Asakusa is a major tourist place of interest located in Tokyo city's Taito Ward and has grown increasingly popular among international tourists for its attractive day-trip and stayover options. Asakusa Shrine, Kaminarimon, and the Skytree are just a few prominent examples of the area's well-known sightseeing spots. As an old-time town itself, Asakusa also exudes a quaint air that is charming in its own way.
What sort of food culture would local residents of a tourist town like Asakusa have as a result? The best way to find out is to take a peek inside the various supermarkets found in the area, as these shops have supported the local food industry for ages with regular food products, Japanese food souvenirs, and other everyday goods at reasonable prices.
The amazing variety of goods and low prices at supermarkets have also made them an increasingly popular stop among foreign visitors. We agree that shopping at a supermarket is a great way to get the whole local experience, so here are five main supermarkets that can be found in the different areas of Asakusa for you to check out!
We'll also find out what are some products from popular local supermarket Ozeki that locals would highly recommend foreign visitors try out.
Rogers Asakusa at Shin-Nakamise Shopping Street
Rogers Asakusa is a supermarket located at a corner of the largest shopping street in Asakusa, the Shin-Nakamise Shopping Street (better known as just Shin-Naka). From snacks to drinks and retro foods, the store is stocked with all sorts of convenience goods and thus also has the reputation of being a great place to shop for everyday sundries.
The biggest attraction of Rogers Asakusa is how handy it is for souvenir hunters. As this particular shop is situated very near Asakusa Shrine, it goes out of the way to offer product lineups popular with foreign tourists, such as matcha-based snacks. If you're looking for a matcha product, you can do no better than to check this store out.
Rogers Asakusa shopロヂャース 浅草店
- Address 1-22-9 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo-to, 111-0032
5 minutes’ walk from Asakusa Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Toei Asakusa Subway Line, Tobu Skytree Line, and Tsukuba Express
- Phone Number 03-5811-1736
Hours: 10:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Closed: Open daily
My Basket Kaminarimon 2-Chome at the Kaminarimon Area
Next up is My Basket Kaminarimon 2-Chome that's a mere two minutes’ walk from well-known sightseeing spot Kaminarimon. The main draw of this shop is its reasonable prices compared to other supermarkets, allowing it to provide better value across the board to all shoppers.
For souvenir hunters, we invite you to take a look at their furikake, or sprinkled dried toppings lineup which has proven to be quite well-received among foreign visitors. One of the most popular products in this line is the "Noritama & Variety 10 Packs" value set, which comes with five flavors of furikake - two packs per flavor.
This mixed bag contains plenty of unconventional tastes that are not usually seen or sold, so we definitely recommended it for visitors keen on trying out a variety of flavors without breaking the bank!
My Basket Kaminarimon 2-chome Shopまいばすけっと 雷門2丁目店
- Address 2-4-9 Meiyu Bld., Kaminarimon, Taito Ku, Tokyo To, 111-0034
5 minutes walk from Asakusa Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Toei Asakusa Subway Line, Tobu Skytree Line, and Tsukuba Express
- Phone Number 03-5827-3788
Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 12 midnight
Closed: Open daily
Kitano Ace Matsuya Asakusa at the Asakusa Station Area
This is a supermarket located in basement one of Matsuya, a department store directly connected to Asakusa Station. Accessible from the station via any line that passes through it, the supermarket's convenient location is one of its biggest allures.
Since the supermarket also sells unique regional food of Japan that are not found in souvenir shops or tax-free shops, it's a great place to visit for souvenirs if you want to bring back something that's as Japan as they come! The most popular product here among foreign visitors is the "Retro Curry" product series. Arranged colorfully like rows upon rows of books on a shelf, the beautiful sight certainly makes them a joy to browse through!
Kitano Ace北野エース 松屋浅草店
- Address Matsuyaasakusa B1F, 1-4-1, Hanakawado, Taito-ku, Tokyo-to, 111-0033
1 minute walk from Asakusa Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Toei Asakusa Line, and Tobu Skytree Line
- Phone Number 03-3842-1370
Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Closed: Not fixed
SEIYU Asakusa ROX Shokuhinkan at the Tsukuba Express Asakusa Station Area
This supermarket is located on basement one of a large-scale shopping center very near the Tsukuba Express' Asakusa Station. The building also has other tenants selling a range of other goods like clothing and sundries.
ROX is best used for satisfying little cravings. If you find yourself still longing for a quick bite or two even after a full Japanese meal, this is absolutely the place you need to drop by! Not only is it open 24 hours a day, it also offers fantastic selections of deli meals and bento boxes that are bound to keep your taste buds and tummies satisfied!
SEIYU Asakusa ROX Shokuhinkan西友浅草ROX食品館
- Address 1-25-15 ROX Bld. B1, Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo-to, 111-0032
1 minute walk from Asakusa Station on the Tsukuba Express
- Phone Number 03-3836-7888
Hours: 24 hours
Closed: Open daily
Ozeki Asakusa Kaminarimon Shop Near Asakusa Station
The Ozeki Asakusa Kaminarimon Shop can be reached in about two minutes on foot from Asakusa Station on the Subway Ginza Metro Line or Toei Asakusa Line. Well-connected to the local vein since its inception, residents here have frequented this beloved supermarket for ages. Ozeki is particularly well-stocked with fresh food like vegetables, fruits, fish, and meat products, proudly displaying full arrays of these goods in tip-top condition conspicuously in the store at all times.
For this occasion, we interviewed Mr. Tsukano, the manager of Ozeki's Asakusa branch, to find out more about how foreign visitors are using the store and what are some products he would personally recommend for them to buy.
