Tiger in Osaka

19 Jan

Gosh! I needed so much time until I finally update this post since I came back from Osaka…late December! x__x

There’s a famous zakka shop (zakka means daily goods in Japanese) in Shinsaibashi, Osaka. That’s Tiger Copenhagen! This is the only store we have in Japan. Yes, the very first store in Japan isn’t located in Tokyo, but in Osaka! The store is so famous for its popularity, because people make a long long line to come into the store for shopping. Well that was the news I heard when the store opened and I didn’t think the line is still long even today!!
tiger Osaka3

I was accompanied by my Osakan friend who hasn’t felt like checking this store out until that day with me because of too many people’s waiting all the time.
tiger Osaka4

When we got there, we were shocked to see many people making a line, waiting to get into the store. A security guard told us, “Here’s the end of the line. I think you’d wait for 40 minutes or so.” I’d give up waiting if I were alone but having my long-time-no-see friend with me, I thought I could chat with her while we were waiting.

As it turned out, however, 40 minutes was not necessary. The line moved so quickly and I guess we only waited for 10 or 15 minutes. So this is a picture I took from inside the store. Still many people waiting, huh?
tiger Osaka1

I’ve never been to Copenhagen and so I have no idea how the original shop looks like, but speaking of this store in Osaka, I have to say it’s not shopper friendly! Why? Well, it’s sort of difficult to explain this, but we, the shoppers have to go one way because the goods are displayed along with a series of arrows. So what happens there is…like there is a long line of people inside the store too that moves into only one direction. So when you want to skip a certain area because you are not interested in those goods, there’s no way you can do that. You have to wait until the people in front of you move forward.

I made a big mistake, which I noticed when I was on upper floor. I didn’t pick up a shopping basket that was only available at the entrance of the store. I only noticed that after I reached the upper floor. This is nothing serious at any other stores, but in this store, it means I had to move reversely in the flow of the people. Against the people moving forward, I had to go back, weaving my way to go back to the entrance, and after I picked up the basket, I had to take extra unnecessary time and effort to wait for the people moving forward again because there’s no shortcut, only one way to get back to where I was in the upper floor.

It’s quite useless, very inconvenient and totally nonsense to the shoppers!
As for the goods there, I’ve noticed there are too many boxes. Some are cute but some are not.


Some cute containers, too. As for stationary, I saw some black and white simple notebooks and etc. But then I’d prefer MUJI. Some had a sort of kawaii pictures on, but that was not really my taste.

Oops, this sounds like I’m complaining, but not really. I found some really cute zakka as well. πŸ™‚ I bought some as souvenirs to my friends and to myself.


I also saw something weird and funny. This is connected to an iphone or a smartphone. How would you like to use such a thing? Do we need it? lol

They sold some really cute shopping bags for 50 yen or so. I liked a few of them! πŸ˜€

My overall experience of first time shopping at Tiger Osaka was honestly something like this: I might want to come back there one day again but not for the next few years even if I lived in Osaka. I don’t think the shopping experience and what I can get there is competitive to those of other stores. I mean, some goods are really cute there but some similar goods can be purchased at a 100 yen shop, a 300 yen shop (such as 3 coins) or a MUJI or whatever others. Being Japanese kawaii seeker, I also perceived the cuteness they had (such as a post card, notepad and etc.) was slightly different from ours. I could easily imagine I’d get cuter one at a shop like OUTLET, FrancFranc or SWIMMER for example.

Have you been to Tiger in your country or in Copenhagen? How was your shopping experience then? Was it better than mine? Did you find something kawaii there? Share with us your experience!


19 Responses to “Tiger in Osaka”

  1. PhilH January 19, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    Interesting post. I've never heard of this store so I looked it up on the Web – it's in 18 countries and Japan is the only non-European country where they have stores. Considering your experience, I wonder why it's so popular?! As you say, the merchandise doesn't really seem unique.

    • kirin January 21, 2013 at 11:17 am #

      I think I've read an article that the CEO of Tiger Copenhagen got astounded at how many people came to their store when they opened it in Osaka. I think people at that time had to wait hours to get into the store. It's so crazy, but that's imaginable when it comes to Japan. Many people don't mind waiting hours and hours for a good deal or something cool or new. πŸ™‚

  2. Sanaa January 19, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

    Hi dear!
    I hope u r so fine and so happy πŸ™‚
    I like ur post so much ! and I also like your sincerity my awsome and great Japanese friend-sister Kirin πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    I like the pictures so much πŸ™‚ Thank you so much dear πŸ™‚
    I have never been to tiger. I m not sure if we can find it in Morocco. But It's like I've read this title on one of the streets in Morocco.
    Well! Moroccans love to buy what they need from traditional markets.
    Even the rich Moroccans love to go to shopping in traditional Markets. Because they are so simple and u can find many cheap things to buy and it can be full of all what u need , even the furniture ……..
    The most thing i love about Morocco is the simple life in here. Indeed , they were right when they said simplicity is the mother of beauty……
    I'm talking like that way because I like everthing is simple πŸ™‚
    Loves & much missing from Morocco.
    Once again,

    • kirin January 21, 2013 at 11:20 am #

      Dear Sanaa,

      Thank you for your comment.
      Moroccan goods are also very cute and popular among Japanese ladies. Many Japanese zakka shops deal with Moroccan goods such as slippers and tea pot and tea cups…^__^ I'd love to shop in Morocco for such cute goods someday!


  3. Maria January 20, 2013 at 4:09 am #

    I saw those phone recievers in a toy store in Arkansas, and some shops in New York! (I never saw anyone actually using them though,lol.) It's nice to see you're blogging again Kirin!

