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  • Juju Kurihara

Supermarket theme songs in Japan

Updated: May 10, 2023

One of those things that I notice in overseas is the sound of people. Not only they speak louder than Japanese but also I notice how quiet the background is. As soon as I come back to Japan, I'm surrounded by tingles everywhere I go, at the station, in the train, in the bus, in konbini or even at the zebra crossings.

When I first went to London, it was so quiet that they don't even announce where is the nect stop and I missed my stop so many times. Also I was so customed to sleep in the bus...

There is one song that sticks to my head from my childhood. Actually it's a theme song of one supermarket in Japan where my father used to shop. From the entrance to the exit, I was listening to this song and without noticing, it stayed in my head which suddenly poppoed out the other day.

The supermarket is called Sanwa. Oh, how poppy and positive song...

It even says that "the town is now shining and is kinder than yesterday, the town is now shining and is fresher than yesterday. Enjoy shopping... My friend Sanwa..."

Each Japanese supermarket has their own theme song.

This is Jasco's song. "Meet at JASCO, at JASCO..." I think this is too repetitive and the sound is so squeaky. Thank god there was no JASCO around my house.

This is Izumiya, seems like this is a chain store in Kansai area.

This is a chorus, they have put a lot of effort. "Izumiya is waiting for everyone's smile. The happiness is come come come around the corner, Izumiya!"

I can only laugh now.

Then now, there is a big Japanese chain supermarket called Ito Yokado. I've noticed that they have various music but what I didn't know was they have meanings. It's more than the theme song, it's a secret code.

For example, this is Help from Beatles. This will be on when there is a rush of customers and they need more people for the till.

When it starts raining, they put Rhythm of the rain by the Cascades.

Fortunately, I've never heard of these songs but when there is a robbery, Carmen! This, I can kind of understand and it make sense. It'd be so funny if all the staff started running after the robber.

And the last one is, I hope I never need to hear.

Symphony No. 5/1. Allegro con brio by Beethoven. Can you tell when will they play this?

The answer is , when they had a bomb threat. A bomb over a supermarket sounds quite unrealistic but who knows. I just hope that they neve need to play this.

It's quite tiring always surrounded by tingle sound. Now I feel more relaxed going in to the supermarket or shop where there is no constant music. How about your country?


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