A Guide to Food Buying in Japan by Carolyn R. Krouse is a useful guide that has been written to take the mystery out of shopping for food in Japan. It includes photos, Japanese script and useful phrases. A good place to learn Japanese recipes is www.Japan-guide.com (Click on Food Section).
You can read shopping adverts, online, for the major stores near where you live at Shufoo.net. It's all in Japanese but all you need to do is type in your postal code and click a search button and you will be presented with a list of stores near you and links to view their adverts.
If you're interested in finding stores that sell food from back home, you have multiple options to choose from:
Foreign Buyers' Club (FBC)
You can buy almost anything from this store: salsa, olives, blueberry pie filling, lentil soup, cheese, contact lens supplies, condoms, cold medicines, vegemite...and so on. They have-mail order catalogues, and a good on-line site from which you can order, or you can journey out and visit their store on Rokko Island in Kobe. Also, they give JETs a discount.
9:30am - 5:30pm, Monday - Thursday
9:30am - 7:30pm, Friday & Saturday
Click here for a Map
Kobe Grocers is just a short walk north of Sannomiya station. They have a good stock of halal food and they are a good place to find turkeys for Thanksgiving (for all the Americans).
Hours: 10:00 am - 7:30pm, daily
Access: 10 minute walk from JR Sannomiya. Parking available.
Zest offers a wide range of foreign foods, specializing mostly in organic groceries, imported foreign snacks, fruit smoothies, and Indian cuisine. They also offer a small selection of Western desserts and breads at the counter.
9:00am - 8:00pm, Monday to Saturday
9:00am - 7:00pm, Sunday
Access: 15 minute walk from Shin-Kobe Station, down the street from the India Club (Indian community centre).
Costco is a large wholesale store located in Amagasaki. You need to buy a membership card to shop there (about 4,000 yen a person), but if you buy enough you soon get your money's worth. They can ship your stuff home, and it's very cheap (only a few hundred yen per BIG box). Plus they can do refrigerated and freezer shipping. Their website is www.costco.com/Warehouse/LocationTemplate.aspx?Warehouse=861
Tengu Natural Foods
Organic food home delivery service. They sell natural goodies such as bagels, herbal teas, vegetarian chili beans, whole-wheat bread, granola, tortillas, etc. Most orders are received within a week. Call the number below to receive a free catalog.
Price Club Online delivers products from around the world for residents in Japan.
Motomachi shopping arcade
There are several small but well-stocked foreign food stores in the Motomachi shopping arcade in central Kobe, if you just want to browse.
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