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Japanese Supermarkets in Singapore – 10 Best Places to Get Japanese Groceries

japanese supermarket singapore

Back in the day, buying Japanese groceries in Singapore was akin to a SEAL Team Six operation. You would dash into Meidi-Ya (the only Japanese supermarket in town) and quickly grab what you need, and then head straight for the checkout counter before the enemy tricks you into buying $10 sweet potatoes in the shape of cat ears.

These days, Japanese groceries have become pretty mainstream, so it’s not necessary to brave the beautifully-arranged aisles of Meidi-Ya anymore (unless you want to). Here are the best Japanese supermarkets in Singapore:

 

10 best Japanese supermarkets in Singapore

Japanese supermarket Price What it sells
Don Don Donki $ Everything
Cold Storage Takashimaya $$ Mainly sushi, fresh produce, packaged ingredients, condiments
Meidi-Ya $$$ Everything
Isetan Supermarket $$$ Cooked food, premium groceries, gift-worthy packaged items
Daiso Singapore $ Snacks, furikake, condiments
Iroha Mart $ Snacks, drinks
Zairyo $$$ Premium seafood e.g. uni, air-flown produce
Fish Mart Sakuraya $$ Mainly fresh fish, plus some condiments, snacks, drinks
Isuramuya $$ Very small selection of halal fish, noodles, sauces
J-Mart Singapore $$ Sake, sweets, snacks

 

Don Don Donki

 

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Outlets: City Square Mall, 100AM, Orchard Central

Hands down, my favourite Japanese supermarket in Singapore is Don Don Donki, even though the crazy store layout and constant theme song gives me mild PTSD.

The Japanese discount chain really does deliver budget-friendly groceries of all kinds. You can also find a dizzying selection of items such as natto, furikake, cup noodles, Japanese curry, fresh meat and seafood, dairy products, drip coffee, sake – the list goes on.

Check out our review of Don Don Donki to find out which groceries are the most worth your money.

 

Meidi-Ya

 

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Outlets: Liang Court, Great World City (to open in mid-2019)

Meidi-Ya at Liang Court is the classic Japanese supermarket in Singapore. It’s been at Liang Court for yonks, and you’ll find actual okasan and obasan shopping here.

Aesthetically, it’s the total opposite of Don Don Donki. Everything is bright white and the aisles are neatly organised with no shouty tags trying to get your attention. However, prices are definitely on the high side – just have a look at the Meidi-Ya website.

That said, there’s nothing stopping you from waltzing in there to feel Japanese once in a while. I particularly like the sushi and cooked food counters which sell discounted bentos and onigiri near closing time.

 

Isetan Supermarket

 

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Outlets: Shaw Centre (Lido), Westgate

While Meidi-Ya is where regular Japanese aunties shop, Isetan Supermarket is where they go to titter over ridiculous prices. (Source: Me overhearing said tittering.)

Although they do sell a selection of groceries, Isetan Supermarket is more like a lifestyle store or perhaps a place to look for gifts for your otaku friend. Think of it as the food version of Tokyu Hands. And also a great place to get free samples of snacks.

Ready-to-eat food is the main attraction here – there are so many stalls it looks more like a food court than a supermarket. The Isetan at Westgate even has a little bar where you can drink in-store.

 

Cold Storage Takashimaya

 

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Outlet: Ngee Ann City

Cold Storage may be better known for western food items like kale, hummus, and stinky cheese, but the outlet at Takashimaya is clearly geared towards the Japanese expats crowd.

There’s at least an aisle dedicated to packaged Japanese groceries (condiments, cooking sauces, seaweed, drinks). But the Japan theme runs throughout the supermarket, so you can also find stuff like Wagyu beef at the butcher section and Japanese craft beer at the alcohol aisle.

Tip: The on-site sushi and donburi counter (tucked away in a corner next to the seafood chiller) is also one of the best places to eat Japanese food on the cheap in town.

 

Daiso Singapore

 

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Outlets: 100AM, Changi City Point, Chinatown Point, City Square Mall, East Point, IMM, ION Orchard, J-Cube, Kallang Wave, Parkway Parade, Plaza Singapura, Sembawang Shopping Centre, SingPost Centre, Square 2, Tampines 1, Waterway Point

Laugh if you want, but I actually buy some of my Japanese groceries from Daiso’s food section, and no, I don’t subsist on Tohato Caramel Corn.

