Japanese grocery stores in California

General notes on California: Due to the large Asian-American population and sizeable expat communities, Japanese grocery stores are quite plentiful, especially in the Los Angeles area, but throughout the state generally, and there are even more Asian groceries.

Is your favorite store missing? Let us know about it in the comments! Once the information in a comment has been incorporated into the main article, the comment is deleted to avoid very very long page syndrome.

Statewide chains

99 Ranch Market
Chinese and English web site
Chinese chain. General Asian food supplies. Many locations throughout California, one in Las Vegas, two in Washington State, one in Georgia.
Marukai Market
Japanese and English web site
Japanese chain. Operates membership stores and non-membership stores throughout California, one in Hawaii. They also operate some 99 cent shops, and have a cooperation with Daiso, a leading 100 yen store chain in Japan. (You can pick up a lot of cheap bento supplies at 100 yen shops.)
Comments: "There are large supermarkets in Torrance, Gardena, Glendale, and Covina. Membership is $10, but they’ll give you a one-month pass for $1, as many times as you want. Housewares, furniture, and cultural icons (tansu, kotatsu, hanten, etc) as well as food."
Mitsuwa Marketplace
Japanese and English web site
Japanese supermarket chain. Took over the former Yaohan Plaza locations when the Yaohan corporation went belly up. These are fairly large supermarkets (some larger than others), with a good selection of Japanese groceries, a food court, and attached mini-mall. There are seven Mitsuwa locations in Calfornia (two others are in the Chicago area and northern New Jersey). Besides groceries and prepared foods, sells housewares and more (selection varies by location).
Japanese and English web site
Japanese grocery chain with several stores in California (and one in New York). Groceries, prepared bentos and sushi to go, etc.
Vien Dong
English and Vietnamese web site
Vietnamese mini-chain with general Asian products.
Zion Market
Korean and English web site
Korean market with three stores in southern California.

Los Angeles/Orange County general area

Ebisu Supermarket
18940 Brookhurst Street
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
(714) 962-2108
Under construction website
Comments: "nice market"-(anon)
Granada Market
1820 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90025
Mitsuwa Costa Mesa
Part of a statewide chain. See general listing at top of page
665 Paularino Avenue
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 557-6699
Mitsuwa Little Tokyo
Part of a statewide chain. See general listing at top of page
333 S. Alameda Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 687-6699
Mitsua San Gabriel
Part of a statewide chain. See general listing at top of page
515 W. Las Tunas Drive
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 457-2899
Mitsuwa Santa Monica
Part of a statewide chain. See general listing at top of page
3760 Centinela Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90066
(310) 398-2113
Mitsuwa Torrance
Part of a statewide chain. See general listing at top of page
21515 Western Avenue
Torrance, CA 90501
(310) 782-0335
Nijiya Market
Part of a statewide chain. See general listing at top of page
2130 Sawtelle Blvd. #105
Los Angeles CA 90025
Comments: "Japanese American chain, mostly in California, but with one shop in New York state. Sawtelle shop: Small shop with wide range of standard goods, organic produce, fresh meats and fish, extensive bento selection (better than Mitsuwa up the street). Open until 11.45 pm!" - (santos)
"In addition to the Sawtelle one that Santos mentioned, there’s one in Little Tokyo (not very big) and a much larger, nicer one on Grant Ave. in Mountain View (San Francisco Bay Area). " - (meg)
Safe and Save
2030 Sawtelle Blvd
West Los Angeles CA 90025
Comments: "Small family-run market with all the basics, baked goods, snacks, produce, fresh meat and fish counter. Not as well stocked as the larger markets on the same street, but the prices are competitive, the staff is super-friendly, and the atmosphere is more relaxed and convivial. Free parking lot in the back." - (santos)

Sacramento area

Kims Market: Asian Food
636 4th Street(Between F and E st.)
Davis, CA 95616
Mon-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 12:30pm-6pm
Comments: "A very tiny cramped store, but it has practically everything you need to stock your basic Japanese/Korean pantry. Most of the stuff sold is in the dry/frozen goods category, but they do stock some of the more unusual fresh veggies (yamaimo yams, negi, and daikon.)They also sell some imported snacks, appliances, and household supplies. Everything is on the slightly pricy side for an Asian store, but its the only place where you can find unusual food items that American markets rarely stock. A plus is that they also sell marinated short ribs, in-store made pickles, and fresh kimbap (korean sushi)." -(Ami)

