If you are new to Japan or living in Tokyo without access to organic food? It might be daunting as not everywhere will provide the option to organic. And if you are looking at a local grocery supermarket, everything will be cover in plastic to preserve shelf life.
Super Expensive Organic Food (in Tokyo)
Either you are looking at fresh food or dried one, organic foods are ridiculously expensive in Japan, especially in Tokyo. It is impossible to pay triple your normal monthly grocery bill when using organic products. Try to balance out what needed and what not when coming to choosing organic. Most mushrooms are factory made, with clean production, so we can say its might safe without fertilizer. Yet, when take a look at vegetables on the shelf, you don’t really know where it came from.
Research your local organic flea market
Flee market in Tokyo happened quite frequently, and often in the early morning. Here you can find and bargain directly with the farmer the get the best deal for organic food.
Chain store also have imported organic food.
Take a look at Kald or Seijo Ishii, stuff usually expensive without sales, but think of it like a treasure hunt. It might work for you in terms of price and your home country material.
Ask the store manager
In term of customer services, Japan always tell us that they are number one. Let’s make that in use. Grocery store employees/manager are usually trained to work with customer and they are more to happy to let us know where they product came from and if it is organic or not. If you are worry about your Japanese, don’t be down. Sign language always work, pick the food you want and show the the organic word.
Big notice that you might already know
Only buy in season.
Yes, as only in season, they are truly organic and affordable. Fresh to your refrigerator. If not, you might have to face canned and frozen food all the time.
Beans are good organic protein.
And also pretty affordable compare to non-organic food. Dried beans can be found at your local supermarket. Which can be use in soup, pastas, slow cook, stews.
Living in Tokyo without organic food is hard but:
You can grow your own food.
In Tokyo, the city ward offices have lots of lands that you can rent by months to a year, only for, growing food. And it’s a steal deal if you have a green hand.
Vegetable that you should avoid
Due to high pesticide-contaminated, you should try to avoid non-organic apples, peaches (canned peaches are pretty affordable), cherry tomatoes, grapes, sweet bell peppers, chinese cabbage (hakusai) and broccoli.
Top famous Organic market that you cannot miss.
Collaborative community market of various regional farmers & city artisans on UN University campus.