Some of the best grocery finds I’ve gotten at the $2 megastore are furikake, miso paste, soba noodles, soba sauce, mirin, bonito flakes, spices/seasoning powders, and genmaicha. There’s usually also a selection of packaged pasta sauce and curry roux too.

The quality is a bit hit or miss but I think that’s part of the fun. Last night I had Daiso soba with Daiso dipping sauce and Daiso seaweed flakes, and I’m not dead yet.

Tip: Go to the one at 100AM or City Square so you can hit up Don Don Donki afterwards.

 

Iroha Mart

 

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Outlets: Plaza Singapura, Chinatown Point

I personally do not classify snacks in the same category as groceries, but if your diet is 50% Pocky and 50% Kewpie mayonnaise, then hey, you do you.

Iroha Mart is paradise for Japanese snack lovers – there’s tons of Japanese sweets, chocolates, cookies,  rice crackers, bottled drinks, sake, cup noodles, potato chips, etc. here, typically about $2 to $5 each (except the booze). Depending on how much you love junk food, it can be difficult to exercise restraint here.

 

Zairyo

 

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Online store Zairyo is a gourmet Japanese grocer, which means you won’t find cheap trashy stuff here. The fact that its most popular products are uni and ikura should tell you something about its premium-ness.

They also have fresh veggies and meats as well as specialty noodles, condiments and sauces that you’d normally find only at Meidi-Ya. A quick check on some random items shows that they’re slightly (think $0.20) cheaper at Zairyo.

There’s a delivery fee of $10 unless you order at least $100. Alternatively, you can self-collect your items at their Yishun warehouse.

 

Fish Mart Sakuraya

 

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Outlets: West Coast Plaza, Parkway Parade, Anchorpoint, Seletar Mall

You might have come across Fish Mart Sakuraya, a hybrid Japanese grocery store with a small dining area, found in several shopping malls.

It’s not a full-fledged supermarket, more a minimart selling fresh seafood alongside Japanese drinks, snacks, noodles, sake, etc. They have an online store so you can check out the items first. I think it’s better to buy packaged items from Don Don Donki as they’re generally cheaper at the latter.

I can’t vouch for the quality of the fresh fish, but the dining area usually gets brisk business for items like chirashi don ($15). You can also pick the fish from their supermarket section and have it grilled or sliced for you on the spot.

 

Isuramuya

 

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Outlet: JCube

Halal Japanese restaurant Isuramuya is one of the few places in Singapore where you can get Japanese groceries with coveted halal certification. (Zairyo also has a small halal section on their site.)

Since it’s primarily a restaurant, the groceries selection here is understandably limited. The items here are mainly packaged items like gyoza, noodles and sauces, along with some fresh fish.

 

J-Mart Singapore

 

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Outlets: Star Vista, 112 Katong, Century Square

J-Mart is the official retail store of the Japan Prestige Sake Association, so it’s probably the go-to if you’re looking for a good variety of sake in Singapore, especially premium sakes from small breweries.

Apart from booze, J-Mart sells mainly snacks and sweets (including ice cream). You can get a few condiments and drinks here too, but it’d be a stretch to call it a supermarket.

 

Also try: RedMart (Lazada) and NTUC FairPrice

If you’re looking for mass market items like Japanese rice, Kewpie mayonnaise, S&B curry sauce or Mizkan hotpot soup base, there’s actually no need to make a special trip to one of these Japanese supermarkets.

They’re readily available from regular supermarkets at fairly affordable prices. However, it’s a real headache trying to find them at brick-and-mortar supermarkets like NTUC FairPrice and Cold Storage (apart from the Takashimaya outlet) – they tend to scatter the Japanese products around the store.

In my experience it’s way easier to order such items on RedMart or NTUC online than combing the aisles. That way, you can consolidate your order with other (non-Japanese) groceries you need to get.

Where’s your favourite place to get Japanese groceries? Tell us in the comments.

 

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