Category Archives: Import Stores

Support Maki Shoten!

Maki window
Charles Roche writes,

I have a favor to ask.
For many years Maki Shoten was the imported food lifeline for the expat community in Kyoto. We would certainly have survived the holidays without turkeys and mince meat and cheeses and honey and candy canes, but without the smile. Today, with large import shops in more convenient locations Maki is being forgotten. That’s a shame.

Mr. Maki

Mr. Maki

The favor:
Please remember Maki’s. Stop in (after lunch at Didi’s) and pick up a few things (best herb and spice selection I know of).

Help a Kyoto landmark…for old times sake.

Thank you Charles!

Maki signMaki Shoten is a little shop brimful of goodies on the east side of Higashioji Dori, just south of the Eiden Mototanaka railway crossing. Among their copious food supplies they have a very impressive cereal selection and apparently, the cheapest cheese in Japan.
Open every day but Wednesday 10:00 ~ 22:00
Tel: 075-781-3670
Map

Jupiter has Hobnobs!

Yes! Jupiter has Hobnobs! Twixes too! I need never go back to England again!

Thanks and praise  to Sheila Campbell for passing on this important news!

If you are not already aware of it, Jupiter is a huge emporium of imported goods in the underground Porta shopping complex that lies in front of Kyoto Station. They have an impressive selection of confectionery and coffee, plus cereals, imported booze and ingredients for Mexican, Italian & Asian cuisine. Most importantly they have Hobnobs, the finest biscuits known to man.
Coming out of Kyoto station’s central exit, take the first flight of stairs down and walk east and then north. Jupiter is on the left corner opposite Lotteria. You can find a simple map here and clever little 3-D map thingy here. Jupiter is number 107 on the map.
Open everyday from 9:00 ~ 21:00
Tel: 075-361-5981

See also: In Search of Marmite – The Deep Kyoto Guide to Import Stores

Online Supplies

Some time ago I wrote a short guide to Kyoto’s import stores and also this piece on natural food suppliers, but on both occasions I neglected to add links to some of the online food suppliers available here in Japan. Silly me. Let’s quickly rectify that now.

First up is The Flying Pig. In their own words:

Reasonable prices on imported groceries and general merchandise in Japan? When pigs fly! But that was before Costco Wholesale opened its doors here. Afterwards, there were only two problems left: not everyone can get to a Costco warehouse very easily, and Internet ordering isn’t available. In a nutshell, TheFlyingPig.Com was launched to overcome these issues… Shop the site, pay at the nearest bank or post office, and receive your order in just a few days. It’s as simple as that. LINK

Also, we have The Foreign Buyers Club (Food and Fun from home – Direct to your door!) which sells not only food and groceries but educational items too. As I wrote in my previous article: Living abroad, we all have one little something we miss from home, the absence of which makes our life seem less than complete. Hopefully you’ll be able to find that little something now.

Now for lovers of organic food (and animal lovers too) there is Warabe Mura, again in their own words:

We are a small mail order company situated in land locked Gifu, central Japan, offering home delivery service for the whole of Japan. We are committed to offering traditional natural whole foods that have been grown, whenever possible, organically and locally, processed as little as need be, with absolutely no artificial additives, colourings or flavourings used. Only naturally occurring sweeteners such as brown rice malt, hatomugi malt, are used, and all products are sugar, dairy, egg, fish, and meat free. The natural personal care products are cruelty free and contain no animal products or by-products. The house cleaners are the most environmentally friendly we can find, and all stationary is from recycled sources. We specailize in macrobiotic whole foods and offer an extensive selection that includes traditonally handcrafted shoyu, tamari, miso, Japanese pickles, as well as a wide variety of wild sea vegetables and Japanese pastas. We also offer a large range of imported organic natural whole foods that include herbs & spices, dried fruit & nuts, pastas, sauces, teas, grains, flours and oils. LINK

Seems pretty clear, doesn’t it? And finally, (the only one I’ve actually used myself) good ole Tengu Natural Foods. I’m rather partial to their vegetarian cheeses, organic breads and um, organic beverages… but anyway, I quote:

Tengu is a mail order service for organic vegetarian foods, environmentally sound cleaning supplies and more to make life just that much happier and healthier. We ship anywhere in Japan in just a few days (all things being as they should)… Order by post, fax, phone, email, or right here online in English or Japanese… LINK

I can confirm that theirs is an excellent service, they deliver right to your door, and you can pay cash on arrival or by credit card, your choice. And that’s all I have to say about online suppliers for today. I hope it’s been of use.

Related articles: Natural Food & Import Stores.

In Search of… Marmite.

The Deep Kyoto Guide to Import Stores

Living abroad, we all have one little something we miss from home, the absence of which makes our life seem less than complete. For me that thing I crave is Marmite; those little brown jars of nutritious yeasty goodness. A by-product of beer brewing (further evidence of the coolness of beer) this delicious goop is packed with B vitamins and has a uniquely funky taste. It is often used in soups, sandwiches, sauces, and as a hangover cure but as Paul Hartley’s The Marmite Cookbook shows there is no end to its versatility. I have to tell you, I love the stuff. And what is more I love Kyoto, partly because Marmite is so readily available here. Kyoto is blessed with many import stores so whether you are after Marmite or other intrinsic ingredients for that favorite dish, you shouldn’t have a problem. Here is a short guide to help you find those stores:

Jupiter is a huge emporium of imported goods in the underground Porta shopping complex in front of Kyoto Station. Sadly they don’t have Marmite, but they do have an impressive selection of confectionary and coffee, plus the usual cereals, imported booze and ingredients for Mexican, Italian & Asian cuisine. Coming towards Kyoto station from the north-east on Shiokoji Dori, take the first flight of stairs down and walk past Jeugia, Yamamoto and Inoda Coffee. Jupiter is on the left corner opposite Lotteria. You can find a simple map here and clever little 3-D map thingy here. Jupiter is number 107 on the map.
Open everyday from 9:00 ~ 21:00
Tel: 075-361-5981

There are now two Yamaya stores in Kyoto. One is in the basement of the Qanat shopping complex on Kawabata Dori, just north of Demachiyanagi. Another store has recently opened up just south of Oike on Karasuma Dori. Again, these stores serve the usual range of import goods but sadly no Marmite! They do have a very good cheese board though and I’m partial to their packet curries too.

Yamaya in Qanat Map
Open 10:00 ~ 21:00
Tel: 075-707-0731

Yamaya on Karasuma Map
Open 10:00 ~ 21:00
Tel: 075-254-4733

Way up on Shirakawa Dori, north of Mikage Dori, past the Donq bakery and just after the curiously named “Bosom” Italian restaurant sits Michael’s Supermarket. Here they sell a combination of imported goods, wines and everyday groceries. Again, no Marmite! But they do have a good selection of well-priced import beers.
Open: 10:00 ~ 23:00
Tel: 075-721-1846
Map

On the east side of Higashioji Dori and just south of the Eiden Mototanaka railway crossing is a little shop called Maki, brimful of goodies, and yes (fanfare of trumpets!) they actually have Marmite! In addition they have a very impressive cereal selection and apparently, the cheapest cheese in Japan.
Open every day but Wednesday 10:00 ~ 22:00
Tel: 075-781-3670
Map

Finally, we come to the queen of all import stores here in Kyoto: Meidi-Ya. This store is centrally located on the north side of Sanjo Dori, between Kawaramachi and the Kamo River. They have pretty much everything you need, including Marmite or even if you are that way inclined it’s far inferior (but cheaper) Australian cousin Vegemite.
Open: 10:00 ~21:00
Tel: 075-221-7661
Map


Related: Online Suppliers.