San Diego area

General comments on San Diego area:

"[Marukai and Mitsuwa] are in the Kearny Mesa and Clairemont Mesa neighborhoods of San Diego. [Nijiya and Zion] are in Linda Vista and City Heights neighborhoods, respectively. My Filipino family has been shopping at all of these stores throughout the years and all of them offer an interesting variety of Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Filipino foods, among others." -(Lorena)

99 Ranch
Part of a statewide chain. See general listing at top of page
7330 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92111
Tel: (858) 974-8899
Comments: "This is a Chinese market, but they many Asian staples." -(Lorena)



Marukai Market
Part of a statewide chain. See general listing at top of page
8151 Balboa Ave.
San Diego, CA 92111
Tel: 858-384-0240
Comments: "This is a non-membership store and is located in the same plaza as the recently opened Daiso store and Marukai Living store. This is the newest Japanese market in San Diego, having opened in January 2008." -(Lorena)

Mitsuwa Marketplace San Diego
Part of a statewide chain. See general listing at top of page
4240 Kearny Mesa Road
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 569-6699
Comments: "This location also has a dishware store, bentos-to-go, cafe, bookstore, and “cute” shop." -(Lorena)
Nijiya Market
Part of a statewide chain. See general listing at top of page
3860 Convoy St., #109
San Diego, CA 92111
Phone: (858) 268-3821
Hours: Mon ~ Sun 9:00am- 10:00pm
Comments: "This is a San Diego-based chain and specializes in organic and Japanese food." -(Lorena)
Zion Market
Part of a statewide chain. See general listing at top of page
4611 Mercury St.
San Diego, CA 92111
Comments: "This is a Korean market, but they have many Asian staples." -(Lorena)
Vien Dong
Part of a statewide chain. See general listing at top of page
6935 Linda Vista Rd.
San Diego, CA 92111
Tel: (858)292-7176
Also at
5382 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92105
Tel: (619) 583-3838
Comments: "This is a Vietnamese market, but they have many Asian staples." -(Lorena)

San Franciso Bay/San Jose/San Mateo area

Also check out Biggie's San Francisco Bay Area shopping guide for bento things, on Lunch In A Box.

747 Buchanan Street (Japan Town)
San Francisco, CA 94115
Tel: (415) 922-1244
English web site
Japanese confections shop selling manjuu and mochi. In operation since 1906.
Comments: "If visiting SF’s Japan Town, don’t miss [this shop]" -(Greg Wittel)
Ichiban Kan
98 E. 3rd Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94401
Tel. (650) 347-1347
Mailorder site (continental USA shipping only - boo), blog
Modelled after a 100 yen shop in Japan. Sells bento supplies, cheap and interesting kitchenware, accessories, toys, and all kinds of things. A '99 cent shop' with a difference. Considered to be a mecca for bento fans. Mailorder store set to open in April.
Also a store in San Francisco in the Japantown mall (see below)
Imahara Produce
19725 Stevens Creek Blvd
Cupertino, CA 95014
Comments: "Family run. Excellent produce (and cheap!) — nice selection of both Japanese and non-Asian produce. Has the usual variety of foodstuffs and snacks. Some fresh fish but the main thing is the produce. Oh, and they sell locally made tofu by the San Jose Tofu company. Probably the best tofu you can get in the Bay Area." -(Greg Wittel)
Japantown shopping mall complex
Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
English web site
A small shopping mall and tourist attraction, with mostly Japanese stores, located within the tiny Japan Town (Nihonmachi) area in San Francisco. (There's a connected building which has mostly Korean stores.) The last time I was here (2005) I found it a little bit disappointing - it's really a shadow of what it must have been once. It looked a bit run down. (If they've renovated since then, let me know!) Still, it has a decent selection of stores, restaurants, plus a Kinokuniya bookstore and gift shop. (maki)
Within Japantown:
Ichiban Kan Japantown
1625 Post St, Miyako Mall 22 Peace Plz, Ste 540
San Francisco, CA 94115
Tel: (415) 409-0472
Mailorder site (continental USA shipping only), blog
Modelled after a 100 yen shop in Japan. Sells bento supplies, cheap and interesting kitchen ware, etc.
Marukai Market Cupertino
Part of a statewide chain. See general listing at top of page
Comments: "Coming soon to Cupertino. It will be in the shopping center across the street from Imhara’s." -(Greg Wittel)
Mitsuwa Marketplace San Jose
Part of a statewide chain. See general listing at top of page
675 Saratoga Avenue
San Jose, CA 95129
(408) 255-6699
Comments: "Good for food; large but weak selection of housewares" -(anon)
"The Kinokuniya moved out of the store into a building in the same parking lot. The store is larger and carries a few character bento boxes. -(Sandy Wambold)"
Nijiya Mountain View
Part of a statewide chain. See general listing at top of page
143 E. El Camino Real
Mountain View, CA 94040
Tel: (650) 691-1600
Nijiya San Francisco
Part of a statewide chain. See general listing at top of page
1737 Post St. (Japan Town)
San Francisco, CA 94115
Tel: (415) 563-1901



