Grocery shopping in Japan

When I was back in Portland I had two different friends ask me about grocery shopping in Japan. In general it’s pretty much the same as it is in the States, but of course there are some differences.

For starters, things are more expensive. Especially fruit.

This melon will set you back about $30 (I’ve seen melons up to about $80).

These apples are about $1.30 each. I can’t remember how expensive apples are in the States. I was never much of an apple eater. $1.30 is expensive, right? But just look at them. Every one of them looks perfect. I think that’s why the cost is high–they will NEVER sell a rotten apple 😉
These mangos are about $16 each! Look how carefully packaged they are.

Speaking of packaging, that’s another key difference. Japanese grocery stores take packaging very seriously. These apples and oranges must be extra delicious since they are each wrapped individually.



Look how perfectly each strawberry is placed.


And take a look at this interesting “meat fan,” as I like to call it.


The meat section is another difference. In the US grocery stores usually have a pretty large “meat” section, featuring beef, pork, and chicken, and then a relatively small fish section. It’s the opposite in Japan. The meat section is pretty small and the fish section is HUGE.

Hey little fish!


Of course there’s not just fish, there’s a variety of delightful sea creatures, such as octopus…


cuttle fish…


apparently, “boiled luminescent squid”…


and this squid guy that was on special…


And, of course, another difference is that everything is written in Japanese! Very rarely something will be in English. The above examples with English was because I was at Costco. See, even your favorite cereal has had a Japanese transformation…



7 Comments Add yours

  1. Terry says:

    Heidi, you not only write extremely well — your photography is absolutely scrumptious!!!! Thank you for your every post. Keep on living your dreams. You inspire all of us – the children you teach, your colleagues and friends, strangers on the street, your aunts and uncles and, of course your amazing Mom and Dad and bro… you inspire us all to dream bigger. Love you sweetheart! auntie T

    1. everyinch says:

      Thanks!!! I haven’t done a writing-heavy post in a while. I might have to do one again soon if you’re a fan 😉

  2. Helen says:

    I ditto Terry’s comment! Those pics are great!

    1. everyinch says:

      Thanks! I just took them on my iphone!

      1. Terry says:

        to that (I just took them on my iPhone) I say “GOOD EYE”! Aye, yi yi! Such talent. You do have a unique and wonderful way of framing, and seeing the world around you Heidi!

  3. Brent says:

    oh the packaging… bags inside of bags, with a bag to hold the bags! lol.
    Nice post!

  4. Grandma/Helen says:

    So, what does the cuttle fish taste like? It looks quite strange. Is it a delicacy?

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