Japanese supermarkets have a surprising variety of products. To a first timer it might be somewhat overwhelming, but here we explain what you can expect to find and how to pay for your products at the cash register.
Written by MATCHA
If you go to supermarkets in other countries, you can learn various things about the lifestyles of the people living there. Some supermarkets are small, old-fashioned local stores while others are sophisticated, modern supermarkets directly connected to train stations. There are a wide variety of supermarkets in Japan, but the top three chains are Ito Yokado, AEON, and the Tokyu Store.
This is Ito Yokado, which is in front of JR Oimachi Station. Let's take a look at what's inside this supermarket.
This supermarket is maintained with the utmost care, and the many goods they handle are displayed orderly by types on the spacious shelves.
A basic rule of all supermarkets in Japan is to keep the shelves full and orderly at all times, which means you will find the shelves well stocked throughout the day, and most items exactly where they are meant to be. Furthermore, thanks to this constant attention, products that are expired or about to expire are rarely left on the shelf - most that are going to expire are discounted and placed in a special discount area right away.
The majority of supermarkets are open from about 10:00-21:00, but this depends on the supermarket and its location. The Ito Yokado in Oimachi is open until 23:00, while others may be open after midnight or, like Seiyu, (another popular chain), open 24 hours a day.