Business

Japanese Grocery Stores on the West Coast From SoCal, the PNW, to Colorado in the U.S. of A.

Main image: “Cost Mesa” in Orange County.

If you do not live in a coastal city, trying to find Japanese ingredients from soy sauce (shoyu), fresh sashimi, Japanese cosmetics, to a rice cooker can be hard to find which is why I listed ALL THE JAPANESE grocery stores on the West Coast. You’re welcome.

The markets listed here are markets, super markets, and grocery stores that ONLY specialize in Japanese products/foods, and are not the generically labeled “Asian markets” because this is how the Japanese do it:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Utah
  • Washington

There are unfortunately no specialized Japanese markets in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and New Mexico. All of the listings below are categorized by state, so that you can find the Japanese grocery store near you.

ARIZONA

Photo Description: a large open refrigerated items area has a number of Japanese obento's linked up. The black rectangular plastic trays with the clear tops, you can clearly see the rice, vegetables (renkon to edamame) and tonkatsu meals.
The bento boxes at Fujiya Market in Arizona looks eff’n legit. Image courtesy of Fujiya Market.

1. Fujiya Market

In their words “We sell Japanese products, ranging from snacks and drinks to rice and fresh grocery. You will find many items here that you will not find in other Asian stores. Our store even carries Bento (Japanese lunch box), Donburi(lunch bowl), and more. All employees speak English, so feel free to talk to them or ask them any questions.”


2. New Tokyo Food Market

This market has such a wide and extensive range of products from magazines, books, Japanese films, trinkets such as key chains, to a wide range of dinnerware, and of course a ton of Japanese food products. If that does not have convinced why New Tokyo Market is your spot, the 4.7 stars and 314 Google reviews just might seal the deal.


COLORADO

Photo Description: a large shelf full of crafted lacquered chopsticks. In the background you can shelves upon shelves of dinnerware from tea pots, dinner plates, ramen bowls, to maneki neko.
You’re not going to find a market that carries a more extensive range of product outside of California on the West Coast than Pacific Mercantile.

1. Pacific Mercantile

I grew up going to this market, and in the last 40+ years, very little has changed about it, which is why I love this market. Since I know this market so well, I can tell you how it compares to supermarkets from Los Angeles to San Francisco. From their product line-up to pricing, Pacific Mercantile is the best and only place to go for Japanese products in Colorado, and I would say it does not pale in comparison to even Tokyo Central or Mitsuwa for the size they are. Yea, they may not have 1.5L bottles of Ozeki for $6-7 (loss leaders), but what they do have is some very reasonable pricing across the board.


CALIFORNIA

Photo Description: the massive floor space of Marukai market has shelves upon shelves of shelves from end to end.
One of the biggest markets in the greater Los Angeles metro area, Marukai.

1. Marukai

Established in 1965, Marukai Corporation was the first international Japan-based retailer to offer a wholesale market and membership system. In 2013 Marukai joined the Don Quijote Group which is a Japanese company with over 150 stores domestically that carry more than 45,000 products.

Marukai.com

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS


2. Mitsuwa Marketplace

“Mitsuwa Marketplace is the largest Japanese Supermarket in the U. S.” is what they tout on the Mitsuwa marketplace website. That sounds impressive and all, but if grocery shopping isn’t your thing, Mitsuwa is your market. The reason is, you don’t have to be much of a cook to want to visit Mitsuwa because you can easily get a pre-prepared meal or something from the food court for roughly a couple bucks to an average of $8 (and no tipping is required).

Mitsuwa.com
Facebook/MitsuwaMarketplace
Instagram/Mitsuwa_Marketplace

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS


3. Nijiya

This should sum up the Nijiya experience in their own (incoherent) words:

“In 1986, San Diego, California, all started in hopes of contributing to the local society through Japanese food, and make this wonderful Japanese taste known to the people of America. It was long, long before Organic Ingredients healthy became the trend of American culinary scene.”

Nijiya.com
Twitter/nijiyamarket

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS


4. Seiwa

This is the new kid on the block, but you’re not dealing with a noob here because this chain is owned by Hidejiro Matsu who is the founder of Marukai. His first location in Costa Mesa may have a limited selection, but if you’re looking to buy in bulk, or you’re looking for some killer deals, Seiwa is your spot.

