Home > Shopping, Unique > Super Tamade! Super Tamade!

Super Tamade! Super Tamade!

February 23, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

If you have ever lived in Osaka City, then the mere mention of Super Tamade is sure to bring forth either a smile or a grimace. At any rate, it will invoke some kind of feeling. Perhaps that feeling when you ate their “super” meat and spent a super-swell evening bent over the toilet. Perhaps it is a memory–a memory of the time you first saw Super Tamade and said, “Wait, that’s a supermarket?” Yes, it’s garish exterior, brighter than Disneyland, a pachinko parlor, and the sun combined, will shock you.

This is the store that lives up to its claim of having gekiyasu (ultra-low) prices, with one-yen sales and the lowest prices you will find on any food item in the city, even beating out the penguin-emblazoned Don Quijote stores (well, in prices, not in weirdness).

But be warned: even if you speak Japanese, you can expect most employees to speak nothing but Chinese in response to you. Along with Super Tamade’s suspiciously low-priced octopus and suspiciously colored meat, you will find a suspiciously high number of non-Japanese working suspiciously long hours for (possibly) suspiciously low wages. But I suppose that’s how they achieve gekiyasu prices.

It’s not surprising that Super Tamade was founded in 1992, coinciding with the final decline of the Yakuza, in the south part of town where the Yakuza held considerable influence. Perhaps they just moved from prostitution, smuggling and gambling into the supermarket business instead.

Whatever the case may be, Super Tamade is worth at least one visit. Oh, and don’t even thinking of eating their ready-made meals. Not if you value your health.

Photos by Wikicommons
  1. February 24, 2010 at 3:21 am

    Basically, if I want to have an adventure I’d rather forget, I’ll go there. Noted.

    BTW, while reading your post, I remember a scene from a favorite cartoon, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. A character from the said show, Blu, keeps saying “suspicious”. And the annoying but funny way he says it keeps resounding in my head while I was reading your post. Check it out on youtube if you have time…

  2. Adam
    February 24, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Looks like way more fun than Winco or Costco!

  3. March 27, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Loved reading this, I used to live around the corner from the Daikokucho super tamade. When Max Value opened near OCAT that was pretty exciting too! Weird how stuff like supermarkets can excite you when you live overseas!

  4. Bjorn
    April 30, 2010 at 1:45 am

    It’s funny that the staff is all Chinese since ‘tamade’ (他妈的) means ‘f***’ in Mandarin.

  5. Lee Sensei
    November 3, 2012 at 2:12 am

    I lived down the street from Tamade in Moriguchi-shi…and that place was awesome! I ate their ready-made nigiri, sashimi, oden, nikku-jyaga…and bought produce/meat there all the time! Despite some funny looks from my local friends/colleagues, we all knew it wasn’t as bad as most people said it was. I had Seiyu, Fresco, Aeon/Jusco all in town, but hey Tamade all the way! Cheap suntory boss coffee…knick knacks for 100yen…once your ears learn to block out the noise/music then you’re good to go.

  6. Chuck
    January 28, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    I currently live down the street from another Tamade in Osaka, near Namba. There are several Tamades in the area and I consider them ALL a reliable source of food. I’ve been eating their ready-made meals at work for months now – sometimes out of the fridge for several hours before I get a chance to consume them – and I haven’t been sick once.

    I spoke with another foreigner upon arrival in Japan and he, too, urged me to steer me clear of Tamade; however, after I mentioned to him a couple months later that I’d been eating their food regularly and enjoying significant savings, I ran into him there the following week, purchasing dinner for the evening! Turns out, he’d simply never tried it and took someone else’s word on it.

    Bottom line: In a country that burdens inhabitants with higher-than-usual living expenses, Tamade is a popular haven for available, cheap, healthy supermarket food (albeit rather noisy and tacky) for home or on the go. Plus, it’s 24 hours (though apparently is run by Yakuza).

    Find them here: http://www.supertamade.co.jp/store/index.html

  1. February 23, 2010 at 11:36 pm
  2. April 27, 2013 at 2:00 pm

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