Costco is Coming to Hiroshima City

Yes, the rumors are true- Costco, the American shopping warehouse, is opening its doors in Hiroshima on Saturday March 23rd (doors open at 8am). The location is along the main road, adjacent to the Mazda Zoom Zoom stadium.

Although there are a lot of import foods that you can get in Hiroshima at Jupiter (Shareo and in the shinkansen side of Hiroshima station), Pro-Foods, Pro-Mart, Yamaya liquors, they are often out of date, not quite what you want or expensive.

Many ex-pat residents have been using online retailers of Costco goods like FBC, TheFlyingPig and YoYo market because bulk items are available, the selection is greater, and prices are more reasonable. The big difference with Costco products is that things are sold in bulk and they offer a decent “own ‘Kirkland’ brand” product range which offers decent quality at bigger savings. It is also pretty fun to walk around these huge warehouse stores googling everything stacked high up to the ceiling!

costcoIf you have never visited a Costco, there is also a lot of American style fresh produce on offer: Seasonal fruits and vegetables like American style Halloween pumpkins, seedless grapes, bagels and Costco baked goods like sheet cakes for parties, cookies and American size muffins. There are also American style appliances, towels, sheets, office supplies, gardening accessories, pet supplies and more. Cereals, snacks, peanut butter, sweets & candies, pancake mix, mexican foods, vegetarian foods, beans, soups, jams, cake mixes, fruit, vegetables, bakery goods, cheeses and meats- there are a lot of imported foods available at Costco you won’t find at your local supermarket.  If your family consumes a fair amount of food, you will notice savings (or convenience) by shopping here. For example, compare a small piece of cheddar at our local for ¥400 yen to a huge cheddar block (better quality) for ¥900; a small box of cereal for ¥700 to 2 bigger boxes for ¥1,000.

Costco has a good bilingual website that gives details about membership, products, location and more. There are two kinds of memberships, one for any registered business or NPO, the other “gold star” membership is available for individuals. You have to be a member to shop at Costco and ID is checked at check-out. Membership is just under ¥4,000 for businesses and just over for individuals.

There is an “early bird” discount for Hiroshima residents who register to become members before the grand opening on March 23rd (at the Hiroshima warehouse). Pre-registration gets you ¥1,000 yen off.

There is some information about part-time and full-time hiring and recruitment on their website in English as well if you are looking for work.

When shopping at Costco, you can only use cash or two credit cards: American Express or Costco’s Mastercard (no annual fee). However, it is not yet possible to register for the Hiroshima Costco mastercard yet with Orico online, although I am sure this will be updated soon to accomodate Hiroshima customers.

Parking at Costco Hiroshima is a huge issue for customers as the store will be the only one in Japan to charge for parking and they apparently have been pressured by the city to charge crazy prices to deter people from driving and clogging up the already busy roads around the store. One hour is free as long as you spend 5,000 yen or more, the second hour is free if you spend 10,000 yen or more. But starting from the 61st minute, you will be charged an outrageous 3,000 yen per 60 minutes to use the Costco car park irregardless of game day, holiday, or time of day.

Related Costco Articles and News

jjwalsh

Been enjoying living, working in and writing about Hiroshima since '98- co-founder, editor, photographer and writer for GetHiroshima.com / GetHiroshima map + GetHiroshima magazine

12 thoughts on “Costco is Coming to Hiroshima City

  • January 15, 2013 at 1:55 pm
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    Also I have found a really good meat option if you are looking for something hard to fine in Japan. Try:

    http://www.themeatguy.jp

    They have an English and Japanese website. Postage is relatively cheap and the prices are quite good. Perfect if you are looking for whole chickens or good sausages and bacon. I really miss my bacon sandwiches back in the UK 🙁

    Reply
    • January 15, 2013 at 2:24 pm
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      Thanks for the recommendation Tom-
      if you are also at a loss to find healthy, organic, vegan, vegetarian foods, herbal teas, brown rice and other Japanese and imported environmentally friendly products – a great online Japan resource is Alishan Tengu: http://store.alishan.jp/index.php?main_page=index&language=en
      They have a range of stuff available that even Costco won’t have 🙂

      Reply
      • January 22, 2013 at 10:53 am
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        Thanks for the heads up buddy. I will definitely have a look. You can never be too sure what you are buying now a days. So if I cannot grow it, having a reliable source is a must. Cheers 🙂

        Reply
      • March 3, 2015 at 4:26 am
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        Thanks, JJ! We’re moving to Hiroshima from the U.S. in July, my husband will be so happy to have a source for Amy’s pizzas and vegetarian meat products, for the occasional comfort from home. 🙂

        Reply
  • January 21, 2013 at 8:05 pm
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    Don’t know if this is really the right place to add this comment, but in case anyone living in the Hiroshima area is looking for good fruit and vegetables at good prices, Pro Mart in Nobori-cho is excellent. It’s on the Hakushima streetcar line, just over from Cusco Cafe. I bought a box of four packages of really good strawberries for 798 yen.

    Reply
  • January 25, 2013 at 9:09 pm
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    This is probably a stupid question, but when it says cash I’m guessing it means Yen correct?

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    • January 26, 2013 at 7:48 am
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      hi tori-
      not a stupid question since it is a very American store, but, I’m pretty sure cash means Yen. It would be nice if they would extend the courtesy of multiple currencies at the register like an international airport shop would.

      Reply
  • February 5, 2013 at 10:50 pm
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    I just heard some very disappointing news, if true, about the new Costco in Hiroshima. Apparently, Costco Hiroshima intends to charge for parking. And here’s the deal: spend over 5000 yen and get one hour free. Over 15,000 yen and it’s two hours free. Anything over two hours, regardless of how much you spend, and you’re going to have to pay for the additional parking by the hour. All fine and dandy, I guess, to keep people from parking near the stadium for free on game days. But for legitimate customers who may be traveling from some distance away, this is going to suck if you want to spend half a day there, as I have every time I have gone to the Costco in Fukuoka. Almost forgot, the hourly cost of parking at Costco will be 3000 yen per hour! Yes….that is a three with THREE zeros after it! My source of this information is a neighbor who will be working there when it opens next month.

    Reply
    • February 6, 2013 at 9:15 am
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      that does sound crazy, but can’t say I’m surprised as that area has become prime real estate lately, there are a few 100 yen parking areas around, but if you are shopping costco, you don’t really want to park far away do you? Let’s hope they adjust their parking prices for out of towners like yourself.
      Thanks for the update Rick!

      Reply
  • February 6, 2013 at 4:16 pm
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    Let hope they do not mind collecting their shopping trolleys from different locations around the shopping center. You can be sure that they will have gates on the car park that will restrict customers from wheeling the trolleys to their cars parked outside.

    Reply
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