. Carry on through at least one set of traffic lights, then turn right at the at the set of lights after you have gone under the railway line. You will see Costco ahead on your right.

The phone number is 043-213 4111. They might even be able to send you a map which would be clearer than my directions...

By Tokyomama on Wednesday, September 8, 2004 - 10:37 pm:

Thank you, Bethan. Which one is the Bayshore expressway? Which number is that? Sorry, new to driving in Japan.

By Scott Hancock on Wednesday, September 8, 2004 - 11:48 pm:

Tokyomama - Can give you better directions if you mention which entrance is closest for you. Or, a major intersection.

By Tokyomama on Wednesday, September 8, 2004 - 11:56 pm:

I can get to Shuto Expway 11 towards Odaiba. I know Costco is towards Narita.
Thank you for your help!

By Scott Hancock on Thursday, September 9, 2004 - 11:24 am:

Once you are passing Daiba exit, you're about 30 minutes away. After Daiba exit, stay in left lane. This will take you toward Urayasu (and Narita).

After merging with the next highway, stay straight for about 25 minutes. Before you get there, there are some other interchanges to the left, so stay to the right a couple lanes in order to avoid going off too early.

Well before you get there, you'll see the group of tall buildings on the right in the distance. That is Makuhari.

As Bethan describes, get off at Wangan Narashino. There are also signs that say 'Makuhari Messe"

As you join the side road, stay in that lane for maybe 800m or so. I "think" it's the first signal, but confirm with the signs for MAKUHARI. Turn right, going under the highway.

As you drive toward the low, curved roof building (Makuhari Messe), there are a few signals. You will turn right again at the one with the 4-way pedestrian bridge over the intersection. Even before you get to that point, you should see the COSTCO on the right.

Going home is pretty much the reverse. Follow the green signs for the entrance to TOKYO. Again, you'll pass several interchanges that you don't want, so stay to the right a bit.

When you come to the interchange that offers GINZA to the left and HANEDA by going straight, go straight. A few km past that you will see the exit for Rainbow Bridge.

Let us know if you have any other questions.


By Matti Suokko on Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - 5:06 pm:

If I'm in the Roppongi or Shinjuku area, which Costco (Makuhari or Machida) is closer to me?

Could someone directions on how to get there by train?

Also, I understood that Costco has a delivery service for good I purchase at the store? Is that correct?

By Scott Hancock on Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - 6:02 pm:

Shinjuku to Machida on Odakyu Odawara line is closest at 33 minutes. It's just one train; no changes. But, as always be sure to reconfirm you are in the right car for Machida.
Do you know where Odakyu line is in Shinjuku station?
PS And, I'm sure they have a delivery service.
PPS By the way, here are two useful train route searching sites;

By Jellund on Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - 6:22 pm:

The Machida costco has delivery, last year it was around 500yen for a box of up to 20-30kg, sorry cant remember exactly and 650yen for a refrigerated or frozen box. This was for Tokyo delivery and it usually arrived the following morning the times I had items sent. Also, if you plan on taking some items home with you, eg bakery items, you should take your own plastic or paper bags as they dont have them in the store.

Hope this helps. I dont know if you have children but the Machida costco is near a very large Akachan Honpo store, useful for changing and feeding bubbas and picking up any baby items you may need too.

Kind regards

By Pato on Wednesday, October 6, 2004 - 7:54 pm:

The new COSTCO in Kanazawa (Yokohama) opened on Saturday (October 2), so now we can start asking about a whole new set of driving instructions! They don't have the new store listed on their website yet, where they only show four locations for Japan.
But here's the address:
2-6 Sachiura, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa 236-0003
Tel: 045(791)6001 Fax: 045(782)3489

And here's Machida's address:

3-6-1 Oyamagaoka, Machida-shi, Tokyo 194-0215
tel: 042(798)6001, Fax: 042(798)6002

I seem to remember that the train station is quite far at the Makuhari store, but that Costco has a bus from the station to their store. Can anyone confirm this? Anyway, I don't know how far it is from the Machida station.

By Bethan Hutton on Wednesday, October 6, 2004 - 10:31 pm:

Yes, there is a shuttle bus between Costco and Makuhari, but it's not very frequent - maybe only two or three times an hour (at least on Saturdays - might be different on weekdays).

