August 31, 2013

Shopping in Nagaoka/長岡で買い物

Today, I went to Nagaoka by train. My main purpose was to go to the school festival held at my son's high school, but I was looking forward to doing some shopping in Nagaoka.
It's a one-hour ride from Shiozawa Station to Nagaoka Station, and I bought these on my way to Shiozawa Station to quench my thirst.
Roots Aroma Black (black coffee with no sugar) and Black & Black (gum).
Roots Aroma Black(無糖のブラックコーヒー)とBlack & Black(ガム)。
This particular canned coffee is quite drinkable. (Ten years ago, almost all canned coffee brands were hardly drinkable.)
I had Yasuda Yogurt soft-serve ice cream in the food court in the Nagaoka station building. As I mentioned previously, the best soft-serve ice cream I've ever had.
250 yen.
I had no food at the school festival. I'm still on a diet. Last year, I had just a lot of foods at the festival as I described here.
At the supermarket in the station building, I bought these:
Potato snack and Aki Aji (Autumn Flavor) beer.
This particular brand is available around this time of year.
Here are some of the items I bought in Nagaoka.
At Marcian (bakery), I bought bread called Dan.
Good enough, but I still prefer Muku.
Wines, green coffee beans (Brazil), roasted coffee beans (Mocha), Lotus biscuits, and prunes.
Close-up of the green coffee beans:
I will roast them myself.
Bag containing Mocha coffee beans:
This particular bag explicitly says that you transfer the beans in an air-tight glass jar and store in the freezer.
Lotus Biscuits:
Very good!


Sissi said...

Incredible! My Japanese friend loves these biscuits (they are called in Europe "speculoos" and have Belgian origins) and I brought her two packages last year to Japan. They have even invented a "speculoos" bread spread (a bit like Nutella but the taste is of course like the creamed biscuit).
I will remember the canned coffee brand. I was a bit worried to buy it in Tokyo... thinking it would be undrinkable. Is it always warmed before it pops out of the machine?

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: This particular biscuit brand seems to be very popular in Japan. No wonder because it is small in size, indivisually packaged, and tasty.

I usually refrain from buying canned coffee because I know it tastes awful. One day, I bought this particular brand casually just to quench my thirst (I do a lot of walking and running these days), and found it was good enough. Later I tried some other brands but this one (300 g, 98 yen) has been the best so far in terms of cost/performance ratio. One big advantage of it is that it has a cap, so you don't have to drink it in one sitting.

Dan said...

Hiroyuki....Sounds like you had a good time at your son's high school festival ...So you purchased some green coffee huh ? ...Do you have a roasting machine ...Today I went to a local coffee roasting plant and the guy was kind enough to let me in and watch ...He had a laptop hooked to the big roaster and he had so much stuff going on ...Same coffee tasted different at 3 different roast profiles ...I talked about Matsuya style coffee to him and he was interested ...But the coffee they served there was simply spectacular ...Ethiopian dry processed ....My wife who is a tea drinker asked me if they had added any blue berry flavouring ..It just bursted with blue berry notes and was incredible .....

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: Forgot to write:
Not always. The same vending machine may have buttons for hot and cold drinks. This particular brand is to be served cold only.

You are recommended to buy canned coffee and other drinks at a supermarket instead whenever possible, like I did, because they are cheaper there.

Dan: I have a milk can roaster. Will post about it later, but first, I have to use up all the roasted coffee.

Coffee with blue berry flavoring? That sounds interesting, because I like blue berries!

Cate said...

One year, when my husband was the bus driver for the Saigoku Kannon pilgrimage tour I was leading, his personal pilgrimage became a search for a drinkable canned coffee. After two weeks of trying every kind of coffee he could find, he felt so disappointed that there wasn't any good canned coffee and decided reluctantly to give up and just drink my favourite hot drink Sougenbicha. Next time I can refer him to this Roots Aroma Black - is it sold in the Kansai area, do you know?
Thanks for showing us all the goodies you bought

Hiroyuki said...

Cate: I hope your husband likes it. I think it's sold nationwide because it's a product of JT.

There are now many conbini that offer drip coffee at affordable prices. I want to taste it some day, but for now, I'm still scared to try it.

Sissi said...

I shouldn't have brought this brand to Japan then (I thought I was bringing something rare/unusual etc.)! (I did it with something else too and then saw it existed in Japan... You seem to have almost everything there!). Of course in Europe it's not individually wrapped (it's a Japanese specialty and I find it excellent!).
Thank you for the coffee tips! Might be useful one day.

Stacy said...

I enjoyed reading about the snacks you bought for yourself, for some reason these small intricacies of everyday life are interesting to me!

I remember the first time I arrived in Japan I was happily surprised to find vending machines that serve hot beverages in a can. (personally, as a Canadian I feel we need something like that here during cold winters!) My favourite hot drink was 'milk cocoa', of course we have similiar 'hot chocolate' here, but never in a can. The taste was also very different.

thanks for posting!

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: But, anyway, the buscuit is not something that you can find in every supermarket in Japan, so I'm sure your friend was overjoyed to see your gift.

Not individually wrapped in Europe?! I didn't know that!

Stacy: Almost every foreign traveler to Japan seems to be attached to vending machines. Vending machines are everywhere in Japan, and I often wonder if they ever make a profit...

Sissi said...

Visitors from Europe are very surprised by all the individually wrapped products in Japan. Here some cookies/biscuits are individually wrapped, but the majority isn't. From the waistline watch point of view, I find individually wrapped sweets perfect: they do not tempt you to take two or three like the whole huge box, which once opened is too irresistible (from my experience at least!)

Hiroyuki said...

From the waistline...?
That sounds very funny (laugh)!
A Japanese would say s/he likes individually wrapped products because they remain fresh or something like that.

Sissi said...

Haha! Maybe I watch my waistline too often to think about the freshness too when I see an individually wrapped cookie/biscuit... but of course it's the aim of the producers!

Sissi said...

Talking about vending machines... They saved my life (cheaply!) during walking "marathons" in Tokyo. I drank probably about 3 liters of green tea a day and if I had to go and buy it in a shop I would lose my precious visiting time! I was thrilled to learn I could use also my subway card to pay for the drinks!
A vending machine at every floor of my hotel was like discovering a treasure! You know, in many hotels in France for example not only such a thing wouldn't exist, but they do not allow you to consume any drinks/food you haven't bought in the hotel (sometimes even if the hotel doesn't have room service it's written in the "room rules"; it's so disrespectful towards clients, or rather the Japanese approach is very respectful in comparison).