You’re probably reading this because you’re looking for a good Japanese supermarket in London. The great news is that you’ll be able to find most of the ingredients you need for authentic Japanese recipes without resorting to international shopping. A word of warning – if you’ve just come back from Japan, you’ll find the prices higher than what you’re used. But at least you can get to cook those Japanese dishes you’re probably craving. In this post, we’ll introduce six Japanese specialist supermarkets in London who all offer deliveries across the UK.
For Japanese supermarkets located in areas outside of London, don’t worry we’ll be creating a new post covering this soon. We will create a separate post on oriental supermarkets. Their Japanese sections always come in handy if you’re not considering your next Japanese food shop for a few more weeks.
More than one Japanese supermarket in London!
- Rice Wine Shop, Soho
- Natural Natural, Ealing
- Japan Centre, Leicester Square
- Ichiba, Westfield
- Atariya, West Acton
- T.K Trading, Acton
Rice Wine Shop – First Japanese supermarket in London we checked out
We’ll start with Rice Wine Shop in Soho. The name may be misleading as it is not only selling rice wine but an excellent selection of Japanese groceries. Spacious it is not, however it is brimming full of all the essential Japanese cooking ingredients:
- mirin (type of sweet rice wine)
- dashi (stock)
- miso soup with dashi
- regular non-carton tofu
- plus some lovely natto (fermented soybeans) for those who like it.
Rice Wine also feels enough like Japan for us to get back into talking in Japanese to the staff. Many of its customers are Japanese too as it has a reputation in the Japanese community for being reasonably priced. Rice Wine have a website, too, however, it is currently only in Japanese. It means you might need assistance from Google or a Japanese speaking friend to get your online shopping sorted.
Natural Natural is located in Ealing Common and Finchley Road. They have a good online presence so you may have come across some of their discounts for first time buyers. They offer a wide range of Japanese food and seasonings including:
- dashi stock
- soba noodles
- udon noodles
- savoury snacks
- good selection of sake
Natural Natural also have a great home-made deli section. If you live local and time it right, then you can get some quality sashimi before it gets snapped up. Other deli goodies include onigiri and bento boxes with pieces of karaage (Japanese style fried chicken) and chikuwa (lovely tube-shaped Japanese fishcake). We should also mention that Natural Natural provides free delivery to mainland UK address on all orders over £50.
While Japan Centre’s current flagship store is just off Leicester Square, they also operate Ichiba in Westfield London, UMAI in Stratford Westfield City and ramen restaurant Heddon Yokocho. At the Leicester Square location on Panton Street, you’ll find a traditional depachika (literally a basement food hall). It is very similar way to the ones in Japan with high end groceries and counters to eat.
Japan Centre does offer pretty much all you would want from a Japanese supermarket in terms of:
- cooking ingredients
- easy to make sushi ingredient sets
- Japanese drinks
- and even has a small collection of books and magazines
You can also enjoy freshly made food in their canteen area which is expected to expand in the near future.
Ichiba – Biggest Japanese supermarket in London
Ichiba is located on the lower ground floor of Westfield London on the side closest to White City tube station. It is said to be the largest Japanese food hall in Europe with capacity for 200 diners and plenty of food stations serving:
- yakisoba noodles
- okonomiyaki (savoury pancakes)
- and even takoyaki (a tasty snack with a small piece of cooked octopus in the centre).
As the Japan Centre have ample space at Ichiba you can expect an extensive selection of groceries, fresh fish and meat, sake and ingredients. For example, there isn’t just one or two brands of udon noodles but close to ten to choose from. It may be the extra room that allows it, but you’ll even spot things like Kamaboko fish sausages or large sealed bags of Akakara (a spicy hot pot soup stock).
You might already have come across Atariya after eating at one of their restaurants such as their sushi bar Atariya Hendon or at the stylish Tokimeite in Mayfair. When it comes to their supermarkets, they have locations in Golders Green, Kingston, Swiss Cottage and West Acton. Each one is similar – they are compact however they have the essential cooking ingredients you need including dashi stock, soy sauce, and oden (non-spicy hot pot) soup bases.
In terms of groceries they have Japanese rice, a selection of Japanese mushrooms and vegetables, and even frozen gobou (burdock root). Obviously the main attraction at Atariya is their fresh fish and seafood and their impressive selection includes:
- boiled prawns
- hirame (turbot)
- salmon roe
- mentaiko (seasoned pollock roe) and
- tobiko (flying fish roe).
You’ll find a small deli area too with sushi, bento boxes, tempura, and very reasonable Chirashi (assorted fresh seafood) rice bowls. The staff are also friendly and happy to help you choose the weight and best options for your sashimi and seafood.
One hidden gem of a Japanese supermarket in London that is not so well known is T.K Trading in Acton. This is both a retail supermarket and wholesaler for Japanese restaurants. If you’re serious about your Japanese cooking, you’ll find their regular sales very appealing such as the current 40% off when you get 2 x 5 kilogram bags of Koshihikari (premium) Japanese rice.
The food section is extensive and you can get staples like:
- Okonomiyaki flour
- dashi stock
- tsuyu (a versatile soup stock and central ingredient in many dishes)
- an extensive selection of noodles and
- even have vegan friendly ramen noodles
T. K Trading does have a website in English but their banners are in Japanese. To translate into English, they say that right now it’s free shipping for orders over £40 in London but only free shipping for orders over £70 outside of London. Also while their office is closed on the weekend, however the London store in Acton is open Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 4pm and on Saturday and Sunday their hours are 10am to 4:30pm.
We hope that this list of Japanese supermarket in London will be helpful and we will be sure to update and further add onto the list once we have found other supermarkets in London and the UK. Please feel welcome to add your comments and experiences at these supermarkets above if you have already been