Beginner Guide for Shopping at Supermarket in Japan

For those you have to live in Japan for a while, “supermarket” is like a second home. There are many cheap and high quality food for shopping, include necessities in save price. If you are beginner in Japan, this article will guide you how to have with shopping in supermarket.

Type of supermarket in Japan

There are many supermarkets in Japan which different by size and various products on offer. It can be categorized as follows:

Larger Supermarket

The Larger Supermarkets are very common in residential areas and may sell clothing and home wares in addition to food. Most of these supermarkets have branches around Japan, such as Aeon, Daimaru Peacock, Daiei, ItoYokado, Izumiya, Maruetsu, Seiyu, and Daiwa.

Smaller Supermarket

Smaller Supermarkets typically sell only food items. There are not much branches but can be seen in many cities in Japan. Some are sub-branches and some only have in some regions. For example, Coop, Santoku and Seijo Ishii.

Opening Hours

Each supermarket each located have different opening hour. Most of them usually open from 09.00 am to 10.00 pm. Only Larger Supermarket in some big city open 24 hours.

Special Offer

The golden period of supermarket in Japan start after 6.00 pm. It is a time for SALE all of bento, sushi, vegetables and fresh fruits. Here is the heaven for Japanese housewives and students who are looking forward cheap and quality food.

One thing you need to notice when shopping in supermarket in the golden period is “SALE STICKER,” especially before 1 hour close because the staff will put the sale sticker on many products. What you have to remember are 2 types of sticker. One is called 2割引(Niwaribiki) which mean 20% discount. Another one is called 半額 (Hangaku) which mean half price or 50% discount.

Not only sale period, but some supermarkets in Japan also have a special offer to thank you their customers. For example, weekly or monthly discount days and reward card for members.

Supermarkets in Japan also have other services for customers. For example, free delivery service and some private products. Please check the date of discount and find the nearest supermarket and then you will find that shopping in supermarket is more fun.