When you start your new life abroad, there are lots of things that you need to get used to. Food might be one of your concerns if you are thinking of working or studying in Japan in the near future. There might be lots of delicious Japanese food that you are looking forward to trying, but you might also miss the food of your home country at times.
This article will introduce you to the way to get the groceries that are difficult to find at local supermarkets in Japan, focusing on Asian food with a Halal certificate.
- Japanese imported food stores
- Wholesale markets
- Asian food stores
- Online stores
1 Japanese grocery stores specialised for Import goods
If you could not find what you need at local supermarkets, grocery stores specialized in imported food would be where you should check next. Famous stores found nationwide are KALDI Coffee farm and Jupitar, usually found in shopping malls or department stores. They sell imported food from different parts of the world, often grouping them by region.
For example, if you are looking for Indonesian food, you will find Indomie, ABC sauce, and Kara coconut milk in the Southeast Asian food section. Browsing around those chain stores are probably the easiest way to find the taste of your home country, but the kinds of food that they offer are limited. You may also find the portion of dates and spices too small for the price.
2 Wholesale Markets
The Wholesale markets generally sell food in a big portion and lower prices, and they have some international items that are difficult to get at local supermarkets. Well-known businesses are “Gyoumu-super” and “A-price.” You will find imported frozen Halal meat, especially chicken from Brazil. The wholesale market is also a good place to buy spices and instant noodles, but the kinds of food that they offer are still limited.
3 Halal Asian food stores
Once you enter the stores specialized in Halal Asian groceries, you may feel like you traveled back to your home country. Meat, spices, rice, bread, drink, snacks, and other food that are difficult to find in Japan, are available here. The spices that you could not find at the Wholesale market, such as nutmeg whole and coriander seeds will be here. In frozen food section, you will find various kinds of chili, bread and meat. Some sell Halal-certified meat slaughtered in Japan, which is more expensive but fresher. Additionally, they sell snacks and dried fruits, and some may even offer handmade sweets.
In Tokyo, you will find a lot of them near Shin-Okubo station and also around the area near mosques. Some mosques such as Osaka masjid, Nishi-Chiba masjid, and Tokyo Camii have grocery stores beside them that sell Halal certified food. Some restaurants, such as the Pakistani restaurant Marhaba in Fukuoka also sell special spices and ingredients for cooking.
4 Online stores
Some of the stores also serve online. All you have to do is to click on what you need, enter your address, and select the payment option. Even if you do not find the stores nearby, you can get your necessities, usually within a few days. It may be a good option even for those living in a large city to buy something heavy such as rice and frozen meat. Some stores will ship free if you buy more than a certain amount.
In this article, I have introduced you 4 places that you can get your comfort food… Japanese imported food stores, wholesale markets, Asian food stores and online stores. It can be more expensive to buy them in Japan than getting them locally, but by comparing them, you will find the cheaper way to get your comfort food. Different stores may have different selections, so enjoy shopping!