Post: Monday June 20, 2016
Even if you don't drive in Japan and the nearest grocery store isn't within walking distance, shopping for food and daily necessities doesn't have to be a chore. With the country's efficient, advanced and reliable door-to-door delivery service - where you can specify the time of delivery and rest assured knowing it will arrive on schedule and in good condition - online grocery shopping in Japan is a time-saving and fuss-free option. Once you start clicking your mouse for food, you won't want to go back to the traditional way of pushing a cart down the aisle ever again.
Here are some handy sites to surf for the week's groceries.
Food Shopping in Japan Made Easy with 8 Awesome Online Outlets
The Meat Guy
Just as the name suggests, this is your one-stop shop for all things meat. From slabs of USDA choice T-Bone steaks, Morgan Ranch beef, Australian lamb, turkey, veal or kangaroo meat, if you're craving it, they have it. The Meat Guy also does processed meats, like English bangers, exotic cocktail sausages and frozen foods like your good ol' Aussie beef pies from Vili's. For your summer barbecue, delight your guests with their “one pounder ridiculous burger” set that comes with burger buns (because the regular burger bun won't cover it), and other burger patties from lamb to crocodile and even camel.
The Foreign Buyers' Club
What started as a small group of Americans in Kobe pooling their orders of food imported from home has grown, some 20 years later, into a bastion of online grocery shopping in Japan. It's a fully-fledged food import and delivery service, also doing bulk purchases for international schools in Japan. In addition to food, you can find books, toys and learning material for children here. As the company also positions itself as an online delicatessen, cheese lovers will also be impressed by the full range of products available. Some items from Costco are also supplied here. Become a member at 1,000 yen a year and you can get special offers and benefits. Be sure to check the website for any changing prices or other conditions.
If you like wine, this is your one-stop shop for all the best tipples. From New World wines to Old World wines, Boudreaux to Bourgogne, celebratory champagnes and daily wines, Enoteca has it all. The online wine specialist sources wine directly from wineries themselves, allowing for choice and rare wines at reasonable prices that are well worth making a toast to. You may want to buy an assorted wine set for the sake of variety, but if you know what you are looking for, case discounts are available online.
The Flying Pig
No, online store doesn't specialize in pork-related delivery, much less flying ones. It is so named because getting reasonably-priced imported groceries and goods used to be as impossible as an airborne hog! But now, TFP offers Costco Wholesale prices at a markup of within 20%, which still keeps prices competitive. So if heading to a Costco warehouse in the neighboring prefectures doesn't sound like your idea of weekend outing, check out the wide range of imported food, snacks and general merchandise from the comfort of your desk. Be it from wholegrain Cheerios to Best Food's Mayonnaise or ranch dressing to fresh bagels and everything you need to whip up a Tex Mex meal, TFP has it. Just shop at the site and pay at the nearest bank or post office and you will get your order in a few days.
For some, food shopping in Japan means seeking out the best imported goods; for others, it means basking in the tradition of local Japanese cuisine. Here you can buy local Japanese food and produce as well as beautiful Japanese-style cutlery that adds a touch of eastern elegance to any meal. If you are new to Japan, this online shop also provides handy information on local food, culture and crafts. If you feel like sharing a taste of Japan with the folks back home, Japan Square also delivers to customers living in 120 countries all over the world in addition to Japan. This is a good site to get famous regional produce such as local government certified fruits, teas, pickles, bonito flakes and seasonings. There is also a wide selection of additive-free, uncolored food and made-in-Japan baby food.
Tengu Natural Foods
Vegetarians, rejoice! For those who are tired of avoiding the meat and dashi that is part and parcel of food shopping in Japan, there is hope. Based in the bucolic foothills of the Chichibu mountains in Saitama prefecture, west of Tokyo, the Alishan Organic Center provides vegetarian produce via mail order and wholesale, and there is also an organic cafe and organic event space onsite for grassroots activities and events. Tengu Natural Foods, their online branch (registration required), supplies organic and vegetarian foods from all over the world. For those with gluten allergies, there is a wide range of wheat-free and gluten-free products here, and offerings like free trade coffee and tea. Grab healthy snacks such as Kale or Quinoa chips here for a guilt-free nibble.
Started in March 2016, this shop is the relative “new kid” when it comes to online grocery shopping in Japan. They aim to provide people living in Japan with a fast and easy way to buy popular food and living items from Costco, IKEA and other importers. Here, you can get hard-to-find items at the click of a mouse, and order birthday cakes and party food for celebrations and events. Counting amongst their corporate clients are schools, charities and community groups; individual customers can sign up for membership and collect points for shopping. If you have a craving for IKEA's swedish meatballs, you can order them online here as well, with a wide range of pickles to choose from.
Power up with fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables straight from Sapporo, where SuperOrganic Foods is based. It also sources fresh produce from Kyushu, bringing you the best from both the North and the South of Japan. Here you can also get organic ham, sausages and rice. Orders come in a box, and a trial-sized box of the season's harvest costs 5,450 yen, including shipping. Shipping is also free if you sign up for regular delivery of their vegetables, so you can eat rural even while living in the city center.
Online Grocery Shopping in Japan has Never Been Better
With so many options for online grocery shopping in Japan, getting the best and freshest ingredients for you and yours no longer means having to do battle with the elements outside your home or office. Membership discounts and point programs also make this a savvy way to shop for regular items. But, if ever you feel like checking out the offerings on the shelf, do be assured that there is a wide variety of international supermarkets in the Tokyo area as well. Wherever and however you choose to shop, you'll never be left craving your favorite foods in Tokyo.
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