By Nancy on Thursday, October 7, 2004 - 9:31 am:

Costco Kanazawa Seaside is easy to reach. Directions are as follows:

By car from Tokyo: 357 Wangan Expressway Exit at Sachiura IC. Turn left at the first corner, turn left at the first signal. Costco is on your right hand side at the first signal.

By car from Shin Yokohama, Kamakura: Yokohama-Yokuska Expressway exit at Namiki IC. Proceed straight and Costco is on your left hand side after 6 signals.

By Train: Take Seaside Line from Kanazawa Hakkei (Keikyu Line) or Shin Sugita (JR Negishi Line) and get off at Namiki-Chuo or Sachiura Station. (Costco is between these two stations). Walk along City Road 171 heading towards Tokyo Bay and you will see Costco. It is less than a 10 minute walk from the station.

Store Hours are Mon - Fri 10 am to 8:30 pm, Sat/Sun 10 am to 6 pm

There are two levels of parking above the shopping which is on the ground level. (only one floor of shopping).

When you exit the parking, you cannot make a right turn!!

By E Singer on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 12:14 am:

Does anyone know walking directions from Machida station to the Machida location? Also, how much is membership?

By Eliza on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 12:58 am:

Hi. I konw that the nearest station from Machida Cstco is Tamasaki.
Walking From Tamasakai Station - The store is about a 10 minute walk from the station. Tamasakai Station is small, and there is only one main exit. As you come out of the turnstiles turn left. You emerge into sort of an underground space with an unattractive fountain in the center. Take the first flight of stairs up. At the top, go straight ahead past the covered bike parking area. You'll see a large store ahead called S.P.A. Members Club. Turn right when you reach the main road. After about 80 meters you'll pass by a McDonald's. Keep going. After about 5 minutes you'll see Costco, but it will take you another 5 minutes to reach the store.
More information here .

We paid in Makuhari Costco last year 4000 yen for membership.

By Leese Johnson on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 8:15 am:

New/old question. From Yoyogi Uehara(Odakyu/chiyoda line) by train (later by car, when we get it) is the Machida (Tamasakai) Costco the closest/best one to go? I would mostly like to see if our family of 4 + a large dog would benefit from going over there. We have a membership to Costco from the US already and did most of our shopping there. I have directions for each Costco (Yokohama & Tamasakai) but can't figure out which is the easiest/closest/best to use.
Thanks! Leese

By Amanda Jones on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 8:16 am:

There is a company called The Flying Pig that delivers items from Costco. They charge 800 yen for the first box and 600 yen for the second box but their boxes are very large. There is also no membership fee. I live in Kawasaki and they deliver here as well as Tokyo. They also let you pick a three hour window of when you would like your items delivered (I schedule it around nap times!). I have been very happy with their service. Their website is:

By Scott Hancock on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 8:35 am:

Leese- In the interest of empowering you to understand the proximity for your situation, check out this place to do train scheduling:
You can type in the various combinations of stations that work for you. Easier to interact with it yourself.
note from Admin: more on trains at

By Jellund on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 8:47 am:

Dear Leese,
I live at Sangubashi, 2 stops from Yoyogi Uehara and I found that the Tamasakae Costco was my closest one so it should be your closest also.

I would second Amanda on the flying pig recommendation, it's really easy to use their website and we have had no problems with their deliveries.

By Cornelia on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 9:58 am:

Dear everyone (and ofcourse Amanda and Leese), I jut put in an order yesterday at and the customer service was very speedy (I sent some emails asking questions because some of the descriptions were incomplete.) They operate out of the COSTCO in Fukuoka. I get to go to COSTCO once or twice a year with a friend, but basically it is a special trip taking a day off from work and all that. So theflyingpig is great. The inventory is different between COSTCOs so theflyingpig has things that Makuhari or Machida might not have! The prices are generally a bit higher than at COSTCO but they also have specials, etc.
Here is the big news: If you have a member ID# you can get 5% discount on your flyingpig order (if you are paying by cash transfer or COD). It doesn't have to be your own membership #. If you need one, send me a private email.

By Tia Tanaka on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - 1:10 pm:


I am really new to this Costco concept, and I just heard about it. We are really interested and are thinking of going there very soon. Basically, my husband is quite good at driving, and from all the info above, we probably have no problem getting there.

