Where to Buy Food From Home While Living in Tokyo

Every foreigner knows the misery of having cravings for food you could find in every store back home but is nearly non-existent in Tokyo. One of the worst food craving times of the year for Americans is Thanksgiving. We all miss the Turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberries. But fear not, you can find some Thanksgiving favorites here.

We’re going to have a Thanksgiving party for my English Club, so I needed to find some typical Thanksgiving food. I stopped by National Azabu Supermarket in Minato. Today I’ll be sharing some of the things I was relieved to find there.

Pumpkin Pie Mix

Originally I was going to try to buy a couple of pre-made pies from a shop in Tokyo, but I found out the price would be around 4,000 yen ($40) a pie. I’m glad I was able to get pie ingredients from National Azabu. My pie expenses fell to about 1,500 yen ($15) a pie, so I’m very happy.

 

Betty Crocker Cake Mix

A while back I wanted to make a cake for someone’s birthday and all I could find was a basic sponge cake mix in Japanese stores. I did make the Japanese cake, but it seemed very low quality in comparison to what I’m used to from American cake mixes. I’ll definitely be going to this market next time for my baking needs.

 

Craft Macaroni and Cheese

This was a big part of my childhood. It was always the default food when mom was too busy to cook. This can also be found at Khaldi.

Cranberry Sauce

I’ve heard you can find this in other normal Japanese supermarkets, but I’ve never, ever seen it. I’ve been told that it’s not so popular with Japanese tastes because it’s very sweet and bitter. I honestly love cranberry sauce, and I hope my students enjoy it as well.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

While not Thanksgiving related, I’ve been trying to find these since I came to Japan. I’ve heard they’re not very popular in Japan because they’re so sweet. Unfortunately, that means almost no one sells them. This is the only store I’ve been able to find that sells them (at around 200 yen [$2] for a pack of two).

Non-food items

Besides these food items items, they sell Thanksgiving decorations. The store also had a display of turkey roasting pans and bags. I didn’t see any actual turkeys in the store, though, so you’ll have to order your bird elsewhere.