Jupiter is an import food shop located in the underground Porta Mall at Kyoto Station, near the fast food restaurant, Lotteria. I learnt about it from a classmate who has now returned to his university in Australia. He knew that I was desperately looking for durians some months ago when the fruit was in season in Malaysia around June and July. A Singapore favourite, the "King of Fruit" is imported in large quantities from Malaysia to Singapore every year during that period.
As I had a craving for the fruit then, I made it my special assignment to hunt for it in Kyoto. I wasn't successful of course. Durians are a rarity in Kyoto. My Indonesian neighbour pointed me to AEON Mall near Kyoto Station but I didn't see any by the time I went there. So when my classmate told me that Jupiter was selling durian chips, I thought, well, I could settle for the chips instead.
|Durian chips from Thailand (second row) spotted at Jupiter.|
I paid 197 Yen for the bigger pack and 147 Yen for the smaller pack and happily brought them to class to share with my classmates, some of whom had never heard of or seen a durian before. It turned out that the chips were made of durians from Thailand and were specially treated to remove the strong aroma of the fruit to suit the Japanese tastebud. The feedback from my classmates was that they tasted not much different from potato chips. Disappointing! The chips did not live up to the reputation of the "King of Fruit" at all! I felt like I had misrepresented the "King" by sharing the chips.
Well, although my craving for durians was not satisfied with the durian chips, Jupiter sells a variety of other foodstuff from different parts of the world. So for an international student like me craving for a taste from home, it is still a good place to look if one does not mind paying abit more.
That is not to say that Jupiter is the only solution though. The other day, I found the cocoa mix that I was craving for in a local Japanese supermarket and apparently, there is a local factory producing the product here. So we just need to be alert and keep a lookout!