Hokkaido is a very popular destination for both local and foreign tourists. Famous for its beautiful natural landscapes that change seasonally and for its fresh seafood and farm products…the real pleasure of a trip to Hokkaido is that you can experience emotions that you can’t anywhere else in Japan! An attractive destination, Hokkaido offers incredibly mesmerizing views especially in winter when the land is covered with snow.
Unexpected troubles arise when traveling to an unfamiliar destination. Visiting drugstores in Japan might be a solution as they offer a large variety of goods that might be useful to solve some of these unexpected problems.
Amongst drugstores, Satsudora is very popular drugstore in Hokkaido. With over 200 branches across the vast island, everyone who lives in Hokkaido knows Satsudora. Most of Satsudora branches are located in Sapporo, so some tourists may have seen these stores when visiting the city.
Satsudora puts a lot of effort in welcoming foreign tourists by offering many tourist-friendly services ensuring a comfortable shopping experience at its branches. Such care towards foreigners has resulted in Satsudora gaining immense popularity! Let’s figure out what kind of tourist friendly services are offered at Satsudora!
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What makes Satsudora special!
(1) Spacious and well-organized display!
Totally different from other typical Japanese drugstores where aisles are narrow and crammed with many items, the wide aisles at Satsudora enable you to shop around the store easily even when you’re using a big shopping cart. The products are organized well making it easier for you to spot what you want, thereby creating a comfortable shopping environment.
All products are displayed neatly based on category so you won’t feel lost in the store. Since you can find the products you want to buy easily and quickly, you can experience a stress-free shopping environment. Browse through the products and pick what you like!
2. Wide variety of products & many exclusive products from Hokkaido!
Satsudora prides itself on its wide range of products. You can also purchase exclusive products from Hokkaido that you cannot find anywhere else.
In addition, some Satsudora branches sell unique items like Japanese kitchen knives and character goods, which are loved by many foreign tourists.
That’s not all! Satsudora also offers many limited edition products like supplements, skin lotions, and beauty creams, which are only available at its branches.
One of the USPs of Satsudora is that most products are offered in small packages and quantities. You don’t have to buy something you like in bulk, you can instead buy a variety of items you’d like to try. Many foreign tourists are not familiar with Japanese products, and selling them in trial size or small packages is a form of Satsudora’s thoughtfulness.
3. Multilingual support
One of the most stressful aspects of traveling in Japan is the problem of language. Satsudora always have staff who speak English, Chinese, and Korean at their branches. You won’t have any problems even if you can’t speak any Japanese.
Each branch of Satsudora is equipped with Payke, a remarkable translation machine that translates product information instantly in many different languages. You just have to scan the barcode of the products you want to buy, and Payke will translate the product information to your preferred language in no time.
4. Excellent complimentary services!
Each branch of Satsudora offers free Wi-Fi and free battery charging stations for mobile phones. It also offers fast tax-free procedures, so you can save your time at the cashier even if you plan on buying a lot of things! (Some branches also have currency exchange machines.)
5. Long business hours!
This is something you should know! Although drugstores in Japan usually close at 8 pm or 9 pm, most Satsudora branches remain open until 11 pm or midnight! There are also some branches that are open till about 3 am in the morning. Satsudora is a place to stop by when you have urgent needs, or when you want to shop around at a leisurely pace.
Currently, most Satsudora branches are located in Hokkaido, but it will expand its business by opening more branches outside of Hokkaido in the near future. You may spot Satsudora signboards in places like Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Okinawa soon.