When I arrived to the International Residence at Nagoya University my room didn't have any daily life utils so I had to buy a lot of things.
A soap pack, liquid for washing dishes, liquid for cleaning furniture, shampoo + conditioner, toilet paper, sponge, pan, glass, knife, spoon, fork, scissors, wiper... and also food and ingredients to cook. I have an OpenOffice spreadsheet to keep track of my daily expenses. This way I can better administrate my money.
At the beginning I only found some small supermarkets. Then another student, from Ethiopia, told me about a big supermarket and we went together. There were 4 floors and they had lot of things. They not only have Japanese food but also food that we use in Spain (including olive oil and my dearest Nutella!).
There is also another giga-supermarket (called Yamada, in Hoshigaoka) that has any kind of electric appliance, computers, phones, etc. I was looking for a machine to cook rice (suihanki) and i took some leaflets to read at home. I also got information about the mobile phones. It seems that the cheapest company is Softbank. The iphone is cool but there are some limitations if you don't crack it, so I have to look for other mobile phones and compare.
One important thing here in Nagoya is that they are very strict with the recyclation procedures. I have to separate the garbage in several bags like the one in the picture and I can only take them out from 6 to 8 am (yes, am=in the morning!) at specific days.
But in order to separate the garbage I have found a useful trick. Most of the products have a symbol telling you which kind of garbage it is (recyclable paper or plastic, burnable, unburnable, pet...).
For example, in the chocolated milk in the picture there are two symbols. It means that the straw must be in the recyclable plastic bag and the box must be in the recyclable paper bag.
I think it is a good system because it forces you to separate the garbage, and it discourages you from generating too much garbage because you will have to get up very early to throw it out and because you have to pay for the bags.