.. Get out of this place. Is a phrase from the song I.K.E.A by a Swedish Ska-band called Lord Eddy and the Thugs. Now I haven’t listen to this song in probably 10 years but on Saturday, as I was going to Ikea in Shinmisato, it suddenly just started playing in my head.

Yes, being Swedish I had to check out the local Ikea store. It is not too far away, about 45 minutes from Wakoshi station by train. When I got there I realised I might as well be at an Ikea in Sweden, except for the Japanese posters in the bottom of the picture, of course…
The building it self is probably an Ikea product, assembled using an Ikea Allen key…

Walking around in the store was a strange feeling. Obviously the place is packed with stuff, and everything has has price and information tags in Japanese, except the name of the product which was in Swedish. And even in the bookshelves there were Swedish books. This I thought was rather un-Ikea-like. Surely it must be cheaper to buy books in Japan for this reason, rather than shipping books from Sweden. This does not sound like something IK (the founder) would do, based on stories I’ve heard about him.
Very happy books, like “The war in Tjetjenie” (Kriget i Tjetjenien), the black horizontal book with yellow/gold text. To be honest, there were some Japanese books aswell.

Obviously shopping is inevitable, so after having walked around for a while I picked up a couple of kitchen towels, 50 yen each. Although when I got to the food store, I did pick up some supplies for upcoming events at the office. The first of which will be on Thursday. But I have to keep this a secrete so that I won’t spoil the surprise.

On my way home a got a second, unexpected dose of Swedishness. At one point I had to change trains and while waiting for the second train, I see someone holding this bag.
The text lacks a bit in Swedish grammar, but basically it says “Today’s homework are you alone?”. I have seen other bags with Swedish text during previous visits but never gotten a good photo, until now.

All in all, it actually ended up being a nice visit to Ikea. I’ll probably go back soon to get some stuff for the apartment.