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Food & Drink Guide

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Going to the supermarket can be a chore when you are illiterate or have little Japanese ability. Here are some tips that are going to help you through the grocery store.

Supermarkets are basically set up the same way as in other countries with one important difference. There is a raw section for sashimi, sushi, and other things that need not be cooked. You should easily recognize the section because prepared sashimi and sushi would be there, along with other cuts of fish and meat. There is also a section of the store that has seafood that must be cooked before eating. If you look at the labels on the product you will find kanji that instruct you how it is able to be eaten.



Many stores also have a deli counter where you can order different cuts of meat. This will most likely require some Japanese and knowledge of the metric system.

In some places you will find eggs that are not refrigerated. This is because they are not washed and do not require cold storage because they still have their natural protective coating. Don’t be afraid of them.

Most major store chains will also have a bakery and other prepared foods. This is convenient and delicious. Make sure that you don’t leave the bakery without paying at the register if there is one!

A note on bags: Plastic bags cost in Japan. It is a good idea to purchase reusable bags or your own basket. These are available at most grocery stores.