    • kirin January 21, 2013 at 11:22 am #

      Thank you for your comment, Maria!
      It was my first time to see the phone receiver, and so did my friend. We both laughed at it then. ^ ^;;
      I've wanted to blog about this during December but it took me so much time. :p
      Thanks for reading!!

  4. winnie January 20, 2013 at 7:34 am #

    Hi Kirin,

    I have the phone receiver too. My hubby is blue and mine is yellow. It will be good to use if you call or receive a call , talk for a long time when the smartphone will get warmer or your face will uncomfortable.

    But it a bit too Bulky! Quite inconvenience to bring out.

    • kirin January 21, 2013 at 11:24 am #

      Hi Winnie,

      Oh I see, you've got a good reason why you need this thing!
      Maybe getting warmer is one reason but if you talk too long with your cell phone next to your brain is not also good for health.
      Thank you for your comment now I see a proper reason! ^___^

  5. Nadja Lee January 20, 2013 at 7:57 pm #

    Whoa! I've shopped in Tiger in Copenhagen – and a lot of other cities too since it's everywhere here in Denmark. I don't know if it's because I'm used to the thing with going in only one direction or perhaps it's because were more rude here, but whenever I've wanted to pass certain goods or forgot a shopping basket, I'd either just turn around and try to dodge people or run through the store and start over ^^; Nobody really notices much.. Hmm.. I often find random things that I think are cute but I rarely buy it because it's things that I don't really need, but it's tempting to grab a couple of boxes, plates or accessories.

    It looks like there's a lot of boxes in the Tiger in Osaka! But the plates, containers, cupcake-things and everything else is exactly the same items they sell here, even the phone-speaker for iphones is written in Danish, haha! I certainly don't think it's necessary to have one, but most of the stuff in Tiger is like that, or is it just me?

    Ah, it's really funny to see things you've seen a million times in a totally different country! (So sorry if my comment is long!) Does the shop in Osaka also have a section with spices and snacks? Usually there's also books, cd's, dvd's, various candies and tools for painting here, is it the same? Or is it mostly containers and house-items?

    I think sometimes there are cute things in Tiger, but there's definitely stores that have much cuter items! πŸ™‚

    • kirin January 21, 2013 at 11:50 am #

      Hi Nadja,

      Thank you for your comment from Denmark, the headquarter of Tiger! Yeah, it should be interesting for you to find these familiar goods shot in Japan and reported online. ^_^

      Tiger store in Osaka didn't have spices and snacks at all, if I'm not wrong. Books? No I don't think there were any books sold out there. CDs and DVDs? No! Candies? No. Tools for painting…Yes! I saw them. I also saw many small games and some garment such as socks, gloves and scarves but they were not attractive enough unfortunately. ^ ^;;;

  6. natalia January 22, 2013 at 12:31 am #

    Here in Spain specially in Madrid and Barcelona its getting very popular. They have opened like 4 or 5 new stores in the center. Me happy bunny πŸ™‚

    • kirin January 30, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

      4 or 5 stores there? Wow! Then it's so popular there. @w@

  7. Jam @icoSnap January 24, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    Wow! That line is so long, but if it goes by pretty fast then its ok I guess. I might want to visit this cute zakka shop!

    • kirin January 30, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

      Hi Jam,

      If you've got a chance to visit Osaka, it's in Amemura. ^_^ But you'll find that some are cute but others are not really. :p

  8. Troo February 5, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    Hi Kirin-san,

    We have Tiger in a few cities here in the UK. I don't think it's a particularly good shop. As you've said, they're poorly laid-out and a pain to get around.

    I also don't think the products they sell are particularly good quality, and over here they are kind of 100円 store quality at 1,000円 prices haha. Perhaps in Japan they are more realistically priced because they have to compete with the likes of Daiso and Don Quixote?

    I also agree that while they're kind-of cute, they aren't cute ENOUGH. Especially for the Japanese market, where you have 70+ years expertise in the design and manufacture of kawaii.

    I certainly wouldn't queue one minute to get in, let alone 15 πŸ˜€

    • kirin February 9, 2013 at 2:51 am #

      Haha, nice comment Troo.
      Thank you for your honest remark.
      Yeah, in Japan, we can find goods in good quality at a very reasonable price and it doesn't mean it's not durable or sustainable. Plus we've got cuter design, which is not kind-of cute but seriously cute everywhere. ^ ^

      In Europe, I guess it was Italy when I happened to enter a sort of 100 yen shop equivalent (1 euro shop or 2 euros shop, whatever) but I was just shocked how the things there were a lot less attractive than what we could have got in Japan, even at less price.

      • Troo February 12, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

        And conversely when I went into my first 100円 shop in Japan I was blown away by the quality of goods on offer at such low prices. Obviously places like 3 Coins are better, but for a hundred yen, to get cute and usable zakka (for example) it just can't be beaten.

  9. Piperita Patty February 7, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    So nice to see Tigero Osaka!! One of my friends went to work there for a period. She's italian, but speaks japanese well.
    Here in Milan there's the first Tiger store opened in Italy and I like it a lot. In that store you don't have to move in only one direction, even if the furniture position make it easier that way and they sell also spices and food.
    There's a lot of stuff you can find for cheaper in the italian equivalent of 100 yen shops, but sometimes you'll find bargains and really cute stuff you can't find elsewhere. I think it's even a metter of luck. And even if some stuff isn't so nice, in general I like their sense of cuteness ^^

    • kirin February 9, 2013 at 2:53 am #

      Oh is there a Tiger store that doesn't make the shoppers move into only one direction inside the store? I think all their stores should do that. The one I experienced in Osaka was quite useless, less productive, less efficient…I think that is definitely allowing people wait longer outside.

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