Tokyo 1972: Shopping And Eating

By Divya G

In the 1970s, Tokyo was a very different place. There were a lot of large department stores and small shops that sold everything from clothing to electronics. Many people would have deliveries from these stores delivered right to their homes or offices via bicycle delivery men who would pedal around town all day long delivering packages to customers. The food culture in Japan is also vastly different than what it is today, with sushi being more popular back then than it is now. This blog post will take you on a walk down memory lane through the streets of Tokyo 1972!

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Tokyo, Japan 1972. I walked up the stairs to a small grocery store. My uncle had called me over just before lunchtime with an errand for my mom and dad’s housekeeper, who was sick in bed at home today. Buying groceries back then wasn’t like it is now, where you have big-box stores all across town. You had to go down the street or around the corner for any shopping needs, and if you wanted something more exotic, then there was a small import store nearby that dealt solely with products from Taiwan.

In this grocery store, I walked by shelves of foodstuffs like soy sauce, vinegar, rice cakes (a type of Japanese snack), and miso (a Japanese soup base). There was a display of foods that I had never seen before – breaded pork cutlets, canned salmon, frozen shrimp. Further down the aisle were rows of vegetables like cabbage, carrots, potatoes.

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This grocery store is different from what you see today in Tokyo, with many small shops selling goods like clothing and electronics.