What I like to find out more, is that what is the place like?

1.Do they sell everything, and cheaply? Think it be worth a trip there to check out the place? How many hours do we need to check it out shopping?

2.I am also interested because, I read somewhere on the web that they have the Maclaren strollers. Can someone confirm this? Do they sell Maclaren strollers like 30000 to 40000 yen, or is it within 20000 yen?

3.Also, what is this membership thing? How much do you have to pay? Can we pay when we reach there at the entrance?

I got something to say which is not connected to Costco. I think this website is GREAT!!! Appreciation to whoever started this. Are there any other website like this?


By Leese Johnson on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - 1:50 pm:

Hi Tia,
First, I LOVE Costco. I enjoy going shopping (we think of it as an adventure) and don't mind buying in bulk.

There is a membership fee you can pay when you arrive at the door. I believe it is approximately 4,000 yen yearly.

I do know that our local grocery store only sells peanut butter in little 2 day supply jars for about 400 yen. National Azabu has a large 6 cup (?) size for 1400 yen. At Costco the same jar as National cost me 800 yen. I can also do almost all of my shoppping there without having to make daily trips to the local store.

They seem to sell most everything we normally eat (western stuff but some Japanese - including Gyoza, Yummy!) In many cases you must buy several of the same item or a large carton. We have a storage area so we just put the extra jars or packages there. We also have a freezer and a bag sealing machine so I will cut the meat, bread and cheese packages in meal size and store.

Last trip took about 2 hours in the store to do about 50,000 yen worth of "damage", including a pair of Birkenstock sandals in my American size for 5,000 (?). This should last our family of 4 about a month, with the exception of buying some milk or bread when our supply runs out.

They do change their stock periodically. That means if you see something it may not be there very long. Some things like wetsuits and life vests may only be there for a month until their stock is sold not to return until next spring (or late winter) if at all.

They do carry most foods year round, as well as some clothing, videos, car care products (the one in Chiba has a tire center), prescription glasses, prescription drugs and a snack bar with large pizza slices for about 250 yen.

So if you don't mind shopping and have the place to store the larger packages it is great and I think more than saves us the cost of the yearly fee. If you have trouble with the larger packages you could always split it with a friend or just buy the things you don't have to buy in bulk, i.e. clothing, books and such.

I think it would be worth a trip to see if it will work for your family. Ask if you can walk through before you join to see if it will work. I don't know if they will allow that but it is worth an inquiry. Hope that helps.

By Bethan Hutton on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - 3:11 pm:

I think you have to join to actually enter the store (or go as the guest of a member) but if after looking around you decide that membership is not for you, they will refund the money - at least I think I remember having this explained to me when I first joined.

I find Costco useful for bulk stuff (pasta, tinned foods, cereal, dishwasher powder, laundry powder, computer paper, etc) and also for stocking up before parties etc, but I find it rather frustrating that you can only buy fruit and veg in such large quantities that most of the time I know I won't be able to use them all up before they go off. The same with cheese and bakery products. This is where sharing with a friend might work out, or some things you can freeze (if you have a big enough freezer) but some things like fresh fruit and cheese can't be frozen.

And although basic things do work out very cheap, there are also lots of non-essential things there that can tempt you to go over budget.

By Dawn Matus on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 2:08 pm:

There is a company called The Flying Pig (htt:// that will do your shopping at Costco for you and then deliver the goods to your door via takyuubin. There is a surcharge for the service of having someone shop for you and a delivery fee, but it is a convenient way to "shop" at Costco if you do not have the time or means to actually go there. Using Flying Pig also means you do not have to become a Costco member. By the way, I am a customer of Flying Pig; I have no affiliation to the company or to Costco.

By Cathy Edwards on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 9:43 pm:

This link was sent to me last week as a new option for ordering from Costco.
Have had a quick look but have not used it.
Their prices appear to be much closer to the Costco prices, where The Flying Pig has a premium but this one has a monthly membership fee of Y3,000.
If anyone uses it please let us know how it goes.

