Updated September 12th 2023.
You’re probably reading this because you’re looking for a Japanese supermarket in London. The great news is that you’ll be able to find almost all of the ingredients you need for authentic Japanese recipes within the UK and this includes seafood, vegetables, noodles, Okonomiyaki flour and cooking ingredients for typical Japanese dishes.
If you’ve just come back from Japan, you’ll find the prices slightly higher than what you’re used. But you can certainly get to cook those Japanese dishes you’re craving. In this post, we’ll introduce seven Japanese specialist supermarkets in London who all offer deliveries across the UK.
For those searching for Japanese supermarkets located outside of London, we’ll be creating a new article covering online Japanese supermarket options shortly. We’ll also be putting together a separate article on regional oriental supermarkets as their Japanese sections always come in handy if you need to pick up ingredients on the same day.
Rice Wine Shop – Local Japanese supermarket in Soho
We’ll start with Rice Wine Shop in Soho. The name may be misleading as it is not only selling rice and sake but an excellent selection of Japanese groceries too. While compact, it’s full of all the essential Japanese cooking ingredients. You’ll be able to find:
- mirin (type of sweet rice wine), cooking sake, tsuyu, dashi stock, and mirin
- very nice tea corner with Houjicha, Sencha, Matcha and Genmaicha
- plenty of noodles – udon, somen, soba, and ramen
- miso soup with dashi, and natto (for those who like it)
- regular non-carton tofu and a small corner for vegetables
- great frozen section with beef and pork slices for Shabu Shabu and Sukiyaki
- a massive selection of rice condiments including Furikake, Umeboshi, and Nametake!
Rice Wine feels enough like Japan for us to start talking in Japanese to the staff. Many of its customers are Japanese as it has a reputation among Japanese expats for being reasonably priced and until last year, the Rice Wine websites was only in Japanese. For readers who find navigating Kanji and Hiragana pages difficult, you’ll be pleased to know the site has been updated with product details in both English and Japanese.
Japan Centre, Soho
It’s likely that you may already know Japan Centre which started as a bookstore back in 1976, and has since grown into the Japan Centre group which includes ramen brands Shoryu and Ramen Yokocho. Aside from their online store, they have 3 supermarket locations in London. Their flagship food hall is round the corner from Leicester Square, and they also operate Ichiba in Westfield London, and UMAI in Stratford Westfield City. The Leicester Square location is conveniently located on Panton Street, and where you’ll find it very much in the style of a traditional depachika. In Japan, a depachika is the food floor located in the basement of upmarket department stores which sells all types of high quality food, drinks, and deli snacks.
When it comes to groceries, Japan Centre offers pretty much all you would want from a Japanese supermarket. You can find:
- cooking ingredients such as mirin, cooking sake, tsuyu, miso and dashi
- easy to make sushi ingredient sets, rice, ramen noodles, udon noodles and soba noodes
- a large selection of fresh sashimi and seafood as well as Wagyu beef
- Japanese drinks ranging from Ramune soda to Sake to aloe vera drinks
- confectionery including Pocky, candy, rice crackers and Mochi
- a large freezer section where you can pick up seafood, buns, and Mochi ice cream
- and even has a corner for Japanese books and magazines
In addition to cooking ingredients, bakery goods, snacks and drinks, Japan Centre has a dining area where you have a choice of Japanese snacks and hot food waiting, as well as sushi boxes, donburi ricebowls, or fresh sashimi to takeout if you’re in the mood and passing through central London.
Natural Natural, Ealing Common
There are three Natural Natural stores in London – one is located in Ealing Common, and right next door to their SakeSakana store (which specialises in sake, sashimi, sushi and seafood), while the third Natural Natural store is on Finchley Road. What you’ll immediately pick up is that Natural Natural has a community-vibe, and you’ll often see many Japanese expats and families come in for their regular shopping. They also have a good online presence so you may have come across some of their discounts for first time buyers.
When you go to one of their stores you’ll find a wide range of Japanese food, cooking ingredients, and drinks including:
- Japanese vegetables directly imported from Japan
- sashimi and seafood in SakeSakana
- dashi stock, miso soup, rice toppings
- soba noodles, udon noodles, ramen noodles, yakisoba noodles
- savoury snacks and chocolate
- a great selection of sake, tea, and soft drinks
Another great thing about Natural Natural is they have a lovely convenience store style home-made deli section. If you live local and time it right, then you can get some quality sashimi from SakeSakana 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.
Ichiba – Largest Japanese Supermarket in London
Ichiba is one of the three Japan Centre food halls in London and you’ll find it 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 there are several food stations serving:
- Okonomiyaki (savoury pancakes)
- Yakisoba noodles
- Ramen noodles
- and even Takoyaki (a tasty snack with a small piece of cooked octopus in the centre)
As 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).
