Discount Shops - Groceries, Tokyo
While many restaurants in Japan can be expensive, grocery stores offer a cheaper alternative for those in a hurry or on a budget. Grocery stores have a variety of prepared foods like ready to eat meals, prepared meats and vegetables, snacks, drinks (alcoholic and non alcoholic), and fresh fruits and vegetables. Of course, if you live here or have lodging with a kitchen, you can also buy a variety of meats and fish to prepare at your house. While some meats are expensive, the quality is high, and it will still be cheaper for a comparable meal at a restaurant.
Japan has many options for grocery stores, from stand-alone chains like Marufuji and Maruetsu, to major department stores, like Takashiyama, Parco, and Isetan, with gourmet groceries usually in the basement level.
In the shop, they sell a wide range of products that are classified into different categories that will suit anyone's need. They provide updated information about their products too.
What's good on this shop is that, they can process orders even you're a gaikokujin like me. They have an english website too.
What to buy: Souvenirs, Japan Daily Products, Toys, Accessories, Clothings and many more at discounted prices.
What to pay: 300 yen - 5,000 yen depending on item
When I'm in the Ueno (Ameyokocho) area, I always stop at Niki no Kashi (Niki's Snacks). They are a discount snack and food store where you can buy stuff in bulk. Hence it's a great one place stop for your edible souvenir needs. They sell the same cakes & cookies that you see at train stations plus candy, gum, toy-containing candy for kids, etc. There are two shops across from each other. One has mostly snacks and the other has grocery items. Check out both.
What to buy: I usually pick up things like that gum that smells like perfume or KissMint gum. Or Ultraman, Sanrio or other character candy with little toys in it. Plus anything with funny English on it. It's also great for those gross out items -- squid on a stick, etc. You can buy snacks to eat while you're in Japan as well. Of course they have Pocky, Pretz and things like that too.
What to pay: Cheaper than retail.
If you're jonesing for Pop-Tarts or Smart Pop, you aren't likely to find them at Precce or any of the standard Japanese groceries. I tried a couple of "comprehensive" groceries during my stay, and the best of these was Nissin World Delicatessen, which features three floors of goods, a full butcher shop (the only place I found to acquire turkey meat, that is, not a whole turkey, other than Subway!), excellent wine selection, and enough tastes of home...though admittedly at a price (Ciao Bella gelato was Y935 for a pint)...to keep everybody reasonably contented. They deliver for a small fee. Parking is available in the building if you happen to have a car. Open daily from 9 AM-9 PM.
The National Azabu Grocery would be my next pick.
the supermarket is way bigger than a konbini and off course offers more choices and slightly lower in price but are not as numerous in the tokyo area but if you happen so see both a konbini and supermarket nearby then go to the supermarket first! The supermarkets in Japan are pretty decent. Good selection and clean. The checkout assistants are incredibly polite who welcome you with a bow and bid you goodbye with another bow. A tip of tokyo supermarkets: If you really want to save money in Japanese supermarkets, do your shopping at night. Look for red stickers that generally mean "special offer". Especially just before the closing time, you will see many merchandise with these on and most of the supermarkets have "OOURIDASHI(sale)" day on certain day of a week, like on every Tuesdays, or on Sunday mornings. prices are slightly cheaper than konbinis but the supermarkets are only open from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm everyday. (that's why konbinis are more expensive due to 24 hour convenience).
What to buy: All of the usual Japanese convenience store goods such as basic grocery items, magazines, manga and some mild hentai komiks too, soft drinks, condoms, nikuman, fried chicken, onigiri sushi, and bento are available but more selections are available like delicatessen, diary products, bakeries, dried goods, some clothing apparel, meat cuts, sea food and other choices.
What to pay: slightly cheaper to buy goods here than in konbinis like a bottled water is 110 yen which is 10 yen cheaper than a konbini or a 500 ml asahi beer which is 365 yen or 15 yen cheaper than a konbini
this is another of the many konbini chains in Japan and lawson's was like 7-11, initially an american owned companyn that eventually became japanesed owned and at present is owned the the Car Maker Mitsubishi Corporation. Lawson's is the second largest konbini in japan after 7-11 and before family mart with about 10,000 stores in japan and about 1,300 stores in the tokyo area. the branches have no international atm's yet unlike 7-11 stores and some family mart stores and the mechandise inside a typical lawon's store is basically similar in product offerings of family mart and 7-11 like juices, umbrellas, magazines, hot and cold meals, etc.
What to buy: Again, like what i've said, Lawson is one of the top convenience store chains in Japan, second only to convenience franchise giant 7-Eleven. All of the usual Japanese convenience store goods such as magazines, manga, soft drinks, contraceptives, onigiri, and bento are available.
What to pay: not that much since this is a convenience store, not a deparment store, like 120 yen for bottled water, 500 yen for 4 pieces of AA Batteries, 400 yen for instant ramen and 400 yen for an asahi 500 ml beer.
another famous konbini of Japan and this is a rival of 7-11 stores and is the third largest convenience store after 7-11 and lawson's. Family mart has 14,651 wordlwide including 8,000 in japan and 800 in tokyo area alone and like 7-11 and lawson's, are virtually everywhere wherein you can find a convenience store or konbini in almost any street corner in tokyo whatever the brand name of the convenience store is. Unlike the 7-11 stores, family mart convenience stores are just starting to have international atm branches inside the stores.
