I had just run my credit card through the cashier machine, when I saw the Shirokiya (Japanese department store) cashier put my 3 food items into two separate plastic bags. Two bags?! I had only purchased 3 small things: a deep fried scallop croquet, a shrimp tempura sushi roll, and a small plate of potato salad. Why two bags?
Then that I got flashbacks from my memory of living in Japan.
Ahhh! "so desu ne!" I remembered in half English and Japanese.
This is the way that the Japanese bag their groceries. They put all the hot food items in one bag, and all the cold food items in another. This practice allows cold food to stay cold, and hot food to remain hot. How could I forget those days of bicycling home with multiple bags of groceries balanced on each side of my orange handle bars--in the rain? Oh, the flashbacks.
So I guess Shirokiya's grocery bagging practice is thoughtful on one hand, but at the same time I do wonder how they negotiate this with the growing movement of eco-conscientiousness. I'll be keeping an eye out for future bagging practices in Japan.