Nijiya San Mateo
Part of a statewide chain. See general listing at top of page
1956 S. El Camino Real
San Mateo, CA 94403
Tel: (650) 212-7398

Nijiya San Jose
Part of a statewide chain. See general listing at top of page
240 Jackson St.
San Jose, CA 95112
Tel- (408) 275-6916
Santo Market
245 Taylor Street
San Jose, CA 95112
Comments: "A tiny family run market that’s been around for over 50 years." -(Linda Y)
Super Mira
1790 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94115
Comments: "Has a great little bakery." -(Linda Y)
Suruki Supermarket
71 E 4th Ave
San Mateo, CA 94401
Comments: "A busy market on a busy corner of San Mateo. Has a pretty decent deli section (1/2 off after 6 PM), and a great fish counter. Kaz Grill next door is pretty good, and Ichiban Kan is a block away." -(Linda Y)
Takahashi Market
221 South Claremont St.
San Mateo, CA 94401
Comments: "This was the only Japanese market around for many years. Now, it has mostly Hawaiian goods, but still has quite a bit of older Japanese brands. Great plate lunches, and very nice staff." -(Linda Y)
Tokyo Fish market
1220 San Pablo Avenue
Albany, CA 94709
Tel. 510.524.7243
Comments: "I’ve been going here since I was a wee one. They originally opened in the 60’s in a tiny storefront and they expanded into a regular size supermarket. Their old location, on the same lot, is a non-food Japanese product store, lots of bamboo kitchenware and typical teapot and cup sets. Tokyo Fish has loads of grocery items, as well as a fresh fish counter and pre-made deli foods. They have an excellent selection of Japanese beer, sake and various ramen brands for noodle freaks like me. Alas, no web site, so no on-line ordering, but it’s more fun to actually go in person anyway if you’re local. Check ‘em out!" -(Maryb)
Uoki Sakai
656 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
Comments: "Excellent fish section." -(Linda Y)

(Last updated April 8, 2008)

Filed under:  japanese ingredients shopping equipment and supplies


Ebisu Supermarket is a nice market in Fountain Valley, CA(Orange County).

Website is under construction but should be completed very soon.

Sacramento Area
Oto's Marketplace
4990 Freeport Blvd.
Sacramento, Ca 95822
(916) 424-2398

Very nice market. Fresh produce, big variety of frozen foods, fresh sushi and the meat department will cater to your needs. Fresh Bento box lunches. Their parking lot is small, but you can park next door in the Rite Aid lot.

We are open and selling bento boxes and accessories, worldwide.

May we be in your list?

I love your website. The cooking instructions are great. I am a Los Angeles transplant in Tokyo. When I read Japanese magazine-cookbooks, my food comes out horrible.

This year I finished my book, Five Great Days in Tokyo. It will be out this summer.