What to buy: All of the usual Japanese convenience store goods such as basic grocery items, magazines, manga and some mild hentai komiks too, soft drinks, condoms, nikuman, fried chicken, onigiri sushi, and bento are available. again some of the family mart konbinis have international atm's where you can withdraw money.
What to pay: again it depends on what you are buying, the iced tea 500 ml bottles at 150 yen, bottled water 500 ml at 120 yen, sushi sandwich at 170 yen, umbrellas at 520 yen, hentai magazines at 900 yen (including dvd inside-censored).
the number 1 konbini store of japan heck even the whole world! 7-11 have more than 36,000 stores in 18 countries around the globe and the most numerous s not in the USA but here in Japan! there are more than 13,000 7-11 konbinis in japan of which 1,600 are in greater tokyo area alone. since 1991, 7-11 international is owned by the 7-11 corporation of japan. 7-11 stores redefined the meaning of convenience (or konbini in japan) where they offer 24 hour convenience of buying assorted food stuffs, basic necessities, magazines and the like. like in other 7-11 stores around the world, 7-11 stores in japan offer localized foods and here in japan they offer sushi sandwhiches, bento meals, ramen soups, assorted sushis and the like. also only in 7-11 stores in japan where you can find international atms where you can withdraw cash (other convenience stores like am/pm, lawsons, family mart don't offer this service.
What to buy: The feel and look of the store is somewhat different from that of the U.S. 7-Elevens. In Japan they offer a wider selection of products and services. Japanese 7-Elevens offer not only food, drinks, and magazines, but also video games and consoles, music CDs, DVDs, digital cardreaders as well as seasonal items like Christmas cakes, Valentine's Day chocolates, and fireworks. so have a sushi sandwhich at 180 yen or a kamaboko sushi at 150 yen or a japanese fried rice sushi at 200 yen! drinks start at 130 yen for a 500 ml bottled water.
What to pay: dependas on what you buy
for those on a budget, these 100 yen shops offers a cheap way to buy japanese goods (but they sell mostly home furnishings and a little bit of japanese trinkets). There are thousands of 100 yen shops across Japan, ranging in size from multi-storey "department stores" to small corners in shopping malls. Market leader Daiso operates over two thousand stores nationwide and again these shops are located everywhere. the largest 100 yen shops in central Tokyo is Daiso Harajuku in Takeshita Dori! (in the picture).
What to buy: the items on sale are Plates, rice and miso soup bowls, tea cups, sake sets, forks, Kitchen knives, dippers, microwave containers, coffee filters, detergent, aluminum foil, Boxes, report pads, memo pads, pens, pins, calligraphy brushes, Hammers, measuring tapes, pliers, screwdriver sets, cutter knives and lots of more stuff.
What to pay: 100 yen or less per item
Tokyo is full of vending machines: there's three or more on each corner! You can buy coke, ice cream, coffee, noodles or even crazy things like cigarrettes flavored roses! Very convenient and not too expensive
All through out Tokyo there are many many many 100 Yen Stores. These are like discount variety stores. Nothing in the shop is over 100 yen its such a cool shop and they are everywhere. Just to convert currently 100 Yen = AUD$1.13 how cheap is that!!!
What to buy: We can buy stuff like calculators, handy radios, packs of envelopes, plastic plates, glasses, cups, towels, toys, thermometers, etc. The list can be endless.
Check out the 100 yen stores. At the larger ones you can get many useful items including food and clothes that are very cheap
7-11`s and Am/Pm`s are very convenient for cheap food and daily items
What to pay: Its possible to live one day in Japan on less than 1000 yen a day without suffering too much
Accomodation is then another 2000 if you stay in a guesthouse
The weekends will be a little more if you are going to go out to a club or restaurant then you are going to need at least 4 or 5000 yen for the evening, less than that is possible but you are going to feel a little stressed!
This shop depicts the latest trends of Japanese products and foods. They rank everything from 1 - 5 in Japan such as the most popular soft drink, toy, magazines and snacks. This is the place to be to check!
At Shimojima, everything from cards to postcards to calendars to wrapping paper can be found. It is a 'wholesaler' so you can find wrapping materials and other items in bulk. Shimojima actually consists of six stores on one street. There are two mainly of interest as the rest are either redundant or cater to business owners.
What to buy: The floor directory of the main branch is:
1F - Seasonal goods, household items
2F - Office & Computer Supplies
3F - Stationery items
4F - Wrapping paper, bows, ribbons
5F - Household and Food-related Supplies
6F - Packaging Materials
7F - Hobby Items; dried flowers, stencils, etc.
8F - Decorating items such as posters, paints and display items
The Gift Shop contains the following:
1F - Seasonal and Character Goods
2F - Greeting Cards, Stickers, Bridal
3F - Japanese paper(washi), ribbons, wrapping paper
4F - Party Goods and Clocks/Watches
5F - Aroma Items, Candles, Miniatures
Note: They close early around 17:30
What to pay: It's wholesale so it's cheap relative to Japan
These three are highly recommended by us- a family of four living here. Ozeki is a chain supermarket with good deals on food, Jusco in Shinagawa is a good place to buy clothes, food, groceries etc. Jusco is one stop shopping.
Takeya, the purple buildings near Okachimachi are a good place to shop for food, electronis, toys, games etc. One stop shopping as well.
What to buy: Mostly food and goods outlined above
What to pay: Depends on what you are looking for but it is worth a look.