Japanese Grocery Shopping 101: Western Goods


Every night when I come home I walk through the market at the Matsuzakaya department store by home.  Tonight Iactually took the time to walk through the isles and try to figure out what things were.  Around me were people rushing to pick up goods before heading home, just like me, but Iwas able to take my time and really drink it all in.  It is amazing the things you miss when you are rushing around or worried about what all is happening around you.

Sometimes you just need to be able to make some of the foods you are used to; it makes you feel like home – it makes you feel a bit more “normal”.  Tonight I bought some items to remind me a bit of home.

Japanese stores have, quite possibly, the best wrapping and presentation of goods on earth.  For example, glass jars are wrapped carefully by the clerk in foam wrap, and taped close.  Most stores have tape with their name and branding on it.  So much attention to detail!  Granted, my small glass jars of peanut butter and jelly may have cost me almost $8, pair them with some freshly baked bread and you have a mighty fine little meal.

Last weekend I bought some dried pasta and sauces.  Tonight I found a few things to go along with…and Ihad passed right by them countless times before.

Butter is a bit expensive in Japan, but that is likely because they do not use it so much as we do in the West.  However, take that $4.50 butter, add some garlic, salt, and pepper…. dinner!  Granted, nothing fancy, but quick and simple.  There is also a meat counter at the market, so I could easily get some chicken to toss into the pasta as well.  Slowly but surely I am making my way and developing a routine.

Oh, and figuring out a thing or two to eat isn’t hurting anything either.  😉




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