Shopping In Japan

Japan is a shopping paradise.
The sales staff is generally very polite and attentive. You will have a totally different shopping experience.

Type of shops



When you walk into a store, the sales staff will greet you with “irrashaimase” which means "Welcome! Please come in.".
Customers are not expected to respond.


Japanese supermarkets are organized in the same way as in other parts of the world,
but visiting a supermarket in Japan could be a lot of fun, because you can see how the Japanese lifestyle is unique.

【Japanese Supermarket unique points!】

  1. As soon as I walk in the supermarket, I can smell the hot sweet potatoes.
    They are soft and gooey in the center.
    It’s very nice to have them when it’s cold or chilly outside.
  2. Fruit is very expensive at department stores.
    You have no doubt seen the $60-$100 watermelon and $15 strawberries on social media, but at local supermarkets they are more reasonably priced.
  3. Countless varieties of soy sauce selection. Japanese use different type of soy sauce depending on where you live.
    There are 3 main traditional types of soy sauce.
    The most widely used type by far is Koikuchi soy sauce. Koikuchi means “dark mouth”.
    It’s the soy sauce of choice in the Tokyo/Kanto area.
    The second most popular type of soy sauce is Usukuchi soy sauce. Usukuchi means “lighter mouth”.
    That’s why many people is believing Koikuchi soy sauce is salter than Usukuchi soy sauce, but it isn't.
    Usukuchi soy sauce is saltier than Koikuchi soy sauce by about 18-19%.
    Another type of soy sauce is Tamari soy sauce. Tamari means a thick, almost viscous soy sauce.
    It has become popular in the west. It’s used as a dipping sauce for sashimi.

※Most Japanese supermarkets are open between 10am and 9 or 10pm.
※Some supermarkets in major cities such as Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya are open 24/7.

This is a label, which explains the origin and important information of the product, such as processed date, quantity and price.
label (引用:

Ingredients list

When you want to cook Japanese food, make sure you have proper Japanese ingredients, because Japanese dishes are made by balancing flavours.
Here are the most common ingredients you can get in Japanese supermarkets.

  1. 砂糖 (Satou) = Sugar
  2. 塩 (Shio) = Salt
  3. 胡椒 (Koshou) = Pepper
  4. 醤油 (Shouyuu) = Soy Sauce
  5. みりん (Mirin) = Sweet Sake
    Mirin is a subtly sweet Japanese rice wine with a flavor profile similar to sake, but a lower alcohol content.
  6. 料理酒 (Ryourishu) = Cooking Sake
  7. 酢 (Su) = Vinegar
  8. 味噌(Miso) = Soybean Paste
  9. サラダ油 (Sarada abura) = Vegetable Oil
  10. オリーブオイル (Oriibu oiru) = Olive Oil
  11. ごま油 (Goma abura) = Sesame Oil
  12. マヨネーズ (Mayoneezu) = Mayonnaise
  13. ソース (Soosu) = Sauce
  14. ケチャップ (Kechappu) = Ketchup
  15. コンソメ (Konsome) = Consommé Seasoning
  16. 鶏がらスープの素 (Torigara suupu no moto) = Chicken Stock Soup
  17. カレー(Karee) = Curry
  18. シチュー(Shichuu) = Stew
  19. カレー粉 (Karee ko) = Curry Powder
  20. 小麦粉 (Komugiko) = Flour
  21. 片栗粉 (Katakuriko) = Starch
  22. チーズ (Chiizu) = Cheese

Convenience stores

There are more than 50,000 convenience stores in Japan, which leads to strong competition between the major operators, such as 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, and Lawson.
Convenience stores in Japan are the best in the entire world. But what makes them the best?

  1. Delicious meals!
    You can go to convenience stores anytime and always can find something delicious and fresh. Even in the middle of the night.
    There are various types of things to choose from.
  2. Always clean bathrooms
    You can't find cleaner bathrooms in convenience stores anywhere else in the world.
  3. You can get alcohol
    There are two areas where you can buy alcoholic drinks in a convenience store: the refrigerated section and non-refrigerated section.
    In the refrigerated area you can buy beer, wine, umeshu, or sparkling wine. in the non-refrigerated area you can get sake, whisky, and other liquor.
    There are other countries in which you can buy alcohol in convenience store, but they are not as common as in Japan.

Best things to buy in Japan

【Here is a list of items which you should buy as a souvenir】

【This is my list of must buy items in Japan!!】

  1. Cling film: They are easy to wrip off and don’t stick together.
  2. Eye drops: There are a variety of eye drops. They are usually reasonably priced.
  3. Umbrella: Japanese umbrellas are the best. They don’t break easily.
  4. Snacks: They are all good!! My favorite is "Matcha Kit Kat".
  5. Pens: Stationery is one of the most popular souvenirs in Japan. The quality is very good. I’d recommend Loft to shop in.

Online Shopping

Online shopping in Japan can be amazing to buy domestic items cheaper and quickly delivered.
Even in the countryside, you can get your bought items within 2 days.
The most common companies for delivery are Sagawa, Kuroneko, Yamato and Japan Post.

【A list of popular online shopping sites】

    For Electronics
  1. Rakuten
  2. Yodobashi
  3. Amazon Japan
    For Groceries
  1. Seiyu
  2. co-op
  3. Summit
    For Fashion
  1. Zara Japan
  2. Zozo Town

【Payment Options】

The two most common payment options in Japan are credit card and bank transfer (振込, Furikomi).
In my opinion, Japanese credit card is the best way to go! Less fees.

【Delivery options】