By JapanTravel Guest
Zaza City is a small shopping mall within walking distance of JR Hamamatsu station on Kajimachi street, open 7 days a week, 10 am to 8 pm. The mall is separated into two distinct malls with a bridge linking the two.
The East building nearest JR Hamamatsu is the more boutique/independent mall. This building is full of kooky shops which sell eclectic and kitsch goods - if you’ve ever been to cat street in Harajuku, you’ll love this mall. These shops have all sorts of cute and weird accessories (such as eyeball earrings to satisfy the Kayry Pamyu Pamyu in you) to cute bags and hand towels. There are also shops selling clothing tailored to the goth rock/visual kei scene, so if you want to look like an extra from Alice in Gothic Wonderland, here’s the place to buy and outfit. The basement has a book store with a small selection of English books as well as a small arcade. The second floor also has Taka Hairdressing, I mention this as it’s reasonably priced and some of the staff speak a reasonable level of English! On the 3rd floor is the Hamamatsu Diaorama factory which is an exhibition of Takuji Yamada’s tiny figurines. Its 400 yen to enter but it's only here till September 17th 2012! The top floor has Hamamatsu children’s plaza which is a play area for children. Note: the further up you go in the mall, the less there is. After looking around there’s also a Baskin Robbins (aka the 31 flavours as it’s known in Japan) by the entrance for you to sit and enjoy an iced treat.
The west mall is more the brand-name mall. The basement has a large 100 yen store which has a really good selection of products, a supermarket and a small food court. The 1st floor contains a small Uniqlo (a reasonably priced clothes chain in Japan) as well as a Comme ca Ism and a Tommy Hilfiger store. On the outside of the mall there's a Mos burger and a Starbucks café. The 2nd floor has a Toys R Us, a small shop that sells snacky type foods and a Dippin Dots ice cream stand. There’s a Taito game station arcade where you can flip tables, bang taiko drums and shoot zombies in the House of the Dead. There’s also a print club booth area where you and your friends can have photo booth style pictures of each other that you can personalise. You receive a set of stickers of you and your friends which you can treasure forever! The third floor has a Toho cinema which shows all the latest releases (including 3D). Look out for ladies' night on Wednesdays where women get discounts.
Zaza City probably is on the same scale as the malls you see in the US but it has a reasonable selection of shops which makes it a worthwhile shopping destination in Hamamatsu.
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