Jalan Jalan Japan in Seremban
Let me confess something.
Like a lot of blokes I am not a big fan of shopping, at all, in fact I loathe going to big department stores with endless aisles full of the same stuff.
So when an offer to attend the unofficial opening of new store Jalan Jalan Japan came into my lap it would be true to say I didn't jump at the opportunity.
That was until my research unearthed that amongst many other things, they sell surfboards, plus the store was just a five minute walk from my home - Ok, they really got me at surfboards!
Surfboards, water toys and pools at Jalan Jalan Japan Seremban
Jalan Jalan Japan is the birth child company, now in Malaysia, from one of Japan's largest secondhand chain shops, Bookoff. This mega store company sees100 million people buy and sell goods in their stores throughout Japan each year, a cultural phenomenon which began there in the 1990's and is set to sweep through Asia - one of re-use and recycle. In Australia they are called Opportunity shops and are usually run by charity organisations or churches.
Givenchy tea set at Jalan Jalan Japan Seremban
In Japan owners must pay a specific fee if they throw away any goods, such as televisions, air conditioners, washing machines, refrigerators and many other small and large items. A vast majority of these goods that were thrown away are in near-perfect working condition and are quality brand products.
So wow, Jalan Jalan Japan is now coming to Seremban, Malaysia, and will open their third store on the 3rd level of Centrepoint in Ampangan, on June 2nd after already establishing the first outlet in One City, Subang Jaya, Selangor in 2016 and the second outlet in Cheras, in 2017.
The name 'Jalan Jalan Japan' is perfect for this shop because, "strolling" around is exactly what it feels like when you walk into the open store full of “pre-loved” goods from Japan, which includes mens and women's apparel, bags, shoes, household stuff, baby goods, toys, hobbies, sporting goods, musical instruments, ornaments, furniture, books, SURFBOARDS and soooooo much more!
It really is like wandering through a massive version of somebody's home and seeing what they own, knick knacks and all. It just doesn't feel like shopping, more a search for something you didn't know you needed until you entered the shop!
There are no endless aisles and aisles of identical items, it's the kind of place where you want to stop and forage through every centimetre to find that unique gem or keepsake because basically there no two things are alike on the shelves.
Well, that's not entirely true.
When you get to the kids toy section there are a multitude of plastic railway scenario sets with tons of add-ons,buildings, fences and model people and there are miles and miles of the same plastic tracks, but you know what I mean.
Jalan Jalan Japan Marketing manager Daichi Shuzui at Jalan Jalan Japan Seremban
Overseeing the whole operation in Malaysia is 41 year old, father of two, marketing director Daichi Shuzui who returned to Asia after working with the company in the US which now hosts 10 stores in places like New York, Los Angeles and San Diego.
Colourful glass banana leaf dish at Jalan Jalan Japan Seremban
" We hope to expand all over ASEAN countries and chose Malaysia as our HQ," said Daichi in front of a bevy of excited guests and bloggers minutes before the doors opened.
Japanese slippers/shoes at Jalan Jalan Japan Seremban
"There are over 800 outlets in Japan and overseas," he said "and we want to expand the culture of re-use and no wastage that we grew in Japan during the 1990's to Malaysia. We hope to add many more stores in the future, places like Melaka, Penang."
Mens shoes at Jalan Jalan Japan Seremban
"We convinced Japanese people to use goods for as long as possible and not to just throw away after a short time. Japanese people generally live in very small confined spaces and lack personal storage space so it becomes necessary to sell fairly new stuff to "pre-loved" stores."
Luggage at Jalan Jalan Japan Seremban
Restocking the shelves in Jalan Jalan Japan stores happens every hour so the chances are that if you shop in the afternoon you will quite possibly see very different items than what you saw in the morning. Selling pre-loved goods in Malaysia appears to be working very well for this innovative company as every month 5-6 containers are sent here to keep up with the demand for these high quality, cheap goods.
Water toys at Jalan Jalan Japan Seremban
Myself, I came away with a top-quality Velbon tripod for my camera and about ten big brand shirts for less than RM100 that combined would be valued at over RM400.
Exclusive and Original branded Ladies hand bags at Jalan Jalan Japan Seremban
My only regret is that one guy beat me to all the Hawaiian shirts, but as I mentioned before it won't be long before a new shipment arrives.
So on June 2, "marilah kita jalan jalan ke Jalan Jalan Japan di Centrepoint Seremban" because when you jalan jalan in Malaysia you always discover new things, so just like its name suggests Jalan Jalan Japan hosts a treasure trove full of surprises that keep on coming, which is the best description of a shop that I could happily visit every day!