Grocery Shopping in Japan

From what I’ve seen during my two days of shopping for groceries here, I’ve come to realize that fruit in Japan is a tad pricey. However, this melon really takes the cake (ha ha). This is just a plain ol’ canteloupe. Back home in Canada it would probably cost me $5. In Japan, this plain little ol’ melon costs $30. And I’ve been told that’s a ‘good price’.  If someone brings you a melon, you better do like five hundred bows to them. I love the little melon rings they sit in. It’s like they’re on tiny podiums.

Other than the fruit, shopping at your local grocery store is largely the same. One thing I noticed is that there is more unwrapped fish and seafood here are all laid out for you to touch and take, whereas in Nova Scotia all our unwrapped seafood is usually behind a counter, and you have to ask someone to give you what you want.

I like brown rice tea (genmaicha), so I was unsurprised to learn I like brown rice bread (genmaipan). What we think of as multigrain or whole wheat bread is non-existant in Japan (unless you go to fancy European-style bakeries), so I’ve been eating this brown rice bread in its place, and it’s so good. If you know the ‘toasty’ taste that genmaicha has, it’s kind of like that… in bread form. Mmm.

The only milk available is usually full-fat milk. I’ve been told that skimmed milk, as well as other percentages are very unusual here in Japan. You might find them in a larger city, but certainly not in little Miyano’s grocery store.

Bizarre uses of English

There are of course many funny uses of English that would never make it to market in English. Seachicken, Creap, and Sand Rolls. I’ve actually seen ‘sand’ used as an abbreviation for sandwich a few times on different product, so heads-up if you’re in Japan and looking for food, ‘sand’ doesn’t necessarily mean grainy rock particles found at the beach.

So much fun food here. Looking forward to discovering even more!

Author: Mel Hattie

Hi, I’m Mel, blogger and tea sommelier at Mel Had Tea. I love to explore, learn, and meet new people. Nothing inspires me more than reading, traveling the world, talking to strangers, and drinking tea.

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