Eating Organic in Tokyo

ByMark Guthrie
Feb 26, 2016

Eating Organic in Tokyo

OrganicAs we have perhaps made abundantly clear in these pages over the years, Japan is very much a nation of foodies. I can honestly say, having visited dozens of countries around the world and having lived in five countries on four different continents, no nation that I know of is obsessed with food to such a degree.

However, one place in which it could be argued that the Japanese are letting themselves down is in the organic and natural foods department. Most of us have come from countries where each supoermarket has a large organic selection, and the only reason it may not is if said supermarket only sells organic goods. The same could not be said of Japan, unfortunately, and organic pickings are thin on the ground.

Albeit slowly, things are, thankfully changing and there are a few places that stock either organic (yuuki 有機, or yuuki saibai 有機栽培, which means organic farming) or pesticide free (munoyaku 無農薬) goods. The trick is in finding where you can get them.


Organic Supermarkets

Natural House

Perhaps the biggest organic supermarket, Natural House specialize in all kinds of organic fresh produce. It also stocks many organic health and beauty products and vitamins and supplements.

  • Where: There are 13 stores around the city. Click here for a list. It is in Japanese, but if you put it through a translate tool it should give you an idea of your nearest one.
  • Websitewww.naturalhouse.co.jp

Crayon House

As well as having two separate natural-food restaurants – Japanese food in ‘Hiroba’, and French cuisine in ‘Home’ – Crayon house in Kita-Aoyama has an imported and locally produced organic vegetable store stocking both western and eastern products.

JA

JA is part of the Japan Agriculture cooperative that is run in direct conjunction with Japanese farmers. This means that everything comes direct from the farms to the store. Please be aware goods are seasonal meaning there isn’t always a huge variety to choose from.

Seijo Ishii

Seijo Ishii is an international supermarket that can be found in many cities in or around central train stations. They often have natural and organic products from all over the world, including French cheese, Australian wine and American candy.

National Azabu

An international supermarket in Tokyo, National Azabu has many organic items including dairy, nuts and dried fruit, legumes, snack food, coffee and tea. Home delivery available for purchases from 10,000 JPY.

Yuuki no Sato

As the name suggests, Yuuki no Sato has all kinds of organic goods, including cosmetics and produce.

  • Where: There are six stores in the Tokyo area. See website for details.
  • Website: www.yuukinosato.jp

Waseda Natural

In Shinjuku you can find Waseda Natural. This place has it all, from fresh produce to cereal and grains, from cleaning products to health and beauty.


Farmers Markets in Tokyo

Apart from the supermarket, another great place to find natural and organic foods is at Farmers’ Markets. Of course they aren’t the cheapest places in the world, but they can be a bit more eyeopening to the variety on offer.

UNU Farmers Market (a.k.a Aoyama Farmers Market)

Ebisu Marche

Earth Day Market

Market Of The Sun

For more information on Farmers’ Markets in the area, check out the www.japanfarmersmarkets.com blog for up to the minute information.


Online Markets

If you have neither the time nor inclination to head out to the shops yourself there are some good online retailers selling organic and natural products.

iHerb.com

This US based online store has the entire website in English. They have absolutely anything you can think of from the natural world of vitamins, supplements, all at relatively reasonable prices.

Super Organics

Food sourced locally in both Sapporo and Kyushu. It mostly focuses on fruit and veg selection boxes, but there are some meats and other products available.

Alishan Organic Center

As well as having its own line of organic food products and imported goods, Alishan also provides information on cafes and events. It is based in Japan, but run by expats and they even have their own cafe in Saitama.

By Mark Guthrie

Image: flickr.com "mother's bounty 母の収穫" by spinster cardigan (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) – Modified

About the author

Mark Guthrie editor

Novelist, copywriter and graduate from the most prestigious university in Sunderland, Mark whiles away his precious time on this Earth by writing about popular culture, travel, food and pretty much anything else that is likely to win him the Pulitzer he desperately craves. Find some more of his musings at www.markguthriewrites.com and on instagram @markguthriewrites