Top 5 International Supermarkets and Import Stores in Tokyo to Get That Taste of Home While in Japan
While you should definitely eat as much delicious Japanese food as you can while in Japan, it's only human nature to crave a taste of home every now and then, or even to want to try something completely new. So, whether you are a tourist hit with a sudden pang for your favorite snacks from back home, or a long-term resident looking to stock your pantry, here are some of the best import supermarkets in Tokyo that offer a huge variety of global fare.
Aug 08 2019 (Sep 09 2020)
1. NISSIN World Delicatessen
Located in the fancy Azabujuban area, NISSIN World Delicatessen is a one-stop-shop for those who want to pick up international foods as well as wine and spirits while in Tokyo. The three-story complex features parking and a flower shop on the 1st floor, wine and liquors on the 2nd floor, and a vast selection of international foods and fresh produce on the 3rd floor. They import products from all over the world, and carry a particularly large selection of wines from California. They also have sweets and snacks from America, Europe, South America, and more, so you are likely to find one of your favorite treats from abroad or back home no matter where you are visiting from.
One of the highlights of the supermarket is definitely the meat section, which stocks a huge variety of meats from all over the world, including some rare types such as crocodile meat from Australia! There's also a selection of Halal meat products, which can be quite difficult to find in Tokyo. There's even a ham gift shop, so why not get the perfect luxury ham for a meat-loving friend of yours?
2. Seijo Ishii
Seijo Ishii is a chain of international supermarkets that can be found mostly in train stations, malls, and other similar facilities throughout the Kanto and Kansai areas of Japan. Most Seijo Ishii locations are on the smaller side, but they are nevertheless brimming with delicious goods from all over the globe, including cheeses from Italy, chocolates from Germany, salty snacks from the United States, and more!
Seijo Ishii also has a range of exclusive products, such as this strawberry butter that was so popular it was limited to one jar per customer before completely selling out at many locations across Japan. They also have a range of bakery items such as breads and pastries that have gathered many fans from Japan and abroad.
3. KALDI Coffee Farm
As the name would suggest, Kaldi Coffee Farm is a coffee-lover's dream, as they stock over a dozen varieties of coffee beans to be ground in-store, as well as pre-ground and instant coffee and a host of coffee paraphernalia such as grinders, filters, kettles, and mugs. They even hand you a complimentary cup of coffee (hot or cold, depending on the season) to sip on while you shop!
In addition to coffee products, Kaldi Coffee Farm stocks a wide variety of internationally-sourced and original-brand products that run the gamut from fine meats and cheeses to instant noodles, chocolates, canned goods, and teas. Kaldi Coffee Farm has hundreds of locations all across Japan, which has made it one of the most popular destinations among long-term foreign residents of Japan who want to source ingredients for their own home cooking.
4. Natural House
Natural House is the place to go in Tokyo for a wide variety of organic produce and imported health foods. There are 13 locations around Tokyo, with the main and largest branch in the trendy Aoyama area. While the fresh produce is the main draw, they are also fully stocked in pre-packaged and canned foods from around the globe, and there is also a fresh deli section of prepared foods such as sandwiches and bento (lunch boxes).
In addition to organic produce and other food products, they also stock a wide variety of dietary supplements and beauty products that can be otherwise difficult to find in Japan. There's also a large selection of vegetarian and vegan products.
5. National Azabu
Finally, there is National Azabu, another international supermarket located in the upscale Azabu neighborhood of Tokyo. In addition to the wide variety of international food products including alcohol, snacks, sweets, and more, they also have a section where you can make your own nut butters on the spot, right there in the aisle!
Like Natural House, National Azabu places a big importance on organic foods, and they have one of the largest organic products sections in all of Tokyo. While many of the products here may be on the pricey end of things, they are actually quite reasonable when you consider the long distance many of these products had to travel to land in your grocery basket! Another highlight of this supermarket is that they have a delivery service with the Tokyo area, so you can have fresh groceries delivered to your home or hotel.
Tokyo Has Plenty of International Foods... If You Know Where to Look!
Japanese food is delicious, and you should definitely eat as much of it as you can while in the Japanese capital city of Tokyo. However, there's no shame in craving a favorite snack from back home every once in a while or trying a different type of cuisine. Also, it's no secret that Tokyo has fewer vegetarian, vegan, and halal options than some other large cities across the globe, which can make eating Japanese food difficult for some people with dietary restrictions.
Whatever your reason for seeking out international foods while in Tokyo may be, it's good to know that there are plenty of options to be found! Be sure to check out these 5 import stores and international foods shops (as well as some other options such as Costco!) while in Tokyo, if you need to find some non-Japanese food items.
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.