This gourmet grocery store offers a big selection of both imported and hard-to-find regional Japanese foods. Everything from goat butter and Hokkaido artisinal cheeses to fresh ramen noodles from Kyushu. They also carry dozens and dozens of unusual jams, preserves, dips and relishes. And if you can't find it here you might find it nearby - four more gourmet shops, including a well-stocked tea shop and an excellent bakery, share the basement of the Gyre Building.
Jingumae 5-10-1, Gyre B1F. Open 11am-8pm daily.
Occupying a tiny building on the edge of Hatomori Shrine, this shop sells around a dozen varieties of gourmet coffee beans, all at very reasonable prices.
Sendagaya 1-1-23. Open 11:30am-6pm. Closed Sundays.
Part of the Foodshow complex below Shibuya Station, this shop specializes in imported foods and liquors and offers a pretty wide selection.
Shibuya 2-24-1, Tokyu Toyoko-ten, B1F. Open 10am-9pm. Closed some Wednesdays.
Imported foods from around the world, including cheeses, spices, and canned and packaged goods. There's also a big stock of mostly European wines. Prices vary from great bargains to inexplicably expensive, so shop carefully.
Ebisu-Minami 1-5-5, Atre Ebisu 3F. (next to the upstairs exit from Ebisu station) Open 8am-11pm daily.
One of the best of the international supermarkets, with the widest range of imported foods in Tokyo (along with Nissin in Azabu-Juban). You'll find good selections of wines, cold cuts and imported cheeses, muesli and other breakfast cereals, canned soups, cake mixes, candies and many other European and North American products. They deliver within about a 20-minute radius of the store.
Minami-Azabu 4-5-2. Open 9am-8pm daily.
This discount liquor shop also sells a fair assortment of imported foods to go with your booze.
Kami-Osaki 2-21-13. Open 11am-10pm (11-9 Sundays). Open every day.
(Azabu-Juban - Retail). 3583-4586
Meat is Nissin's strong point, with over a dozen types of cold cuts, a cornucopia of sausages, and unusual items like pheasant, rabbit, and even kangaroo meat. And the third-floor wine shop is worth a visit in its own right - particularly for its wide choice of Australian and California wines in the under-Y2000 price range.
Higashi-Azabu 2-34-2. Open 9:30am-8pm daily.
Half wine shop, half European-import grocery store, Euroseed stocks an eclectic range of jams and preserves, candies and coffee beans, olives and salsa, and lots more on its crowded shelves. Sale prices are often a few hundred yen lower than other import shops in town.
Yotsuya 2-9, APS Kinen Bldg 1F. Open 11am-9pm daily.
A very large branch of Seijo, with a full grocery selection, meats, fish and produce as well as the import goods they've become known for. Free delivery with orders over Y3000.
Kasuga 1-1-1, Tokyo Dome LaQua 1F. Open 10am-10pm daily.
Located in the middle of the very impressive food hall inside Solamachi shopping mall, Kitano Ace carries some rather specialized products, including 400 different pouch curries from shops all over Japan.
Oshiage 1-1-2, Solamachi West Yard 2F (Food Marche). Open 10am-9pm daily.
This sister of the temporarily shuttered international supermarket National Azabu offers a similarly diverse selection of imported foods and wines. Despite their suburban location (midway between Denenchofu and Jiyugaoka stations), they deliver within most of the central-Tokyo area that was served by National Azabu.
Tamagawa-Denenchofu 2-6-21. Open 10am-11pm daily.
One of the best places in town to buy Chinese groceries, from fresh fish and vegetables to frozen and dried foods, seasonings and liquor.
Nishi-Ikebukuro 1-28-6, Yamato Sangyo Bldg 4F. Open 10am-midnight daily.
A multi-story ethnic supermarket covering all your Taiwanese-ingredient needs, from fermented bean curd and dried tangerine peel to fresh vegetables and frozen dim sum.
