6 reasons why Japan's supermarkets are awesome

Japan always seems to be known for their amazing convenience stores. And amazing they are - you can find them on just about every street corner in big cities (sometimes even more frequently!) and they stock a range of awesome things there. But supermarkets don't get enough attention a lot of the time - they're full of inexpensive tasty eats and fun things that you can use for souvenirs - and all on a larger scale than a convenience store can provide. Here are some of the cool things you can find at a Japanese supermarket, so if you have one near to where you're staying in Japan be sure to check it out!

Solid Aisles Dedicated to Cup Noodles

I've backpacked several countries before, and during that time cup noodles saved the day on many occasions. They're cheap, convenient and tasty - but it helps to have a bit of a flavor selection so that you don't get bored eating noodles on the regular. Head to any Japanese supermarket and you'll find an incredible range of cup noodles in different flavors, with different noodle types and different add-ins. 

Loads and loads of sweet treats 

One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new spot is checking out their sweets and chocolates. Japan has tons - and there's no better place to find an incredible selection than supermarkets. They've simply got more shelf space than convenience stores do, so there's more room to have extra goodies for sale. This only shows part of the aisle that had all the sweets in it, and there's something to suit just about everyone's likes. Also - those Cream Collon chocolate treats at the top of the picture are actually very good, despite the name that puts a lot of people off (or makes them giggle!) when they see it!

Fun finds at every turn

Cute things and Japan go hand in hand, and you find so many fun things at the supermarket. Whether it's boxes emblazoned with your favorite cartoon characters, or stuff like the nori below that's cut out into faces (so you can make yourself the most adorable looking onigiri around!) you'll be ooohing and ahhing at just how exciting all this usually mundane stuff can be.

Wine in juice box containers (for little more than a dollar!)

Feel like a glass of wine to cap off a fun day of sightseeing, but you don't want to buy an entire bottle because you've got a shinkansen to catch the next morning? Well - juice box sized wine is something you can find at the supermarket here. They had both red and white wine, if you have a preference - or maybe you want to give both a whirl!

Grab and go taiyaki, nikuman, American dogs and more

These were priced at 48 yen each, and there were containers provided for you to just pick and mix whatever you'd like - they count it up and charge you for it at the register. If you've got a microwave or toaster oven where you're staying (perfect if you're at an AirBnB with a full kitchen setup!) then a few of these could make you a meal and dessert for next to nothing. Also yes - corn dogs are called American Dogs in Japan!

Sushi at wallet friendly prices

One of the best things about Japanese supermarkets is how incredible their pre-prepared food sections are. There are tons of options for meals that you can take back to your accommodation to heat and eat - but they also have awesome trays of sushi that you can enjoy right then and there. They provide eating utensils too, so if you pop in to a supermarket you can head straight onto a park and have an impromptu picnic if you'd like!

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This is just a glimpse into some of the things at my local supermarket, but they really can be a traveler's best friend - check them out if you have a chance!

Enjoy Japan, and Happy Travels!

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