Yamaya, Japan’s Imported Goods Paradise

By Donnie | American Brands in Japan

Huh? What? You’re coming down with a scorching case of LAB (the Living Abroad Blues) you say? Have I got a temporary solution for you. Try Nibbling on some imported foods. It just may do the trick. “But Donald where will I find these magical, imported goods that you speak of?!” Hey, hey…you know I got you 😉 .

There’s this wonderful store called Yamaya! If you’ve never been to this store, simply put…it rocks! It’s the place I go when I’m really needing a foreign goods fix. The Yamaya that I usually go to isn’t all that big, but the staff is really nice, and they have a pretty nice selection of goods.

This is the place 😀

What Kinds of Goods Can You Find At Yamaya?

Let me give you the rundown. Of course this isn’t a comprehensive list, but here are some of the things that I was happy to see (perhaps they’ll have the same effect on you): Quaker Oats Instant Oatmeal, Skippy Peanut Butter, Cherry Coke, A&W Root Beer, Smuckers Jam, Planters Peanuts, Doritos & Pringles(you can find these everywhere, though), among other things. Not all of the brands are American of course. Yamaya carries brands from all over the world. There are great food products to purchase, but I think Yamaya’s true specialty is in wine/alcohol. There are imported wines, liquors, all kinds of stuff.

This place has loads of imported alcohol.

What’s the Yamaya Staff Like?

Very kind and very efficient. There is also the occasional Japanese cutie working there, which is always quite nice. The manager at this location is a pretty cool guy, too. One time I had a party to go to and wanted to take a gift. I don’t know very much about alcohol and wine, but I wanted to buy wine for a friend’s party, so I asked the manager for a recommendation. He actually took the time to help me find a good wine that wasn’t too expensive. I remember seeing the store owner right after the big earthquake back in March, and I made it a point to go and ask him if everything was okay, and offer my apologies.

Where is Yamaya Located?

The Tsukuba Center Yamaya can be found at the Tsukuba MOG shopping center. It is very close to the CREO outdoor plaza. Depending on the season, it’s in this plaza that they set up the Christmas tree, it’s where they have the food vans, the carousel, and where they sometimes have concerts. It’s very close to the the Lotteria Burger shop. Please take a look at these pictures to get a better idea:

Yamaya is very close to the Creo Plaza.

Yamaya sits right next to Lotteria.

and directly across from Cayhane

Is It Expensive?

Not really. I know it depends on what you buy. Some foods are just going to be expensive no matter where you buy them from. Like maple syrup for example. A small bottle can cost about 500 yen while you could end up paying as much as 1400 yen! In general, though, the prices on the imported goods are totally reasonable.

I have heard there are bigger stores in the Yamaya chain, so they may be worth checking out as they may have a larger selection. But if you’re ever in Tsukuba and you want to get good imports from a good shop with a good staff, go to Yamaya at Tsukuba Center at the MOG shopping mall.

Maybe I’ll see you there,

Donald Ash

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