Seiwamarket.com

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS


5. Tokyo Central

Originally Marukai, but in 2013 several stores were re-branded and remodeled as Tokyo Central because Marukai joined the highly successful Japanese based company, the Don Quijote Group. That partnership led to significant improvements in the interior, in-store experience, and a massive increase of goods of not only food, but also toys, household products, makeup, and more.

Tokyocentral.com
Facebook/tokyocentralofficial
Instagram/tokyo.central

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS


NEVADA

Photo Description: shelves of products of Japanese snacks line the shelves at Nakata Market in Las Vegas.
This shot of Nakata Market of Japan is made possible due to Jin N, thanks Jin!!

1. Nakata Market of Japan

In their words: We are pleased to announce the opening of our new store at Henderson NV.
Yes! We are growing. We now have two locations in Las Vegas Area
We look forward to serving you and we will keep trying hard to be your number one Japanese Grocery Store.
​Construction will start in December 2020. We are posting the progress on our Instagram.

Nakatamarket.com
Instagram.com/nakatamarket


2. Japan Creek Market


OREGON

Photo Description: what a shot of Uwajimaya's exterior which looks to be part of an apartment complex because it looks like there's several units above it, but below there are a number of people walking by. In the foreground looks to be cherry blossom trees.
Uwajimaya is the largest Japanese grocery retailer in the Pacific Northwest, and they’ve been going at it since 1928. Image courtesy of Uwajimaya.

1. Uwajimaya

In their words: “Welcome to Uwajimaya – Asian Mart In Washington and Oregon. At Uwajimaya, quality is what matters – in relationships, experiences, knowledge, health and food. Family-owned, Uwajimaya has been serving the local Northwest community since 1928. Today, at our four locations in Washington and Oregon, you will find the freshest selections of produce, seafood and meats alongside a large assortment of quality Asian gift and grocery items. Come visit us today and check out what makes Uwajimaya a unique and quality shopping experience.”

Uwajimaya.com
Facebook/uwajimaya
Instagram/uwajimaya


UTAH

Photo Description: the owner of Sage Market posing inside of the store next to a shelf full of products from maneki neko to donabe.
I thought this was a more endearing pic although the pic with Post Malone was my second choice for a featured pic of Sage Market. Image courtesy of Sage Market.

1. Japan-Sage Market

Facebook/sagemarket
Google Places


WASHINGTON

Photo Description: the Maruta grocery store exterior in Seattle. The one story free standing building looks like it's next to a larger building which may possibly be a warehouse that they own because it says "Maruta" on the awning with the words "take out" on it.
Not only are they a grocery store, but they also do sushi platters with authentic Japanese sushi: inari, kappa maki, to futomaki (you got to love that). Image courtesy of Maruta Shoten.

1. Maruta Shoten

In their words: “Maruta is the Asian grocery market located in Georgetown, Seattle. We have Japanese bento, sushi, Chinese deli, multiple varieties of sake, snacks and also home goods. Please come for shopping at Maruta and enjoy our tasty Japanese and Chinese dishes.”

Marutashoten.com


2. Uwajimaya

In their words: “Welcome to Uwajimaya – Asian Mart In Washington and Oregon. At Uwajimaya, quality is what matters – in relationships, experiences, knowledge, health and food. Family-owned, Uwajimaya has been serving the local Northwest community since 1928. Today, at our four locations in Washington and Oregon, you will find the freshest selections of produce, seafood and meats alongside a large assortment of quality Asian gift and grocery items. Come visit us today and check out what makes Uwajimaya a unique and quality shopping experience.”
My Notes: such a cool freakn’ market based upon their website.

Uwajimaya.com
Facebook/uwajimaya
Instagram/uwajimaya

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS

There are no specialized Japanese markets in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and New Mexico.

Westside

With the amount of Japanese markets on the West Coast, I can’t help but say that the West side is the best side for Japanese food ingredients.

Comin’ from the Westside, Westside
Nothin’ but a Westside
It’s hittin’ on the Westside
Fool, you know how we do it

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