By Dougie Murray on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 11:36 pm:

I am sure I am not alone here but Costco, Ikea, Walmart, etc for me are hell on earth. I do not understand why anybody would want to spend the day going to a warehouse where quality is sacrificed for quantity.
I now almost soley buy bulk and big items from three local co-ops where the quality is high, prices are competitive and delivery is free. It is all done mail order and one co-op (Dai-ichi Co-op) does a lot of organic produce. They pack frozen food on dry ice and fridge food with a lot of icepacks (all in styrene boxes). One the main co-op sends out English Catalogue on request:


By Natasha Watts on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 2:22 am:

Some of us don't get to travel back home so often (for me USA), and my recent first trip to Cost was really exciting!! Wow, yes everything was in bulk and too big, but considering that I pay more than double the price regularly for items, I was more than happy to buy in bulk.
By the way, I use Radish Boy, an organic food delivery system for our day to day regular products. I've used Co-op before but I switched to Radish Boya (more expensive) for the quality. I could not believe what I was eating was less than acceptible for me, till I tasted the tomatoes from Radish Boya. Picked in the morning and sent to you the same day, when I opend the packages I almost felt like i was in the farm. ie strong beautiful scent of the vegetables.

So anyway, I LOVE Costco for the little America I can feel, the smell, the air and the I can buy so much of what I regularly buy at local import stores for almost half the price. Hurray I say!!

By Julie Hansberry on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 6:06 am:

For those who love can freeze it and it actually freezes very well. Hard cheeses just need to be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and/or sealed in a ziplock. Grated cheeses freeze great, too...just get all the air out of the bag before you freeze. After cheese is cooked it doesn't freeze so well. I don't know if soft cheeses will do as well, but you could probably find info doing a web-search. Fruits also freeze great!! Just clean and/or pit them. Berries and stone fruits do the best. It's very easy to bake with frozen fruits, too. And ripe bananas are the best them for smoothies and banana bread or muffins....just be sure to take the skin off first.

By Lea Watson on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 6:26 am:

Thanks Natasha for the Radish Boy information. Can you supply contact information on them? A search didn't seem to bring anything up.
Much appreciated!
Lea Watson

By Nancy on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 8:29 am:

Here is the link for Radish Boya (Japanese site only) are more links listed in the Foods section of this site, under organic foods including Alishan/Tengu in English tooK

By Nancy on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 8:41 am:

To state that at Costco "quality is sacrified for quantity" is rather inflammatory. To be able to save money buy buying a larger quantity of a product makes good sense, if you can find a way to use it. Shopping locally if are feeding a family, including teenagers K is quite expensive. As Julie pointed out, cheese can be frozen, as can fruit. A good trick is to use a straw to remove the air before closing the bag. I mash bananas and freeze them (if you add a drop of lemon juice they won't go brown) and they are the best to bake with! I have bought large items at Costco and they stand behind everything they sell. It is great to have a no hassle return policy in this day and age when so many products seem to be built not to last.

By Bethan Hutton on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 9:16 am:

Thanks for the cheese-freezing tips! In fact it was mainly soft cheeses like Brie I was really thinking of (Costco does good two-packs with large wedges of Brie) but my one experiment with freezing a small section did not turn out well - the cheese turned all crumbly.

By Leese Johnson on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 9:40 am:

We have frozen cheese. I have the best luck with the red cheddar and seal it in one of those sealer machines that sucks all the air out. Once thawed it is a little more crumbly and harder to slice than if it weren't frozen. The pre-shredded mozerella cheese hasn't done quite so well. If I let the machine suck all the air out it is like a brick. When I thaw it it doesn't really "un-brick". Not a big deal in that we use cheese mostly for Mac and Cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches. It tastes fine and we always have cheese on hand.

I also find Costco to have good quality for most of it's products even though it is often in bulk. We bought a tent there about 8 years ago that is still in very good condition after some pretty good use. I also thought the Birkenstock sandals I bought the other day for about 6,000 yen were pretty good quality, too and much less expensive than I would pay in the US AND they had larger sizes.

I would love to also find some specific items on the site Doug listed but unfortunately my Japanese isn't that good yet and I found no links to requesting an English catalogue.

Thankfully we all do have some great choices for shopping here that meets our individual desires.


