Sunday, June 19, 2011

Our trip to Costco went differently from expected.

costco[1]Update: 2/29/2012 The Tamasakai Costco has re-opened since the 24th of February according to the website.

My wife and I had planned to go to Costco this weekend for our every other month visit to Costco. We decided to not take the highway this time and take my smaller, light weight car so we’d save money, gas, and have more space for stuff to bring back.
After a long 2 1/2 hour drive on mountain and city roads, we made it to Tamasakai city. In our haste, we overlooked one big detail of our trip. The Tamasakai Costco has been closed since the March 11th earthquake. Apparently the parking garage ramp structurally failed during the quake and collapsed on one unfortunate woman in a car. So the store has been closed for just over 3 months now.
IMG_0641[1]Honestly, I’m not even sure how or why just the Tama Sakai Costco got damaged in the quake. It was a fairly new building and no other places nearby seemed to have any problems after the quake in that area. Kanagawa is pretty far from the epicenter of the Tsunamis and earthquake so I am not really sure if faulty construction was to blame or just bad luck.
1[2]Yuko and I really didn’t know the extent of the damage till we got there and saw a closed up store and construction crew working on rebuilding the deadly ramp. We assumed it would be back up within a month or so and didn’t bother to check the website to make sure it was operating. So we ended up wasting a good 5 hour round trip drive.
The pictures above were obviously not taken by me. They were taken the day of the quake. I didn’t have my camera at the ready as I was driving and didn’t really expect to need it till it was too late. The building as of Saturday the 18th looked better than the above pictures but they now have scaffolding and tarps over the damaged area.
DVC00005Now for some upbeat news… After finding out Costco was not open, we decided to not let the day drive go to a complete waste. We ate at a nearby Red Lobster for lunch which was pretty good. I had a nice shrimp cocktail with a Texas steak and Yuko had some seafood crab pasta. We also went to a Baby’s R Us and another baby store for maternity goods shopping. So the whole trip wasn’t a complete loss.

7220651[1]On the way home for dinner we stopped at Rai Rai Tei ramen restaurant. I think their soup and toppings selection is very good along with their reasonable price compared to other ramen restaurants I’ve visited with Yuko over the years. I really am not much of a ramen fan but Rai Rai Tei has made me a fan of theirs. Now I can finally enjoy Yuko’s favorite food with her. I am sure she’s happy about that.
We’re really sad for the woman who lost her life there along with all the staff that haven’t had a job since the quake. The Tama Sakai Costco is supposed to re-open this fall. Hopefully the building will be stronger than before. It probably will since its taking so long to open it up again. Well, that and probably out of respect for the family of the deceased.


  1. No one lost their job and all staff members were invited to work at any of the other stores during the closure. FYI - 2 people died in the collapse of the ramp.

    Due to re-open Feb 24, 2012

  2. Thank you for your comment. I am a little surprised to see a new comment so many months after I posted this. I never bothered to update with any information about how many people perished in the ramp collapse.

    I was aware of the reopening date. I'm relieved no one lost their job due to this disaster.