It is always a great adventure to discover the supermarket of a new country. The cuisine, the ingredients reflect a lot of the culture of a country and it is very enriching and to dive into it for a real immersion.
It is possible to continue to find a majority of ingredients for Western cuisine, but it is possible to add more local products or discover new brands.
In Japan particularly, the supermarket is a real experience, by the language, by the products / ingredients, by the quantities sold, by the price, by the organization of the stores.
Shopping is possible in many places around Shioya, the nearest supermarket where you can find almost everything is AEON. It is easily accessible by car in a few minutes and on foot if you like to climb slopes! But there are also other shops around. We do not always find the same things in each store, so you will get used to different stores to buy this or that product.
Stores also often have their specialties, you may not find your detergent in the same store as for your tomatoes or your meat.
Organization of the store:
It is customary to take a basket and a small trolley at the entrance of the store. The Japanese shop several times a week so beyond the quantities purchased, you will find the gear small enough to feed your family for the week. It's all about organization!
You also need to be equipped with your own bags or a basket. It is possible to buy baskets with the image of the store.
At checkout you can give your basket to the cashier who will store it perfectly…otherwise she uses the store basket and then there are tables to lastore your groceries in your own bag. She will also often store your meat trays individually in small plastic bags.
We can also offer you plastic bags to carry your shopping, but these are chargeable.
At checkout, you will also often be asked if you have a loyalty card.
It is also very common to pay in cash, but the use of the credit card is more and more widespread.
The products / ingredients:
You will discover whole shelves of soy sauce and vinegar of all kinds. Unknown vegetables, roots, fish, octopus, and you will wonder how it is all cooked.
We will try later to share easy recipes with you to learn how to use many Japanese ingredients.
The quantities sold are often smaller than what we are used to buying in our Western countries. Potatoes are sold by 5 and tomatoes by 3. Milk is sold individually and meat is very often presented in small pieces.
This is when your basket will seem too small to buy everything and the final price of your purchases will quickly increase.
It is always possible to shop at Costco where you will find larger quantities … see too large. But it is also interesting to try to integrate more local products into your usual recipes to lower the bill.
The price :
Prices are often high and not consuming locally does not help matters. Some products are sometimes more expensive in some stores, there are also larger quantities in some brands.
You should therefore not hesitate to buy in different places according to your consumption habits.