During my self drive trip in Shikoku Island, I choose to stay in a remote area called Yashima. A roof top mountain about 20 mins away from Takamatsu city. Because Yashima is so remote, there is no restaurants and no shops operating after 5 pm so we decided to buy the food in the supermarket in Takamatsu city and bring up to our hotel to eat. Our hotel has nice sea facing view and the room is really spacious and comfortable. The good thing with self driving is you get to explore to more remote part of Japan. Usually hotel that is situated far away from the train station or out-of-town offer really spacious and serene environment to attract their guests.
Now, lets got back to shopping in the local supermarket in Takamatsu city. The Supermarket is called Direx. Outside the supermarket, it has two big words saying “薬/ kusuri / medicine” and “酒 / sake / alcohol”. It is basically a normal supermarket which offer food, vegetable, snacks, alcohol and medicine. Expect very little home stuff such as shampoo and soap and clothing as those thing are selling in Daiso. The supermarket here is solely focus on food.
Things are actually cheap
When tourists visit Japan, they usually don’t visit the local supermarket instead they dine at the restaurant. Visiting the local supermarket is one of the best part in our travel in Japan. We love to see what the local eat and use. We have discovered things in Japan actually is quite cheap, especially if you buy them in local supermarket.
Imported vegetables and meats are usually cheaper than the local product. This is to protect the local farmer and Japanese prefer to consume their local vegetables and meat as they have more trust on their own local food.
Ready-made side dishes are particularly popular and can be seen in most supermarket. Unlike convenience store food, they are often made right there in the supermarkets for maximum freshness. Check out their ready-made side dishes and I have rounded the price for easy reading.
Sushi @ 400 yen to 800 yen / USD 3.60 to USD 7.10
Sashimi @ 300 yen to 400 yen (USD 2.70 to USD 3.60)
Assorted Nigiri Sushi
- @ 400 Yen / USD 3.60 for 10pcs
- @ 600 yen/USD 5.30 for 12pcs
Various Bento Set @ 300- 600yen / USD 2.70 – USD 5.30
All kind of bento such as katsu don, kyudon and many more. If you are here near the closing time, all bento set will be having more price reduction.
BBQ skewered & Assorted tempura
- Yakitori / Chicken @77 yen / USD 0.70 each
- Assorted tempura price range around @ 100 yen /USD 0.90
Alcohol Corner @ 200-300 yen / USD 1.80 -USD 2.70 each can of beer
Japanese Tsumami or Snacks @ 200 to 400 yen / USD 1.80 -USD 3.70
It is good to get all your snacks here as it is cheaper and without the fancy wrapping and boxes which save the environment.
This is what we going to pay at the cashier. Please use a basket to put on the shopping cart. We have forgotten to put the basket on top of the shopping cart so things seems to fall off.
There is a cashier to help you scan all the things but they do not pack things into the plastic bag instead they will transfer all things into another backet. You have to carry the basket of things and put them all in the plastic bags. Some places still provide free plastic bags but some place need about 5 to 10 yen each/ USD 0.04- 0.09
Parking at Supermarket
Parking is usually free and plenty of parking lot outside the supermarket.
Final thoughts :
Touring in local supermarket is really an enjoyable thing you can’t miss in Japan. With the advantages of self drive, we have the luxury to drive to the local neighborhood and shop like a local. You will be surprised at how cheap thing are in Japan.