I spent an afternoon in Tokyo today.

Little Tokyo, that is in Pasong Tamo, Makati.  It is right beside Plaza Fair, and the old Makati Cinema Square.

You know you’ve arrived in Little Tokyo once you spot the earthy orange torii arch at Pasong Tamo (Left).

I went there in search of this Japanese grocery store that some Pinoy otakus on the web were blogging about, called the Choto Shop. Items they said could be bought at Php75 only.  Since I need some supplies for my FooDorama Challenge, I decided to try out this much-talked about shop, too.

I set a date for my adventure to Little Tokyo. I chose this day, a Monday since it was my day-off.

The atmosphere in Little Tokyo can be a bit intimidating if you went there without any purpose or agenda. Good thing I knew what I was looking for.

Choto Shop was easy to find. Even if the attendants were Pinoys and the shop was located in my own country, I still felt like I entered a strange foreign land.  There were a handful of Japanese customers around and almost everyone was talking in Japanese.

Lost in translation: There were a few signs in English translating the products on the shelves.  You can either guess the contents of a package or just ask for assistance.

However, I must have come on a bad time since all the things I was looking for were not available on this day.  For example, I had wanted to buy Morinaga ice cream that blogger Garando was talking about. But most of their refrigerator shelves were empty.  Supplies were coming in later in the day. The shop maybe called Choto (“wait” in English) but I didn’t expect I would do exactly that.

I was a bit disappointed because I thought I had come a long way for nothing.  I do understand that items at Choto are limited to products only worth Php75.  And their items do run out fast.

It was a good thing that there was this one attendant who helped me out. She said that maybe I should try the other Japanese grocery shop just around the corner. You mean, there’s another one? My hopes were raised as she gave me the name and location of the other shop.

Maybe my day wasn’t such a waste after all…

To be continued in Part 2: Yamazaki Grocery