Of course, just because you are vegan does not mean you have to shop at a specialty store or order food online. In fact it is quite easy to live as a vegan in Japan just by shopping at regular Japanese supermarkets, particularly if you are interested in a whole food plant-based diet. All Japanese supermarkets stock things like soymilk, tofu, rice, fruit and vegetables, nuts and pasta. Below are some of the supermarkets that we have found to be particularly good.
Aeon (English-language link) – Large supermarket chain that often carries Beyond Tofu products. According to their English-language website, as of July 2021, they have more than 19,000 stores/locations (including subsidiaries and affiliates) and employ more than half a million people. They also do delivery.
Aoki – Sells organic and foreign foods.
Bio c’ Bon – Organic supermarket chain from France with outposts only in Fujisawa, Kawasaki, Yokohama, and Tokyo (as well as an online shop at the same link). They carry a large selection of soy, almond, and other plant milks, as well as products like soy and rice mayonnaise, nutritional yeast, and vegan items including burritos, ice cream, cookies, curry, frozen pizza, yogurt, bread, curry, burgers, sweets, dish soap, and hand cream. They also have a bulk section. Many of their products are marked vegan in English on the price tag on the shelf.
Gyomu Supa – This is a great chain of wholesale supermarkets which sell a lot of imported food at low prices. Some of the highlights are cans of chickpeas and kidney beans for about ¥100, coconut & almond milk, vegan soymeat pasta sauce, Taiwanese pancakes, and squeezable tubes of sweetened coconut cream. They also have large packages of some types of spices, frozen vegetables and frozen fruits.
Hankyu Oasis – Sells high calcium, organic soymilk and wheat germ.
Ito Yokado – Sells brown rice and perilla (egoma) oil. Some branches stock the vegan Next Meats harami skirt “steak” and kalbi- Korean BBQ short “ribs.”
Jupiter – Sells foreign food.
Kaldi – Sells foreign food.
Kodawariya and Kodawari Ichiba – A chain of stores in Tokyo and Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama (as well as an online shop) that carry some organic fruits and vegetables, unsweetened peanut butter, tempeh, rice milk, and other vegan-friendly products. As of August 2021 they’re reported to have increased their stock of vegan items, having Omnimeat Mince faux meat, Naturli vegan spreadable “butter,” and VegeProject certified vegan skincare Supmile. The shop list is here. They also have an Instagram account here.
National Azabu (bilingual link) – A supermarket in Hiroo, Tokyo, with vegetarian labels on price tags and likely one of the city’s largest selection of non-dairy milks. Carries products that are hard to find elsewhere like Amy’s frozen meals and non-dairy ice cream. They have machines for you to make peanut butter in-store and you can bring your own reusable container for it or buy one there. They also do delivery through the app Mikuma (website available in English).
Natural House – Sells organic and vegan foods such as seitan. An online shop is also available at the same link.
Maruetsu – Part of the Aeon network of supermarkets; often carries Beyond Tofu products.
Seijo Ishii – Sells foreign food.
Super Tamade – Sells cheap produce.
Guide to Supermarkets and Convenience Stores
A free English guide from itravelforveganfood.com is available for download here, with tips on reading ingredients and labels, how to buy from supermarket and convenience stores, and also a guide to vegan-friendly shops in Tokyo such as Ohsawa Japan, Bonraspail, Bio C’ Bon and Natural Mart. Includes many photos and descriptions of what to look for.