Tokyo - Post Report Question and Answers

How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

You can get most things, but it's expensive. You get used to it. Small quantities are the norm (think 10 Brussels sprouts or 15 green beans per pack). US Embassy families have base access and if you have a larger family or really want US brands you can go to the Yokosuka or Yokota on a weekend (about an hour to 90-minute drive each way). On the compound there is the Employee Welfare Association (EWA) store and you can get a lot of standard American things there: cereal, chips, canned goods, sodas, cheeses and lunch meats. There's not a huge selection, but that combined with finding the local stores for your fresh goods is a pretty good set-up. It takes some getting used to, but in the end, it's not as bad as people think. - Nov 2020

Everything is available and at a price. Fruit is crazy expensive we buy a lot of frozen fruit on the military base and get affordable fruit fix with smoothies. - Mar 2019

Everything is available. We have access to the military bases so you can get anything there. Locally the stores are usually small but have what you need. There are Costcos as well. There are several grocery stores within walking distance from the compound of varying price and quality. There is a popular grocery delivery service with an English app called Honest Bee. Fruit and veg are ridiculously expensive but high quality. Like $8 or more for a small containers of berries , $2 per apple, $5 for like four sticks of the cheap stores. My kids get in trouble if they waste fruits or veg! :) - Jun 2018

You can find any kind of ingredient or product here, either by going to a store or via delivery, either from the store itself or through a service like Honestbee. is also very useful, although you have to be careful not to get charged insanely for imported items. Grocery prices are on par with to 25% higher than the more expensive areas of the US. This is not an inexpensive city! - Mar 2018

Very expensive. - Mar 2017

Pretty expensive on the local market but you can find just about anything. Many people travel to the nearby military bases for better prices. - Feb 2014

Japanese supplies are expensive, but we have access to the military base commissary and a store on the compound which offers products at a decent price. - Apr 2013

Expensive, but you can buy food at good prices at the military base. - Jan 2011

Groceries are slightly more expensive than in the U.S.if you shop at the commissary/on the base, then you can get things at a more reasonable price. - Oct 2008

Everything is widely available but expensive on the local economy. If you have access to the military commissaries, prices are pretty good and you can get most things. Locally, there are several markets that are geared towards foreigners and stock many foreign good but they are quite expensive. Local markets are the best choice for produce which is very expensive but delicious! - Jan 2008

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