-First of all, please tell us what the situation is like with foreign tourists at the store. What do they usually visit the store for?
Mr. Tsukano: "Most of them come here for snacks or foodstuff they can bring home as souvenirs. I think the more reasonable prices here compared to exclusive souvenir stores are a huge draw for them. Many also visit at night to look for midnight snacks, probably because Ozeki is very conveniently located on the first floor of a hotel building. The deli and bento box sections are among the most popular among our tourist friends."
Here are four highly recommended souvenirs and foodstuff in Ozeki that you absolutely should check out!
Ozeki Must-Buy Souvenirs 1: Matcha
According to Mr. Tsukano, the most frequently bought product among foreign visitors is the ever ubiquitous matcha. Among the fine selection of tea and matcha goods available in the store, as depicted in the photograph, powdered matcha reigns supreme in terms of popularity. Best part? The price range for the shop's green tea lineup is a very reasonable 400 to 800 yen.
The packaging of some of the products really give off a Japanese feel. If you're planning to buy some matcha home, Ozeki offers an unparalleled range of the best matcha goods available for you to choose from at your own leisure.
Ozeki Must-Buy Souvenirs 2: Gummies
Mr. Tsukano: "Tourists from the Asia region really love gummies! In Ozeki, besides the usual grape and muscat flavors, we also offer melon, peach, and other seasonal tastes to keep this favorite snack fresh! All flavors can be bought for 129 yen (tax excluded) per pack."
Ozeki is a great place to shop for gummies, especially if you're looking to purchase a large quantity of them. When we were there, the gummies were quite clearly very well-stocked! Why risk being met with the disappointment of finding the products you want already sold out while at the airport? Stock up on your favorite gummies right in Ozeki for peace of mind on your return trip!
Ozeki Must-Buy Souvenirs 3: Seasonings
Ozeki also has a full range of great dressings and seasonings for salads and other cuisines. You'll find all the regular items alongside more interesting flavors like wasabi dressings, which is highly popular among foreign tourists.
The two bottles depicted in the photograph are wasabi flavored dressings. The bottle on the right is a mixture of sesame and wasabi, the sesame being there to mitigate the usual harsh sting of wasabi.
Bread spreads are also very well-liked by foreign tourists, foremost of which are spreads like the "Sandwich Spread" that was designed to be used on sandwich breads together with slices of ham and lettuce for a quick and tasty meal, and "Corn Mayonnaise", a spread that's quite literally perfect on slices of toasted bread.
Ozeki Must-Buy Souvenirs 4: Curry
Mr. Tsukano: "We have all of the most popular domestic curries available for browsing at a single glance! I would personally recommend getting the "Asakusa Hayashi Beef" as a local souvenir if that's what you're going for! As the name suggests, this item reproduces the delicious taste of hayashi rice (rice with beef and demi glace sauce toppings), an Asakusa local delicacy, which I'm confident will turn out to be an enjoyable treat."
As tasty as fresh local curry can be, one can't help but feel curious about what the curry being offered by a popular local shop like this would taste like too! Curry-lovers, this is something you simply can't afford to miss.
Last but not least, we asked Mr. Tsukano about what are some other Japanese foods he would recommend to our international friends.
Ozeki Must-Buys: Recommended Japanese Food for Foreign Tourists
The shelves are jam-packed with fried and cooked foods indeed. Everything on display looks good, from the tempura to croquettes.
Mr. Tsukano: "Our international friends simply love the sashimi and sushi offerings. Ozeki is renowned to be fastidious about the freshness of our vegetables, meat, and fish products. We have an exclusive channel to the marketplace that we use to procure our fish, ensuring the best taste always!"
You can tell the fish products are tasty by just looking at them! The tuna and salmon sashimi here are fresh and beautifully arranged to be attractive to the senses. The reasonable prices also add their appeal!
Although this pack of sashimi with bluefin tuna is pricier than usual, it's still a great deal since you'll be able to enjoy five different types of sashimi!
Ozeki has also put in a lot of effort to support their English-speaking customers.
Mr. Tsukano: "I and a few of my colleagues can speak English. Some gesturing may be necessary, but we'll be happy to help any English-speaking customers who walk through our doors. Feel free to let us know if there's anything at all you're looking for!"
Ozeki is undoubtedly a great place to shop for souvenirs and satisfy food cravings, so why not drop by for a visit if you'll be around the Asakusa area? As you wander around the rows of colorfully stocked product shelves, you're very likely to find an unexpected hidden treasure or two that will make the trip down worth your while!
Ozeki Asakusa Kaminarimon storeオオゼキ 浅草雷門店
- Address 1F, HULIC, By, 2-16-11 Za Ge-Tohoterukaminarimon, Kaminarimon, Taito-ku, Tokyo-to, 111-0034
5 minutes walk from Asakusa Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Toei Asakusa Line, Tobu Railway Skytree Line, and Tsukuba Express Line
- Phone Number 03-5830-0731
Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Closed: Open daily
Visit a supermarket on your Japan trip for the full local experience!
The local supermarket is where you can find uniquely Japanese food and snacks that can't be bought from souvenir shops or airport tax-free stores, so visiting it will be an exciting experience for sure.
Also, if you've missed out on any local delicacies due to time constraints on your trip, you can always get them from a nearby supermarket instead, and at a relatively lower price than if you had gone to a sit-in restaurant! The freshness and quality of the food selection in supermarkets is amazing for their reasonable price tag, and is a good option to consider for trying out a vast variety of local food without needing to travel long distances.
Written by: Sayaka Sarikawa, Dali Corp. English translation by: Huimin Pan
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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