There are a number of stores and Web sites that cater to the expat community, many of which offer a large variety of premium imported food and beverage.
Like in every other market where they operate, Costco is a wholesaler of a variety of goods, including grocery supplies. Many of the items on sale at Costco’s stores cannot be found within the city, and at wholesale prices, these stores have become very popular with both the Japanese and foreign communities. While most elect to drive to the various Costco outlets (on account of the size of the goods being purchased), for a small fee, Costco can ship your purchase home.
Meidi-ya’s stores are a departure from typical Japanese grocers in that the layout and design communicates a very strong sense of quality from the moment a customer enters the market’s doors. From fresh produce and warm baked goods to a significant selection of fine cheeses, wines, and spirits, Meidi-ya is often one of the top choices for foreigners when shopping for food. Unsurprisingly, Meidi-ya has stores in both Hiroo and Roppongi – two large foreign communities within the city.
4-5-2 Minami-azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo Tel: 03-3442-3181
National Azabu was arguably the first supermarket that catered to foreign clientele. Nestled in the heart of Hiroo, a largely foreign community, they are known for their large selection of imported food and beverage products. On the second floor of the building, National Azabu’s “general store” provides English books and magazines, stationery, and other assorted items.
Nissin World Delicatessen
2-34-2 Higashi-azabu, Minato-ku , Tokyo Tel: 03-3583-4586
While Nissin World Delicatessen trailed behind the competition in opening a store that caters to the foreign population in Tokyo, Nissin is perhaps the most visited supermarket for foreigners living in the central Tokyo area. Sandwiched in an area between Roppongi and Hiroo, Nissin provides just about every grocery item that an expat might seek. Nissin has a resident flower shop and general store on the ground floor which offers a variety of kitchenware and cleaning product options. The market’s second floor is full of domestic produce and imported goods, and the third floor is dedicated to wines and spirits from around the world.
Other Stores of Note
Dean & Deluca
With 9 of its 12 international stores in Japan, Dean & Deluca is known for the very highest quality in ready-to-eat goods and imported ingredients. While definitely not for those on a limited budget, Dean & Deluca’s stores provide exceptional service and a place to enjoy your purchase.
Foreign Buyers Club and The Flying Pig
Despite the many supermarket options that residents of Tokyo have at their disposal, there will always be some items that the supermarkets won’t have. In responding to this need, the Foreign Buyers Club and the Flying Pig offer website solutions for thousands of grocery items and other merchandise that can be delivered direct to your door.