Preparing Christmas Dinner in Japan | Guidable
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Preparing Christmas Dinner in Japan

By Emma Dec 1, 2021

Preparing a Christmas dinner in Japan can be complicated as it is often difficult to find the right ingredients here. And whilst many of us usually travel home for the winter season, this year, with the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of us haven’t been able to visit home, which has made this year’s Christmas dinner even more important. 

Where to Buy Ingredients For Christmas Dinner

Most countries that celebrate Christmas have their sort of Christmas meal, which makes it difficult to define what a Christmas dinner is. However, most have some sort of meat or fish main, vegetables and dessert, which is why we’ll be going through several places offering difficult-to-find meats, veggies and desserts that you may not have thought of!

The Meat Guy

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Whether you’re looking to cook something more traditional like chicken or turkey or something a bit further out there like kangaroo rump this Christmas, the Meat Guy has got you covered. They have a wide range of meats that can’t ordinarily be found in Japan, meaning that no matter what you usually eat for Christmas, you’ll likely find it here.

They even have plant-based ‘meat’ for those looking to have a meat-free Christmas. (However, if plant-based meat doesn’t do it for you, check out this Nut Roast recipe using ingredients that can easily be found in Japan)!

The Meat Guy ships domestically within Japan, with shipping starting from 980 yen depending on your region. Now, no matter where you live in Japan, you can enjoy a taste of home!

(Please note that if you’re looking to roast something, you should make sure to check if your microwave has an oven function first!)

Costco

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As the cost of fruit and veg in Japan tends to be higher than in most places, it may feel impossible to be able to buy enough veg for a Christmas dinner without breaking the bank.

That’s why Costco is a great option for those looking to cook for a large number of people because you can often get a more substantial amount of fruit and vegetables for a reasonable price. Costco even sells vegetables like Brussels sprouts, which aren’t as common in Japan but will make your meal feel more like home!

However, Costco is also great for is its range of imported foods including a wide variety of cheeses, meats and spirits, though these tend to be on the more expensive side. 

IKEA

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Although IKEA is probably not the first place you’d think of when trying to find places to buy food for a Christmas dinner, they have a few items that will make your Christmas even better!

In fact, their online store even has a section dedicated solely to ‘Holiday Foods’, where you can find things like mulled wine, gingerbread houses and Christmas cookies. And if you go to the store itself, you may also be able to find gravy and cranberry sauce too! 

One of IKEA’s most iconic Christmas foods are its gingerbread houses. At 449 yen, putting together and decorating an IKEA’s gingerbread house is a fun and inexpensive way to get children involved in Christmas meal preparation, whilst preparing a tasty and easy dessert that can be shared!

There is even a competition for the best IKEA gingerbread house design and the winner will receive a gift card of  10,000 yen to spend at IKEA!

International Supermarkets

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Last, but definitely not least, are the numerous international supermarkets that can be found across Japan.

If you’re looking for more specific imported foods, I recommend trying Seijo Ishii, an international supermarket that can be found both in Tokyo and Osaka. Like the other stores mentioned here, Seijo Ishii offers domestic shipping, meaning that even those who live outside of Tokyo and Osaka can order straight to their doors.

Gyomu Super is an alternative to Seijo Ishii that can be found across Japan. Although Gyomu Super doesn’t offer as wide a selection of imported foods as many other specialist international supermarkets, this store specialises in bulk buying making it an economic choice for those looking for more mainstream imported foods.

There are dozens of international supermarkets aside from Seijo Ishii and Gyomu Super, so I recommend looking around online for one near you!

Celebrating With A Christmas Dinner in Japan

Although many of these stores are only available in Tokyo and the surrounding areas, the majority of them ship anywhere within Japan. This means that even those of you who may not be able to visit a store can order everything you need to make a great Christmas dinner online and have it delivered directly to your door! 

This Christmas why not try one of the stores we’ve mentioned here?

For More Related Articles:

Homesick? Discover the Best International Supermarkets in Tokyo

Featured photo credit: canva.com