Thursday, September 10, 2015

INSIDE THE MALL: AEON Mall BSD - A Modern Japanese Philosophy

(Video: AEON Mall BSD City's Official YouTube Channel)

So, it's been a long time since the Inside The Mall series went live. I actually wanted to cover other malls but unfortunately I backed up my old photos of other malls on the eventually-broke HDD which pretty much explains why there hasn't been a continuation of this post series UNTIL somewhere in July where I found out that I visit this fairly recent mall located in the outskirts of BSD City, exactly in Serpong, Tangerang. The unique thing about this mall is not only is this the place where my sister works but also is one of the malls with an edge of its own: putting the Japanese philosophy to this mall, from culinary to lifestyle. This is AEON Mall BSD, the first and the only mall in Indonesia developed by Japan-based AEON Mall.

This actually marks my return in the blogging activity though not the first article since my long hiatus due to Student Study Service throughout August, which the title goes to my Teen Choice Awards recap I posted on my Livejournal blog. I've planned several articles to be released here, and this is one of them. In fact, I would post my Student Study Service experience both on this blog and my LJ (though this blog would be the first place and the original post) so that I can give you some insight on this Indonesia-exclusive academic agenda, but we'll get into that later on.


The front view of AEON Mall BSD City, a mall officially opened earlier this year in May, bearing a unique concept other malls never have

AEON Mall is one of the recent malls to grace in Indonesian grounds developed by AEON Mall, established in November 1911 and is part of the AEON Group (alternatively spelt as Aeon Group), a Japan-based retail and financial services group which also holds other AEON Malls in other countries including Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Mainland China, and also trades under the JUSCO name (Wikipedia), with a philosophy of putting the customer first while creating malls that enhance life quality, stimulate local economic activity and bring contributions to community life and culture. Additionally, AEON MALL Kashiwa is its first mall to be opened in 1992, and currently has 154 malls, including the one that is being blogged: AEON Mall BSD City (AEON Mall Corporate Profile).

Meanwhile the mall itself was opened on 30 May 2015. In developing this very mall, AEON Mall did a joint venture with Sinar Mas Land under the PT AMSL Indonesia banner in January 2013. PT AMSL Indonesia's Vice President Ryuma Okazaki stated in an Indonesian article that the mall bears the concept of "For Your Smart Living", which gives a one-stop service to fulfill complete shopping needs for whole family. Additionally, it offers various facilities and a unique shopping experience like no other.

As expected, the concept of the mall itself is meant to introduce a full-fledged Japanese culture, especially in culinary and lifestyle sector, but keeping the other cultures, including the local one, intact. The main store, AEON BSD City Store, gets you covered, starting from its ground floor where you can find booths of Japanese snacks along with other snacks, its own shopping mall (and they do have imported stuffs too :D) and bakery, and then you have the toy store on the first floor where familiar faces such as Pikachu, Doraemon and a Build Strike Gundam. Finally, on its second and last floor, there are stuffs for your home available. Other than that, you have a wide selection of international snacks and eateries plus a Food Culture store which is where you can get to enjoy the Japanese culinary while enjoying Japanese culture at the same time, all on the ground floor. The first floor meanwhile offers several clothing brands (standard brands you'd see in most malls) including UNIQLO, and then you have second floor with lifestyle brands, and finally, the third floor, complete with a game center and another food court entitled Food Carnival with more diverse selections, and of course the XXI Cinema which, unfortunately, has no arcade whatsoever.


Want that Sushi? Then you need to be prepared for minutes, or even hours of waiting in line! The ground floor of AEON Mall Store inside the mall is always full of curious customers wanted to try unique cuisines.

Throughout my three visits, I have explored this place deeper, and boy what a unique mall it is. The thing is, there are more, unknown brands worth trying in this mall, and that includes what's inside the AEON Mall Store's ground floor. As stated, the floor consists of its own bakery, shopping mall, and snack stalls, not to mention it also has imported goods too available to buy. Available here are a wide arrange of food ranging from local, Indonesian foods and snacks, to Japanese, and finally Western. There are actually more food stalls available and of course Food Culture on the same floor, but regardless AEON's own store would keep you distracted.

A bit of personal experience, the food stalls in almost every section in the ground floor of the AEON Mall Store was so full of people wanting to try Japanese foods that I spent minutes only to break free from the queue, in which after occasional Clash of Clans raids while holding my croquettes and looking for whether the queue has moved or not, what could be a home lunch with rice turned a dine in without rice due to time.

In first and second floors, you have several stores: clothing brands and toy stores for the former and living, everyday stuffs (which includes furnitures and stuff) for the latter. Notable stores in the first floor include clothing brands H&M and UNIQLO, which is one of the clear evidence that the mall puts varied cultures. But at the third visit, H&M store was still yet open, and I guess we had to wait for its official opening then. Back to the first floor, you will also find another set of toy stores too, if the one in its own store doesn't tempt you (but that would be unlikely :p). On the second floor, you can find another set of living stores where you can check some good furnitures for your house, but if you'd like to hunt some small but very useful household stuffs, Daiso Japan should be your place. With same price for all products, you can find a wide arrange of things, plus you could even get stuffs you won't normally find like sushi rollers, sushi makers, portable hangers, and much more.

A view from the top of Food Carnival, one of the second floor's temptations, alongside Amazone and XXI Cinema. The place where I take this picture is actually a Roller Skating Rink.