Nishi-Ikebukuro 1-37-2. Open 11am-11:30pm daily.
This Okubo shop has one of the best selections of Thai herbs and spices, imported vegetables and other ingredients; they also carry Thai kitchenware.
Okubo 1-1-11, Contowaru Shinjuku Bldg #212.
Meats and sausages, frozen goods, pouches of samgetan (chicken-ginseng soup) and spicy chige stews, and several different varieties of makkoli (Korean milky sake) are among the many imported foods and drinks you'll find at this large 24-hour Korean supermarket.
Kabukicho 2-31-11. Open 24 hours a day.
Not quite as large as the nearby Kankoku Hiroba, this popular Korean grocery store offers housewares as well as a big selection of imported food and drink, including fresh produce.
Okubo 1-16-15. Open 10am-11pm daily.
Spices from Pakistan and India plus Halal meats, ready-to-eat pouches of curry, and bulk chickpeas and lentils are sold in this small ethnic grocery.
Imported ingredients from Myanmar are the specialty here - lahpet (fermented tea), deep-fried nuts and Burmese tobacco. They also stock some Thai ingredients.
Hyakunincho 2-9-15, Lion's Mansion 202. Open 11:30am-midnight daily.
Imported foods from Latin America - Brazil, Chile, Peru and Colombia mostly - including frozen sausages and fresh jalapenos.
Higashi-Gotanda 1-12-12, Ochiai Bldg 3F. Open 10am-7pm daily.
Indian spices, snacks and other groceries are sold in this conveniently located shop behind the Grand Hyatt hotel.
Nishi-Azabu 3-2-16. Open 10am-10pm daily.
(Ginza - Retail). 3535-6991
Tropical fruits and vegetables and other Okinawan foodstuffs in a sprawling two-story market. Plus more kinds of Spam than you can shake a stick at.
Ginza 1-3-9. Open 10:30am-7:30pm daily.
Sake and foodstuffs from Shimane-ken, in the far north-west corner of Honshu.
Nihonbashi Muromachi 1-5-3. (across the street from Mitsukoshi dept. store) Open 10:30am-7pm daily.
(Ningyocho - Retail). 6661-9848
Darvish sells imported Persian ingredients - Iranian dates and other fruits, juices, honey and spices.
Kodenmacho 18-4, Ueno Bldg 1F. Open noon-10pm. Closed Mondays.
Raw ingredients and packaged goods from China, Korea and southeast Asia, including fresh vegetables from Thailand two or three times a week. They're in the basement of the Ameyoko Center Building, the large triangular building near the northern end of the Ameyoko arcade, under the train tracks south of Ueno station. Next to Murachin in the same basement are two other shops, Arai and Nozawaya, with similar items for sale.
Ueno 4-7-8, Ameyoko Center Building B1F. Open 10am-8pm. Closed Wednesdays.
Marvel at the huge selection of authentic French terrines, quiches, tarts and cakes to take out. From the management of Brin de Muguet restaurant in Ogikubo.
Higashi-Nakano 3-1-17. Open 8am-midnight. Closed Mondays.
(Minami-Funabashi - Swedish). 047-436-1111
Ikea's in-store restaurant is a great place for an authentic, inexpensive Swedish meal. They also have a pretty well-stocked Swedish food section next to the exit, carrying Swedish breads, jams and preserves, herring and salmon, aquavit and two kinds of Spendrup's beer.
Chiba-ken, Funabashi, Hamacho 2-3-30. Open 10am-9pm daily.
(Yokohama - Swedish). 045-470-7500
Tasty meatballs, almond cakes and other Swedish delights are served in the restaurant, at quite reasonable prices. The food department also sells an interesting selection of imported Swedish food and drink - smoked salmon, rye crackers, candies, aquavit, and much more.
Tsuzuki-ku, Yokohama, Orimotocho 201-1. Open 10am-9pm daily.