Tokyo, a city renowned for its vibrant culinary scene, is also home to an array of international supermarkets that bring global flavors to your doorstep. Whether you’re craving authentic Italian pasta, French gourmet frozen foods, or specialty organic products, Tokyo’s international supermarkets cater to all your epicurean desires. Here’s a guide to the 12 premier international supermarkets in Tokyo:
1. National Azabu (Hiroo)
Just a four-minute walk from Hiroo Station lies National Azabu, a veritable haven for food enthusiasts. This comprehensive international supermarket is famed for its extensive selection of imported cheeses, rare snacks, and other global delicacies. Frequented by expats and locals alike, National Azabu offers an immersive shopping experience reminiscent of overseas markets. The area around the store also boasts a variety of cafes and bakeries, making it a perfect spot for a leisurely weekend outing.
2. EATALY (Harajuku)
Originating from Turin, Italy, EATALY is a large-scale Italian food market with a presence worldwide. The EATALY in Harajuku is a trendsetter, combining Italian restaurants and cafes with a marketplace selling cheese, wine, and assorted Italian goods. The Harajuku store and others at Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi and Gransta Marunouchi offer over 300 Italian products, including 30 new items exclusive to the Harajuku location. Their dedication to quality is evident in their fresh ham and cheese, sliced directly from the original log or wheel.
3. Kinokuniya International (Omotesando)
Kinokuniya, Japan’s first supermarket, opened in 1953, and its flagship store is Kinokuniya International in Omotesando. This established luxury supermarket is known for its high-quality ingredients. It offers a fine selection of fresh domestic produce and a rich assortment of international items, including spices and confections, carefully balancing Japanese and foreign food products. Conveniently located near the station, it’s an ideal destination for those dedicated to creating culinary masterpieces with premium ingredients.
4. Nissin World Delicatessen (Azabu-Juban)
For wine aficionados and cheese lovers, Nissin World Delicatessen in Azabu-Juban is an absolute must-visit. This store boasts an impressive selection of over 350 cheeses and a vast array of wines from more than 40 countries. With over 50,000 imported items, the second floor caters to all your gourmet needs, while the third floor is a dedicated wine haven.
5. Jupiter Coffee
Jupiter Coffee, with its six outlets in Tokyo, is a haven for coffee enthusiasts and those seeking a variety of imported foods. Known for its Arabica coffee, the stores also offer an array of drinks, oils, and popular Southeast Asian instant noodles. Their budget-friendly prices make global cuisine accessible to everyone.
6. Carnival (Kichijoji)
Located a short walk from Kichijoji Station, Carnival is a market-style import supermarket that brings the joy of international food shopping to life. The store is filled with international foods and charming foreign goods, offering a delightful shopping experience. They also feature a diverse menu of deli items and sweets, popular for their quality and affordability.
Caférrant, with nine locations in Tokyo, is not just about premium coffee beans; it’s also a treasure trove of imported foods. The store specializes in Italian ingredients, offering exclusive imported pasta and unique sauces. Daily free coffee-tasting sessions make this spot a must-visit for coffee lovers.
8. Picard (French Frozen Food Specialty Store)
French cuisine is synonymous with gourmet cooking, and Picard, a French frozen food specialty store, brings this experience to Tokyo. With a focus on delicious, high-quality, and visually appealing products, Picard has established itself as a destination for those looking to enjoy authentic French cuisine at home. Their range includes everything from everyday dishes to restaurant-quality meals, with a special emphasis on organic and BIO-labeled products.
9. KALDI Coffee Farm
KALDI Coffee Farm is a household name in Tokyo when it comes to imported food. Known for its coffee and spices, KALDI offers a wide range of international foods and is always up-to-date with the latest culinary trends. The free coffee tastings and seasonally changing displays add to the allure of this popular store.
10. Seijo Ishii
For those who appreciate the finer things in life, Seijo Ishii is an unmissable stop. This market is known for providing high-quality, delicious food items from Japan and around the world at reasonable prices. Special attention is given to their wine selection, ensuring that the best of the vineyards are brought directly to the consumers.
11. Bio c’ Bon
Bio c’ Bon is a popular organic supermarket chain from the streets of Paris to Tokyo. It has garnered a loyal following for its fresh produce and daily essentials. The Tokyo stores offer a variety of vegan products, including plant-based snacks and soy meats, along with popular French sweets, jams, and imported cheeseses. Their gluten-free products, imported directly from France, are a must-try for health-conscious consumers.
12. Harajuku Imported Food Store
The Harajuku Imported Food Store, with branches in Tama Center, Seiseki-Sakuragaoka, and Shin-Yurigaoka, is a notable spot in Tokyo for its array of imported products. Despite its small size, it’s a hit for its wide variety of foreign candies, attracting families and teenagers. Known for its vibrant and eclectic snacks, the store offers a unique shopping experience.
The store gains extra allure during the New Year with its ‘Fukubukuro’ or lucky bags filled with imported foods at great prices. Additionally, occasional sales across different locations provide more reasons to visit. It’s not just a store but a journey into international flavors, particularly for those with a sweet tooth.
Tokyo’s international supermarkets are more than just food stores; they are cultural hubs where the world’s flavors converge. From the bustling aisles of National Azabu to the refined shelves of Seijo Ishii, each store offers a unique glimpse into global gastronomy. Whether you are a long-time resident or a curious visitor, these 12 premier international supermarkets in Tokyo are sure to provide an unforgettable culinary journey.