Japanese food is highly acclaimed around the world, and a variety of snacks and meals are offered at different food shops. By visiting these shops, you can get a real sense of what the Japanese themselves eat. You can pick up fresh produce at markets, including fruit, vegetables, fish, and meat. In shopping arcades you can find stores selling uniquely Japanese foods, such as salted dried fish and other dry foods; seasonings like soy sauce and miso paste; sweets and soybean products. On many street corners you can also buy freshly made treats such as taiyaki (fish-shaped cakes with a sweet filling) and manju (steamed buns with a filling).
You can also find famous stores popular with the locals, some of which have traditions that have been passed down over hundreds of years. By learning about the roots of the products sold by these shops, you can gain a greater understanding of Japanese food culture.
As there are now many foreign nationals living in Japan, Japanese food preferences are becoming more diverse, and you can find specialist shops selling overseas spices and ingredients. These also offer an opportunity to learn more about the food situation in the country. Professional chefs sometimes visit these stores to purchase supplies for restaurants, so please try not to disrupt business.
Also, unless there is a designated eat-in area, please take your purchase home and refrain from eating it in or around the shop.