Japanese Grocery Store
There’s some pretty great food sold at Japanese grocery stores. Below are a few pictures of things you probably don’t see every day in America. Looking through my photos I realize that I should have taken some shots of the enormous cat-sized white daikon radishes, packages of the staple food of nattō, and of more of every section in general, but here’s what you’ll get for the time being.
above is a photo of sliced Japanese pumpkins. They are eaten throughout the year, though mostly in the summer. They are a bit sweeter in taste than American pumpkins and are thrown raw on grills during summer barbecues, mixed into various stews and soups, fried up with noodles, or put to use in basically any way one can think of.
A lot of fruits can be a bit more expensive here than they are in the west, and most grocery stores have a small section of luxury fruits that can cost anywhere from $5-$40USD. The peaches here are amazing and are worth every yennie. Apples are a bit pricey but are enormous and juicy. Mangos and cantaloupes are among the most shocking in prices, the former costing anywhere between $4-$12 a pop and the latter anywhere between $10 and $40 for the super luxurious. The quality of these fruits are amazing though.
Persimmons grow abundantly on the hills here and are much more prevalent than they are in the US and are often given to you for free by the bag by nice neighbors. Clementines/tangerine oranges are the fruit of the winter and an entire sack of maybe 20 of them won’t cost you more than $5 in the countryside.
The selection of mushrooms here is incredible. Every grocery store has at least 5 different species and they are all very fresh, often grown by someone down the street. Each of the packages pictured above costs around 100 yen ($1USD).
A special package of mushrooms that were picked up in the local mountains. Very special and sort of rare.
Various types of fish. The fish aisle is usually the longest in the store and has tons of different types of fish, always changing with the seasons.
Packages of octopus.
You’ve probably heard of Kobe beef. Technically, Kobe beef only comes from Kobe, but Japanese specialty meat is sold everywhere and many regions throughout Japan have awesome beef with incredible marbling. Japanese beef is almost always cut into thin strips and is eaten with chopsticks, as apposed to the American slabs served and eaten with forks and knives.
Yakiniku sauce. In Japan, meat is thrown on the grill without being rubbed or marinated. Small dishes of this sauce accompany an individuals plate and the slices of cooked meat are dipped into this sauce. Pretty delicious; I hope I never lose it.
The pre-made foods in Japanese grocery stores are amazing. At a certain time during the day (usually around 19:00) they all go on a half-price discount. People flock around this aisle like seagulls.
One of my favorites: Koya Tofu with Shitake
Curry is a big thing here and a lot of families eat it at least once or twice a week (some even every day….). These packages are mixed with cooked rice. Pretty good bachelors food. There are tons of different types, I found the name of the one above to be a little funny.
arsenal of miso pastes
arsenal of different types of soy sauce
Japanese mayo is the best…. Its like what American mayo used to be, in bygone times that I can only dream of. No chemicals.
arsenal of japanese rice
each bag of rice is organized and priced based on prefecture of origin and prices vary widely.
Japanese beers. Taxes make them quite expensive.
mini beer for the cheap drinkers
Star Wars Pocky