Not sure if this belongs here..but help!

Joined: 7 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 9 years 8 weeks ago.

Hey there!
I figured this pertained to travel..but if it's still in the wrong category sorry!!
I'm moving to japan for a year this fall and I have a question that's been bugging me..
I live in Minnesota and I eat and cook alot of korean food (in many ways it's become a comfort food for me lol).
In Japan is it easy or difficult to get your hands on korean ingredients? Does it depend on where you are? I'm not talking like stuff like the right meats or vegetables I mean stuff like Gochujang or Doenjang, even the korean style seaweed (I looked all over for this the last time I was in Japan..but couldn't find it.. :( ) Maybe this sounds strange, but in some ways not knowing where to get this type of food is going to be a bit pf a culture shock for me haha..even though I'm like minnesotan norwegian :P.. I love Japan and am excited to go, but i understand being in a different culture for a year is going to present alot more challenges than when I was there a few months. Also, I've been told it's important to find some familiar things when going through culture shock. SO yeah...if anyone can answer my strange question I would be so happy!!

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Bento-ing from: somewhere › France
Joined: 24 Jan 2007
User offline. Last seen 2 weeks 5 days ago.
Re: Not sure if this belongs here..but help!

Well it sort of depends a lot on where in Japan you are moving to. In the Tokyo area it is not hard to get Korean ingredients, and in general Korean food is getting more popular in Japan. There are also Korean communities in many urban areas. If you are going to a rural area though, you may find it harder.

I would really not worry too's possible to get a lot of different food in Japan, from all kinds of cuisine. And like Japanese food is not too bad :)


The Big Onigiri.

- Wherever you go, there you are. -

Joined: 7 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 9 years 8 weeks ago.
Re: Not sure if this belongs here..but help!

AH cool! Thanks Maki. I do LOVE Japanese food. So I won't have a problem getting accustomed to that ^-^ . I just remember, even though I love Japanese food, sometimes I still missed certain foods that I couldn't find in Japan. I'm glad it seems I'll be able to find Korean food pretty easily.

Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 4 Mar 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 43 weeks ago.
Re: Not sure if this belongs here..but help!

As Maki says, it will depend on where you go in Japan. Answers appropriate to Tokyo won't help you much in Nagoya or a village in Okayama.

Perhaps my experience will reassure you. Despite the Greater London area having the largest number of South Koreans outside of Korea I knew nothing about Korean food. However, my Japanese Father-In-Law speaks Korean, loves the culture, adores the cuisine (something my husband shares) and his passion for the food was transmitted to me in Tokyo. Basically, Japan is where I was introduced to Korean food.
Gochujang (pronounced, I think, Kotsujan in Japanese) is widely used in Japanese kitchens and Korean style nori seaweed (the kind with lots of seasonings) is also very popular. In the food halls of the better department stores there are usually a few stalls specialising in kimchi and a selection of bancha (this is where I usually pick up gosari and jars of yuja/yuzu tea. I admit, I've never actively hunted out Korean ingredients in Japan, just stumbled onto them)
In Tokyo there are very authentic restaurants that get their ingredients sent directly from Korea, others that just use locally sourced foods and adapt Korean classics to the local palate and all kinds of Korean restaurants in between. Shin Okubo is the area most famous for Korean eateries, I believe the more upscale restaurants (those with the imported ingredients) are in the Azabu Juban area, which is near where the South Korean Embassy is located.
Once you know where you'll be living, let us know. We can give you some pointers then.
But don't worry, the food IS there. And if you do end up in a rural area, you can always get a Japanese mail order service to deliver to you.
Here's one of Japan's largest Korean stores:
labelled as 'B' here:
And a good bancha/okazu selection, I'll definitely need to come here!

Joined: 7 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 9 years 8 weeks ago.
Re: Not sure if this belongs here..but help!

Well, right now it's still kind of up in the air. It depends on where I am needed. Right now It's looking like I'll be located in the Tokyo area though. Thanks for all the info!! it was really encouraging, and I'm super excited to check out that place!! I hope people don't think I have anything against Japanese food. I really love it. but sometimes having food that reminds you of home can really help with homesickness...I remember the last time I was in Japan, whenever I was homesick I'd go to the Mos burger or a McDonald's for a hamburger. I don't even really like hamburgers haha >.<
So yeah being there for a year, I thought I'd just be prepared to battle the homesickness ha ha! Thankyou!! ^-^

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