By Julie Hansberry on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 10:53 am:

Freezing Brie..I wonder if you might have better luck freezing the whole piece? Leese...know what you mean about the shredded cheese, and I have found that just freezing in the bag it comes in works fine. Boy am I going to miss my big freezer here at home :(

By Lea Watson on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 11:35 am:

Wow Nancy thanks for the link. I called their 'free dial' and they're coming 'round the house tomorrow with a catalogue and free samples of fruit and veggies!

Thanks a bunch!

By Natasha Watts on Sunday, June 19, 2005 - 12:59 am:

Thanks Nancy for the link to Radish Boya. Was too busy to get to the pc for a couple of days, you know with 2 small boys and a job!
Lea, hurray! The tomatoes that shocked me into not wanting to buy from the local grocery stores anymore were from the "free trial" selection Radish Boya brought us.

I also tried another organic delivery company Oisix:

But to tell you the truth, I liked Radish Boya alot better in that
1) The vegetables and fruits were more fresh and tasty
2) Radish Boya has one set representative delivery person (who was quite knowledgable about safety of foods etc.) Very friendly and helpful.
3) I called Oisix customer service line after recieving the trial set with a broken egg. (Oisix uses delivery conpanies VS Radish Boya has its own referidgerated vans) Although the customer service rep was quick to immediately arrange a new carton of eggs for me as a replacement, she was mechanical, snappy, and hung up on me before I could even thank her for her service (her loss!)

Although we can't judge from just one experience, I vote for Radish Boya over Oisix.

By Lea Watson on Sunday, June 19, 2005 - 6:32 am:

Hi Natasha:
No kidding about the tomatoes. I'd forgotten how tasty "real" food can be. The rep who vested was full of information and they'd kindly sent a good English speaker as well.

Unfortunately, I found the list of rules quite restrictive. (1) you **must** purchase one of the sets each week. If delivery is not needed you **must** remember to cancel within a certain timeframe (2) you **must** purchase the set as no substitutions for things you don't use or like (3) there's a one-time Y10,000 membership fee and (4) a yearly Y5000 fee.

Fortunately (for me) there's an organic fruit/veggie shop a short distance away that allows me to skirt all of the above requirements.

If ***I*** was a Japanese company, I'd start to look around me and re-think all of the rigid requirements that once was an accepted way to do business.

Nowadays, there's far too much competition (ie Tengu) that doesn't force consumers into a company's framework. Choices need to be tailored to the customer and not the other way around!

As you can see I'm anti-fee this and anti-fee that! But Japan is changing! For example, I've talked to a few people lately who have managed to re-negotiate their rental contracts without all of the ugly fees...or at least reducing them.

The times are a'changing!

By Sari H. Krassin on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 6:37 pm:

Does anyone know if Costco delivers to the Moto Azabu area? I know they deliver but I don't know their limits. thank you just wishful thinking I guess.

By Bethan Hutton on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 9:55 pm:

I think that if you actually go to Costco, buy stuff and want it delivered, it goes by one of the usual takkyubin services, so that would go anywhere in Japan (maybe limited if you want to ship cool/frozen stuff). But for that you have to go all the way to Costco, pay for membership, and so on.

An even easier option is to use the Flying Pig service, which lets you order Costco products online and have them delivered anywhere in Japan. They don't do the entire Costco range, and of course there is a slight mark-up plus delivery fee, but you don't have to be a Costco member or get to one of the stores. I have used Flying Pig once and they seemed very efficient. The delivery fee starts at about Y800 per box, and reduces if you order more than one box's worth, as I recall.

By Mono on Thursday, June 21, 2007 - 6:09 pm:

A new Costco store will be open in Kawasaki City next week:
and in Iruma City this fall:

By Pato on Friday, October 5, 2007 - 7:20 pm:

Here's the link with map for the Kawasaki Costco:
It's bound to be closer to Roppongi than going to Makuhari or Kanazawa seaside!
3-1-4 Ikegami Shincho, Kawasaki Ku, Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Ken, 210-0832, Japan
Hours Daily: 10:00 - 20:00
Warehouse Telephone: 044-270-1140

Costco now has 6 locations in Japan.

By Edlyn on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 - 12:24 pm:

Does anybody know what bus to take to the Costco from Kawsaki station? I have heard that location is less crowded but hard to get to from the station. Thanks!

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