My only comment is your recommendation for Japanese schools in Tokyo.

I have studied for two years at Naganuma School of Linguistics. I finished in the advanced Japanese program. I also studied beginner Japanese at Nichibei in Iidabashii. I studied full time for a total of four years.

Your list of Japanese schools is comprehensive, but one must be careful when choosing a Japanese school. The US embassy has published a list of recommended Japanese schools. I believe the British embassy does as well. The problem with going to just any school is that Japan allows almost anyone to come to Japan as long as they study Japanese.

I entered a class once at a smaller Japanese school where nearly everyone was asleep. The instruction was a farce, because the students primary purpose seemed to be to work full time in the evening. Many students worked at clubs. There were two young men from Hungary who said they were only in Japan to work, not to study. They wished they could study. It seemed that Japanese school was just for visa reasons. One might be careful before loosely recommending Japanese schools, especially considering that many younger college students from America are interested in studying Japanese in the summer. As a parent I would not want my child studying at a school where many people work at clubs.

Thank you for creating a great, useful website.

Brandia Tanaka

Five Great Days in Tokyo

I don't have any list of language schools in Tokyo on this site, or anywhere else for that matter. This is a food site after all. So...I'm confused. :) Maybe you mixed this site up with another site.

Is this book you did available to buy?

Hi Maki! I just found your website and I love it! I tried your ketchup fried rice and it is so good, like my mom's.

This is the Bay Area Japanese market that my mom goes to:

Diablo Oriental Foods
2590 N Main St
Walnut Creek, CA 94597
(925) 933-259

The store is tiny, but it has a good selection including produce, fish, great tofu, and tons of Japanese snacks and ingredients.

Yes, they are small, but they make use of every inch. I have been going there for 25 years. Being a native of Hawaii, I like the fact I can enjoy fresh poi every thursday! The owner, whose name is Bruce , knows me and gets me what I need.It's a one and a half hour round trip, but well worth it.

I just found an excellent store in the Central Valley for nearly all my Japanese food cravings. After looking for a store in this area that actually stocked Japanese food ingredients for several weeks, the search is over:

Central Fish Co.
1535 Kern St
Fresno, CA 93706

I was pleasantly surprised at the selection of foods and hard to find Japanese sauces, soup ingredients, snacks, drinks and yes, a huge selection of fresh fish and seafood!

Watch out for expired items at the Central Fish.
Sometimes you ended up buying item w/ expiration date on it...and mold on some of the product.

R-N Market has more varieties of grocery I think!

Thank you! Just as you said, some of the items I bought were expired...I'll check out R-N Market instead next time.

There are acually several Asian Based Supermarkets in Fresno, I have noticed them on Visits from SF. There is a South Asian store at Shaw and Marks, which great for Spices. I also noticed a Korean market, but can't remember where it was. R-N Market at Cedar and Herndon, K-C Market at Kings Canyon and Winery, Asian Supermarket (or International Supermarket) at Tulare and Chestnut. All these according to a post I found. And the Former toy store at 1st and Olive is now Golden Bowl...what's looks to be a huge Oriental Market...As I am thinking of relocating back to Fresno, I am going to check these out next time I'm in Town. I don't want the culture shock of not being able to access the wonderful things I have experienced here in the Bay Area.

Stashes GREAT selections of Japanese groceries, pantry items, frozen unagi, etc. It's a Taiwanese run chain with about 7-8 stores in Northern California. Due to heavy Japanese influence on Taiwanese cuisine, this chain reflects that heritage in its shopping selections.

The Mitsuwa market in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, is closing on January 25 2009. The mall was purchased recently and the new owners apparently plan on putting a Korean themed market in its place. I'm a customer and have been shopping there for 15 years. Many of the senior staff and check out takers are being moved to other stores, which is a good. Here's a news item from the local free paper:



Osaka-ya is a great little store in downtown Sacramento that makes fresh mochi and manjuu daily! Their specialty is a peanut butter mochi that is to die for. It carries a small selection of grocery items as well and the staff is very friendly. It's a great place to get a taste of fresh and traditional Japanese confections.

