Enjoying Japanese Cuisine in Tokyo: A Guide to Supermarkets and Deli Shops

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May marks the season of fresh greenery, with an abundance of seasonal ingredients.

Bamboo shoots, wakame seaweed, and by early summer, bonito sashimi are all widely available.

These ingredients are used in a variety of deli dishes, which you can easily purchase at local supermarkets and deli shops.

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Popular Japanese Deli Bento Boxes

Karaage Bento (Fried Chicken Bento)

Karaage bento features Japanese-style fried chicken, which is marinated in soy sauce, garlic, and ginger, then coated in potato starch and fried until crispy.

This bento typically comes with steamed rice, a lemon wedge, and a small portion of pickled vegetables or salad to balance the rich flavors of the chicken.

Noriben (Seaweed Bento)

Noriben is a simple yet iconic bento consisting of steamed rice topped with a layer of nori (dried seaweed).

It often includes a few simple side dishes such as pickled vegetables or a piece of grilled fish.

The appeal of Noriben lies in its simplicity and the savory flavor of the seaweed, which pairs well with the rice.

Shokado Bento

Shokado Bento is a traditional and elegantly presented meal. It’s served in a lacquered box divided into several compartments, each containing different types of dishes such as sashimi, tempura, grilled fish, pickles, and steamed vegetables.

This bento is a miniaturized form of a full Japanese meal, designed to offer a variety of flavors and textures.

Tempura Bento

This bento box includes an assortment of crispy tempura – usually shrimp, sweet potato, green bean, and pumpkin.

Served over a bed of rice with a small container of tentsuyu dipping sauce, it’s a delightful way to enjoy Japan’s famous fried delicacies.

Katsu Bento

Featuring a breaded and deep-fried pork cutlet (tonkatsu), this bento is a satisfying option that includes shredded cabbage, rice, and a thick katsu sauce for dipping.

It’s a hearty meal that combines crunch with the rich taste of pork.

Sushi Bento

A portable sushi experience, this bento typically contains an assortment of nigiri (hand-formed sushi with a slice of fish over rice) and rolls.

Varieties often include salmon, tuna, and some vegetarian options like cucumber or pickled radish rolls.

Beef Sukiyaki Bento

Perfect for those who want a variety of flavors, this bento features several onigiri (rice balls) with different fillings such as umeboshi (pickled plum), salmon, and kelp.

It’s light yet satisfying, ideal for a quick meal or snack.

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Recommended Deli Shops

Origin Bento

Known for freshly prepared deli items, Origin Bento offers everything from Japanese classics to seasonal specialties.


Hokka Hokka Tei

Renowned for its home-style Japanese deli dishes at affordable prices, this chain offers set meals featuring seasonal ingredients.


Hotto Motto

A nationwide chain, Hotto Motto is known for its convenient bento boxes featuring Japanese dishes. In May, look for new menus using fresh onions and potatoes.


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Recommended Supermarkets

Seijo Ishii

Known for high-quality ingredients and unique deli items, Seijo Ishii offers a wide range of seasonal dishes made with fresh vegetables and seafood.



With numerous locations across Tokyo, Life is popular among locals for its excellent value. They offer a variety of affordable seasonal deli dishes.


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Exploring Japanese cuisine in Tokyo through supermarkets and deli shops is a convenient and budget-friendly option.

Embracing the fresh ingredients available in May, you can enjoy a rich taste of Japan’s culinary traditions.

Whether you are a local or a visitor, these recommended spots offer a slice of Japanese life through their delightful seasonal offerings.


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