The Japanese are an exceptionally fortunate people. Their island is blessed with an abundant supply of seafood, and as any visitor will see, a visit to almost any Japanese supermarket will prove to be a gold find for the hard core sushi lover.
Supermarkets are easily found in all cities in Japan, although the one featured in this report was on the main street in Himeji (on the right side) as you walk from the train station to the city’s famous Hemeji Castle. The fish and sushi section of the market takes up a large portion of the floor space, and you will find all sorts of combo pre made sushi platters.
And these pre made sushi combo platters are of superb, mouthwatering quality. Supermarket sushi plates here in Canada tend to be very sub par. Everywhere in Japan the sushi eaters are very demanding and no supermarket could survive if they were selling sub par sushi combo platters. This was the first such supermarket we walked into on this particular visit, and I was totally gobsmacked by the quality and the selection, not to mention the prices.
Let’s put it like this: When you are in Japan do you want to have your lunch at McDonalds, or do you want a nice, equally filling, quality sushi combo platter? Well the McDonalds will be more expensive I can tell you that. From what we could see, the supermarket combo sushi platters were priced in the 500 to 700 Yen ($5 to $7) range, and that is for a nice platter with shrimp, salmon, tuna etc. If you just want a nice tuna or salmon roll, that will only cost you 200 or 250 Yen.
In the big cities in Japan, almost every major department store will have a food court and grocery store of sorts in the basement. Just head down there and you will invariably find a nice selection of combo sushi platters, also at the same reasonable prices as found in the dedicated supermarkets in Japan.
The conclusion is that you are never too far away from nice sushi when in Japan. And contrary to common misconceptions, sushi in Japan is very affordable and of high quality, and of excellent value.