For me, coming back home is synonymous with family, friends, mom’s home cooking, and shopping! There are so many stores that I miss when I’m in Japan. It’s mostly the stores that stock the essentials or the one-stop shops. Here are my favorites and what I miss the most from them…
Ohh if I could bring the wine and cheese section from Trader Joe’s back to Tokyo, I would be in heaven. Wine and cheese are much more expensive in Tokyo (as most of it is imported). I also stock up on a few bottles of sparkling juice, their freeze-dried fruits (mango is a must), berry granola, and chocolate.
My mom and I can spend hours here browsing cooking essentials, cute cupcake sets, seasonings, and other perfect gifts. We also like watching their cooking tutorials (although sometimes I noticed that they don’t wash their hands as much as they should… eww). Here, I pick up Sprinkles cupcake mix, special seasoning, and other mixes (such as their Bouchon line). They make great gifts or are perfect for those lazy days when I don’t feel like cooking from scratch (shhhh.. don’t tell :P)!
Nothing like a typical grocery store to put a huge grin on my face. I miss the aisles filled with over 20 different types of canned tomatoes, cheap fruits and vegetables, an abundance of American steaks, and the convenience of having a Starbucks right inside it! I always stock up on cooking essentials that are expensive or hard to find in Tokyo: certain types of vinegar, spicy horseradish, hot sauces, my favorite ice cream, and Lucky Charms (those are more personal essentials than cooking essentials!).
Hobby Lobby & Michael’s
Honorable Mentions: Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bath & Body Works, Victoria Secret, Sephora, and intimacy.