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Junction 8 is a mall conveniently located next to the Bishan MRT Station. The shops and stalls within the mall caters to most of your local needs. This variety of shops and stalls range from cinemas, eateries, entertainment shops, departmental stores and even specialized hobby shops.
The number of restaurants there is astounding, and there are hawker centres scattered around Junction 8, so one will always be spoilt for choices when it comes to choosing what to eat. Also, I like how the Bishan library is situated right next to Junction 8, so I can always pop in to borrow some nice books or settle down for a quiet moment after I'm done with my shopping at Junction 8.
My favourite place has got to be the rooftop garden at Junction 8. It seems like not many people know of the place, so it's usually quite quiet in its own secluded corner. It's a nice place to chill and hang out with friends.
I personally love the mini roof top garden they have. There is a playground as well for the kids. The roof garden has been the location of several of my friends birthday surprises. It is well spaced and you can take a breather if you are tired of shopping.
There is always a steady stream of people due to the trains but I personally feel it’s alright. There are couple of schools nearby the mall, so expect a lot of students in the afternoon. Overall , Junction 8 can be a one-stop place for everything you need and to students, it’s a great place to hang out.
If you are looking to drop some of the weight in your pocket ( or if you're really just bored out of your mind) you can go to the arcade which is also located on the same floor. The arcade is rather large, and boasts a large number of game stalls. There is also air hockey, and the usual basketball throwing game stall.
If your interest is in electronic gadgets or you are looking to buy a new refrigerator, keep in mind that there is a Best Denki on the 3rd floor. It sells almost all electrical appliances, from Cameras to large LED 3D TV's. For Apple fans, there is a small Apple section inside Best that sells a lot of Apple and 3rd party Apple compatible products. If you are unable to find what you want there, there is a Nubox store on the ground floor that sells more Apple products.
If you are looking for something to eat, there are several fast food restaurants here. MacDonalds, KFC, Mos Burger and Long John Silver. On the other hand, if you are looking for something more classy or expensive, Sakae Sushi is a place you should check out. Alternatively, there is also a Swesen and Pizza Hut located on the ground floor.
For those on a budget, there is a food court on the 4th floor, with many individual stalls that might appeal to you. If it doesn't, your on a budget anyways so don't complain. A small note to those arriving by car, the car park is usually full so don't expect to get in immediately.
Overall, it's a nice place to go for a new experience. Repeat customers may find it dull and boring though.
There usually is a crowd, especially ever since the Circle Line opened. But with good reason, too. There are no lack of eateries, with several prominent names like Manhattan's, Haagen Daaz and Thai Express available to choose from among several others.
This makes it an extremely convenient and affordable place to shop, much like majority of the malls in Singapore. If it's convenience you're looking for, Junction 8 is perfect. If you're looking for a memorable experience, this is not the mall for you.
One plus point about J8 - there is a large array of food places from Watami to Saybons to Ambush to Manhattan Fish Market. Expect queues during lunch and dinner hours!
It's a good place for families though - There's Fairprice and Popular and a library nearby.
I worked as a weekend Erdinger beer promoter there once and it was a very pleasant experience. Not only were the staff friendly, the music was in fine taste (even though it repeated itself for the next 6 hours of my shift) and the air con was suitably comfortable. What an ill way to start a review (air con, really?) so let's move on!
Finest has a lot of strange, quirky finds. I saw a whole section of queer noodles and tidbits in Japanese and another section of pleasant finger food and miscellaneous with ingredients all in Korean. I love eating things I do not understand so naturally, I spent quite a bit buying based on cover and regretting the weird sensory tastes later.
But yes, back to my work. Working there made me realize how painfully smiley J8 shoppers are. Everyone who tried my Erdinger small samples thanked me and made hearty small talk. No one was impolite or rude. Everyone was all smiles and happy. I am glad to have sold enough beers to keep them with their brilliant smiles except in alcohol intoxication this time.
With great (albeit strange) food, good music and happy passerbys who'd say "oh excuse me, sorry!" when you step on their feet, J8 is definitely a place to go to for groceries.
What's great about J8 is that for bubble tea fans, they have a Gong Cha outlet within the mall, and a KOI outlet just outside! Word of caution though: queues can be really long at times, especially at KOI. It is easily accessible from Bishan MRT station and Bishan interchange. From J8, you can also easily visit the community library there, as well as Shop & Save, and a few other shops and eateries around the corner, so it just makes J8 a very efficient mall, and it is not difficult to go to if you have quick or easy access to the red or circle lines.
Level one has about four main entrances to each part of the mall and the best part, level is not linked. Well, it may be a good partition organising the fast food resturants and dining resturants separately, it can be quite annoying if one decide to get from one resturant to another (especially when my friends and I cannot decide on the food we want). There is no luxury of walking few rounds before settling down. Furthermore, due to the heavy flow of traffic, transition from one part to another wasn't smooth at all. I was separated from my friends as we move around as we were all shoved here and there. I doubt there is a sale somewhere but everyone seems to be in a rush (not the path for commuters heading to the bus interchange, inside the mall).
Well, I suppose I have to just learn my directions and be more understanding.
To be fair, Junction 8 has a wide variety of shops satisfying shoppers from all walks of life. From housewives to office ladies to teenagers and of course men. The location is ideal for a more centralised place for meet-ups and discussions.
I wouldn't recommend window shopping here as there will definitely be no place for a good (quiet) chill out after the long walk.