A mall may never be complete without a food court and game center adjacent to each other. AEON Mall is one of the hundreds that goes with this norm, with Food Carnival offering so many choices from Indonesian, Western, and Japanese foods plus Amazone as its game center, all on the third floor. Not to forget, you can also find XXI Cinema too, but unfortunately this has no Arcade whatsoever, which leads to the next question: Do Maximum Tune cabinets exist here? Look no further: you will find not one but two sets of MT5 cabs in the game center, and that's about it. Another racing game in this game center that you can find is OutRun 2 SP Arcade, with a deluxe cabinet shaped after Ferrari models. As for the Food Carnival, more eateries with varying tastes of Japanese, Western and Indonesian can be found here, as well as the Ramen Village if you fancy some ramen there. Additionally, if you ever explore the Food Carnival even further then you will also find the (Roller) Skating Rink in which you would have to go upstairs. It's not an ice rink with Mal Taman Anggrek standards despite the name, but it's a great roller skating fun nonetheless, even though I haven't had a try on roller skates.


Putting on the Show; For a limited time, AEON Mall BSD City gave us Sakura Park, a showcase of lights modeled after cherry blossoms in front of the mall's parking area.

For a limited time, everyone was given an opportunity to see the Sakura Park, a showcase of thousands of lights colored after cherry blossoms in front of the mall's parking area. As you would expect, there are so many people trying to get their photos, either those that only consists of the objects themselves or people wanting to pose in the location (e.g., selfie and stuff). Granted, I didn't miss this moment and take this chance to fill out my memory card with my photos, although I have to say that my takes weren't as good as others that took theirs in a right mood, but it did suffice.

Area-wise, the outskirts within the mall isn't so crowded, you could even take several shots somewhere, day or night, but I prefer night time the most, unlike other malls which outskirts are obviously always crowded with passing cars, bikes and stuff. From all three visits, I never forgot to take pictures of the streets within the area, and picking the right spots to capture specific parts of the area is a thrill of its own. But as good as the BSD area is, there is just one thing to remember: the annoyingly-long red light durations. Yup, in BSD area, do prepare yourself to face long stops between red lights because the green light somehow has a duration of just a blink of an eye.

In the end, the mall is a good place to have fun one step higher, especially if you would go one enjoyment level higher from the another BSD-based nearby mall Teras Kota at first glance. That is if you dare to go further and excuse the red lights.


What if AEON Mall BSD City is turned into a racing circuit? This is the loose illustration how it would look like if it were to be one.

So what's the meaning of Inside The Mall without making the malls look like a racing track? Sans Parung Mall, this post series is where I attempt to visualize malls as if it were a race track, and perhaps making it a WIP for games with track editor capabilities like GeneRally, in case you haven't noticed a post like this. Cilandak Town Square is the only mall that is a finished product, everything else is just an eternal WIP.

While this track might not become a GR WIP very soon, I visualized it as a high-speed course with occasional technical section, starting with a start/finish line which has to undergo a couple of considerations. Here, I originally wanted to put the S/F line on the outskirts of shop stalls 009 through 015, but then the pit stop would become awfully impractical and it's all walls, it would be too comical to have a pit stop that way. Finally, I decided to put the S/F and pits on the Main Atrium so that those in the higher floors are able to witness the S/F action. This way, the pits (grey in the picture) are placed on the right side to ensure a safe pit entry and pit exit. The high-speed section that spans from the Main Atrium would then lead to the hairpin of the West Atrium, but in order to minimize a chance of accidents and to maintain the circuit's flow, its radius is made bigger, and the next section would be a 90-degree corner which would lead to the Aki (Fall / Autumn) gate, where the action continues outside the mall.

Utilizing the sidewalk outside the mall, drivers would have to cross this very path until they reach the Event Plaza where a chicane that shares the Dunlop Chicane motif awaits as they re-enter the mall through the Haru (Spring) gate and proceed to the East Atrium where drivers would attack another 90-degree corner and then swerve left before going right, eventually putting them back to the home straight. The East Atrium section is also the section which my indecisiveness grew; whether I use the aforementioned corner or make it much easier by using a longer straight and a right hander, which would improve exit speeds, but then I thought the former has more challenge mainly because if I were to pick the second option it would be too much high-speed and there would be no challenge at all.

Another configuration also exists, this time still using the portion of the track up to the Haru gate but this time with a 90-degree right hander which skips the East Atrium section and instead gives a series of 90-degree turns that goes left and right (marked in red). Two additional shorter configurations also exist, which ignores the West Atrium, meaning that there's a 90-degree right turn lurking after the Main Atrium, but while one configuration follows the normal layout up to the East Atrium where the longer straight and right hander are used (marked in blue), the other rejoins to the Natsu (Summer) gate and traverses the 90-degree left turn which shares the same motif as the second configuration (marked in yellow).

The Fuyu (Winter) gate is unused, where if it does it would traverse the Cafe Street path. I could have made it my fifth configuration but since the layout is subject to changes I guess I would have to re-visit the place once more to give even more clearer pictures. Other than that, the circuit could be a decent ringer to Adelaide and Long Beach.

In conclusion, this new mall is not just for show. The fact that it redefines what a mall is, and with a wide array of non-mainstream snack stalls and eateries, this place is really worth a visit. You just need to prepare your wallet in order to enjoy yourself here, especially if you want to take it to eleven: trying some authentic Japanese cuisines while enjoying the Japanese culture either in Food Culture or Ramen Village. But even if you really want to eat, play, or curious, this is the place to be. Look no further.


This post is all about what AEON Mall BSD City is and what's inside. If you'd like to see another perspective of this mall, then this article by is a recommended read. The post details which culinary you should try there. Who knows, you readers have a similar tastebuds as the author of that post :D


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