In college I always went to Kukje Market in Daly City, it's a Japanese/Korean Supermarket. It is really reasonable and they have great produce and my roommate seemed to like the meat, but I have not clue personally. They also have housewares, but I a not sure about bento type stuff, since I haven't been since I started packing bentos.

2350 Junipero Serra Blvd
Daly City, CA 94015
(415) 992-0333


Safe & Save was one of the first Japanese grocery stores in California and since 1972, it has become a historical icon and one of the remaining "mom and pop" stores of that area called Sawtelle or "Little Osaka."

It's a small neighborhood store with super friendly staff and a neighborhood vibe you can't get anywhere else. Every time I walk in, the staff there are greeting customers by first name!

A hidden secret about Safe & Save are their selection of FRESH FISH and HAWAIIAN FOODS! I've heard about world class chefs shopping here as well as Hollywood celebs like Tori Spelling, Steven Spielberg and Wesley Snipes to name a few.

Its a small gem and they'll be getting my patronage more, more and more now that I've found them.

I have shopped at Safe and Save many times but in Ventura County we go to:
Asahi Market
660 S. Oxnard Blvd.
Oxnard, CA 93030
Kyong Ku Ko, propietor
I have heard that they have been around for a long time.

If you post my previous msg re: Asahi Market would you correct the spelling of:
Thank you,

I live right down the street from here and it's a small Japanese market called Tozai, great traditional foods for cooking and prepared sushi bentos. Here is the info and it is in South San Gabriel.

Tozai Foods
1326 Potrero Grande Dr
Rosemead, CA 91770

No website, they accept credit and debit and the hours are 10-7pm, there is also a Japanese Teriyaki take out place called Bachans. Bachans has great Tepan Chicken and Crusted Ahi Ahi Tuna. It is worth checking both of these places out especially because they are family owned and not chain related.

I'm surprised that County Square Market has'nt been mentioned. They have 3 locations in CA, in Pleasant Hill, Antioch, and my town, Vacaville, at 136 Peabody Rd. They are a very large store, with a full fresh meat and seafood area in the back. They have a wide variety of oriental fresh veggies and fruit, and being a Hawaiian native, I truly love the snacks and driedfruit, li hing mui, islanders call it,seaweed of all kinds, arare,even a full hot deli, complete with a whole roast pig hanging in the hot case,cut to order for you. Combine that with friendly employees, a very clean, sanitary store, and too much more to mention, this is a must see for oriental food buffs, and everyone in general.

I haven't seen this one posted yet. Family owned business. My family has been shopping here for years,and its the only place I know of to get Japanese products in the Central Valley.

Sakura - Japanese Groceries and Gifts
4343 PACIFIC AVE. #A-4
PHONE: 209-477-3939
FAX: 209-477-3993

LOCATION: South West corner of Bianchi Rd and Pacific Ave. The store is located in university square shopping center.

10:00 AM - 7:00 PM (MONDAY - FRIDAY)
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM (SATURDAY)


Help, please! I am looking for a Japanese Grocery store which is located (in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California), apparently on Reseda Boulevard and Victory Boulevard. Please advise. Thank you very much.

hi i just open mi litle sushi bar in tijuana mex n i want to now where i can buy mi japanese greoceries close to the san isydro border, chulavista, sandiego area etc....thanks for the help

Sacramento area:

Oto's Marketplace
4990 Freeport Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95822

Way bigger/better than Kim's in Davis, and it's actually Japanese.

I didn't see this when it was originally posted, but this is very helpful.

I love that you included Tokyo Fish Market. My grandma's sister's family owns the Tokyo Fish Market and I just love it a whole lot. I live in the Los Angeles area so I can't shop there - though when I do visit family over in the Bay Area I try to stop by.

Just wanted to let you know that they have a website now.

I'm asking where I can buy saloon pilot crackers in hayward ca

Hi! My daughters and I love JustHungry and JustBento. Thank you so much! I just wanted to update the fact that the Marukai market in Cupertino is open (I think it has been for a year or so)and is right next to a Daiso.

Sad to report that the beloved Safe&Save in Sawtelle (WLA) has closed for forever.

Just confirming that sadly Safe and Save has closed.