Sounds of the supermarket

I’m always struck by the complex auditory landscape of Japanese groceries and large retail stores. From the employees shouting ‘welcome’ when you enter and tempting you with the day’s special in the different sections, to the pre-recorded ads that play when you move into certain areas of the store, all with background music, it can be a bit of a sensory overload.

This audio recording captures my local grocery with typical pop music in the background, people talking, and the beep of the checkout machines, when a traditional sound cuts in: a recording of an old-fashioned street vendor calling out to sell his baked sweet potatoes (yaki imo) that plays near a stand where this delicious treat is on offer.

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