Here is a short list of what you can buy at Ichiba:
- High Quality Japanese rice and a range of noodles (soba, yakisoba, udon and ramen)
- Cupboard Staples like soy sauce, seaweed, flour and panko, tofu, all types of miso, and dashi
- Snacks with confectionary like Pocky as well as rice crackers, mochi and savoury snacks
- Sake – from fruity and aromatic sake to dry and crisp sake as well as sake gift sets
- Japanese bakery goods – Mochi donuts, Melon pan, and Matcha Green Tea cookies
- Bento boxes including a variety of Sushi, Sashimi, and Donburi rice bowls
T.K Trading – Japanese supermarket and wholesaler
One hidden gem of a Japanese supermarket in London that is not so well known outside of the Japanese community is T.K Trading in Acton. This is both a retail supermarket and wholesaler for Japanese restaurants which has been running for over 30 years. If you’re often eating Japanese meals at home, you’ll find their regular sales very appealing such as 37% off when you buy 5 kilogram bags of Koshihikari (premium) Japanese rice. In our experience. TK Trading is where you’ll find the widest and cheapest selection of Japanese rice in the UK from top Japanese brands.
TK Trading have two special partnerships which enable them to supply authentic Japanese products at a reasonable price. The first is through their connection to the Zen-Noh organisation, whose role is to link consumers across the world with the Japanese Agricultural Cooperatives (JA) Group. The second is through their partnership with Hakutsuru. You may already know Hakutsuru, as it’s the biggest Sake manufacturer in Japan, and the partnership allows TK trading to offer customers distinguished Japanese sake at significantly lower prices than other outlets.
So what can you buy at TK Trading apart from Rice & Sake? Well the food section is extensive and you can get an extremely wide range of Japanese food, ingredients, condiments, snacks and dinner table staples including:
- A huge range of seasonings (Miso, Mirin, Sake, Tsuyu, Bottled Dashi, Shio Koji)
- Additive-free dashi, soup stock, Tonkatsu, Yakiniku & Sukiyaki sauce.
- Okonomiyaki, Takoyaki, and Tempura flour, plus Japanese Shokupan bread.
- A variety of Japanese noodles & instant noodles (Maruchan 5 pack for £9.98)
- Seafood products like Nori seaweed, Konnyaku, and Bonito flakes or Kelp.
- A large frozen food corner with thinly sliced beef for Sukiyaki & Cha Shu pork slices.
T. K Trading does have a website in English but their sale banners are currently in Japanese, so to make sure you don’t miss out their sales, head over to their Instagram page where you can see the latest discounts and offers like their current 15% over £20 from Tuesday to Thursday. Also in April, TK will be launching a new user friendly website with even more special offers.
For online shoppers, you can get free shipping for orders over £50 in London, and for orders over £70 outside of London. Incidentally if you are looking for same day delivery this is possible even for wholesale orders. Also while their office is closed on the weekend, the London store in North Acton is open Tuesday to Friday from10am to 4pm, on Saturday from 9:30am to 4:30pm, and on Sunday from 10am to 4:30pm. If you have a car, you’ll find it easily accessible, and it’s one of the only Japanese specialist supermarkets in London providing plenty of free parking space.
Atariya (West Acton, Golders Green & Kingston)
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.
HIS Japan Premium Food & Travel, Holborn
When you hear HIS, the first think you may think is “biggest Japanese travel agency” but in Europe they also have 5 stores offering the best selection of premium products with the idea that you may be inspired to travel to Japan to try the food one day. In the London branch on Shaftesbury Avenue, you’ll find the ground floor the one with all types of everyday Japanese ingredients such as Okonomiyaki flour, Harusame noodles, cooking sauces, and salad dressing. There are also several premium products at displays near the front such as Rakkyo Pickes, and premium types of noodles.
One of the big draws of HIS Premium is their extensive selection of sake – their whole basement floor is dedicated to Nihonshu (Japanese Sake) and other Japanese alcohol such as Umeshu. Their sake list includes:
- Akitabare “Shunsetsu”
- Dewazakura “Dewasansan”
- Kamoizumi “Nigori Ginjo”
- Koshi no Kanbai “Muku”
- Tamagawa “Tokubetsu Junmai”
- Tedorigawa “Kinka”
While Japanese food and drinks are the focus here, HIS Premium also sell Japan Rail Passes as you may expect, and with an appointment you can make travel arrangements with their friendly and knowledgeable staff.
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. If you’re looking for places to buy Sashimi in London, please check out our article on where to find the freshest Sashimi in London.