Bits of Japanese Knowledge



There are supermarkets in Japan where a variety of foodstuffs are available. Every town has certain size stores with parking facilities. Compared to convenience stores, the prices are lower, and the variety of goods are much wider. The store opening hours vary by store and region, but noramlly it is open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Packages of foodstuffs are relatively small sized in Japan to comply with the demand from small families and single or aged households. Rice (Japanese staple food), soy sauce, eggs, milk, and many other foods are sold usually in small packages. They also offer a wide variety of boxed lunches and side dishes, and the prices are affordable compared to restaurants. Around lunch time and dinner time, freshly prepared warm food items such as stir or deep fried foods are available. They also offer wide variety of breads ranging from loaves of bread to sweet breads.

In Japan, fruits and vegetables are normally sold "by quantity" rather than "by weight" in which the total price varies depending on the size of the fruit and vegetables. There are few stores that sell oatmeal and solid bread, and types of cheese and bread are much more limited than in Europe. Parts of beef and pork are also limited and some food stuffs indispensable for festivals of other countries and cultural events, such as boned meat of sheep, pork heads, turkeys, or a whole chicken etc., may not be available in Japanese supermarkets.