Japanese grocery store list
(Last updated 2/12/2013)
Looking for a shopping list to start your Japanese cooking adventures? Start here!
Bento fans should also check Where and how to buy bento boxes and equipment on our sister site, Just Bento.
A frequently heard lament: Help! I can't find [insert Japanese ingredient] at an Asian store!
A general Asian grocery store/supermarket is not the same as a Japanese grocery store. Most large general Asian stores are Chinese-focused (e.g. Paristore in France), or Korean-focused (e.g. H-Mart in the U.S.). This means that they only have limited shelf space for Japanese food. Yes, there is a difference between the cuisines!
For the best selection of Japanese groceries, go to the stores that are specified as being Japanese. (Two chains with supermarket-level stores are Mitsuwa and Marukai in the U.S. Seattle-area mini-chain Uwajimaya also has supermarket-sized stores.) Your second choice is Korean stores, who usually stock a large selection of Japanese foods. Chinese focused groceries generally only carry a small selection of Japanese food, and may even carry pretending-to-be-Japanese-but-really not food (such as snacks with odd Japanese on them). See this article about where to get Japanese foodstuffs for more.
This is a rapidly growing set of lists of Japanese grocery stores around the world. Ambitious yes, but with the help of Just Hungry readers, we hope to put together a definitive collection of lists. This is definitely a work in progress - please bookmark it and check back often. Note that Korean and Chinese groceries are also noted sometimes, since they often carry a lot of Japanese ingredients.
This is a list put together by you, the reader
We need your help! Tell us about your local Japanese grocery stores! in the comments! Please include the following information if possible - and please add the comment to the appropriate geographical region. Thank you!
The basic information needed is:
- Name of store
- Phone number
- Website if available
- General comments about the size of store, selection, etc.
I've added an additional category for stores in Japan that visitors shouldn't miss - for selection, uniqueness, etc.
Additional comments, corrections etc. for already listed stores are always welcome.