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Western food you miss? 2009/12/5 06:30

My brother lives in Japan and I want to send him a care package of snacks/food of western food that he's likely to really appreciate. It's a surprise package that's why I haven't asked him what he misses.

What everyday western food do you miss while living in Japan that is impossible to find/buy over there?
by John (guest)  

which country exactly? 2009/12/5 10:59
You really need to say what country you are in- "western" is far too general. A German is going to miss different foods to a Canadian, a Spanish person will miss different foods to an Australian, yet they are all from "western" countries. If your brother is from New Zealand like I am, I would say send him some Marmite and Crunchie bars, but I'm guessing you're not from New Zealand?
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

Chips 2009/12/5 11:50
Various assorted chips and cereal.. like Lucky Charms, or "Salsa Verde Doritos".. japanese snacks are pretty bland compared to snacks in Australia or the US.. well unless you like shrimp chips :P
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

Treats From Home... 2009/12/5 13:51

Beef Jerky - microwave popcorn - beer nuts - trail mixes - powdered gatorade - packaged instant breakfast - bacon bits - packaged cocoa w/marshmellows - granola bars - snickers - dried salami - cheese - chips, & a can of Budweiser......
by stanfordgal rate this post as useful

They are available here though 2009/12/5 15:28
Except of course that you can get Doritos and other very spicy snacks in supermarkets in Japan... try the snacks with the chilli with the evil face on the bag if you don't believe me...I forget the name.
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

Snickers are everywhere here 2009/12/5 21:12
stanfordgal, Snickers are available at most convenience stores and even train station Kiosks, in Tokyo at least.
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

specifying western 'region' 2009/12/6 01:17
Thanks for the responses. To be more specific about which western area - North America.
by John (guest) rate this post as useful

snacks 2009/12/6 03:22
Dude, cheezits, Goldfish, and triscuits. Craving those like no other.
by fruitloops (guest) rate this post as useful

Meat pies 2009/12/6 06:25
As Sira said, it really does depend on the country you are from, and also where your brother is living. In Tokyo, you can get pretty much anything if you look around. You may have to pay a bit more too, but usually it's available somewhere. I had meat pies sent to me once. Salt and Vinegar chips was another I missed, although they were available from time to time in supermarkets.
Gray mixes or instant pasta mixes, etc. were things I always bought when back in my home country to take back to Japan.
by Smoke (guest) rate this post as useful

fibre 2009/12/6 09:58
our family like us to bring hi fibre items: muesli, muesli bars, trail mix etc
by fmj rate this post as useful

. 2009/12/6 11:28
Be careful of the food you bring. Beef Jerky will be confiscated.
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

He Won't Want These 2009/12/6 12:43
The first CARE Packages contained:

* one pound of beef in broth
* one pound of steak and kidneys
* 8 ounces of liver loaf
* 8 ounces of corned beef
* 12 ounces of luncheon loaf (like Spam)
* 8 ounces of bacon
* 2 pounds of margarine
* one pound of lard
* one pound of fruit preserves
* one pound of honey
* one pound of raisins
* one pound of chocolate
* 2 pounds of sugar
* 8 ounces of egg powder
* 2 pounds of whole-milk powder
* 2 pounds of coffee
by stanfordgal rate this post as useful

. 2009/12/6 13:33
I didn't grow up in Noth America, but how about Kraft Mac'n'Cheese, canned baked beans, canned chicken noodle soup, licorice candy and grape jelly (to make PB&J)?
by Ikuyo Kuruyo (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/12/6 14:20

Products from Canada and the U.S. are totally different, but I grew up in L.A. and I miss TV Dinner. TV dinner also happens to be the one thing you can't get anywhere in Japan. I even made inquiries and the most convincing opinion I heard was that it could be due to some ingredients that are illegal in Japan. Tells you how junk they are :)

Another thing I miss is Pop-Tarts. I did find some once in a supermarket here in Japan (National Azabu), so at least I know it's legal, but you hardly see them here.

But these kind of mass production foods can usually be obtained through the Foreign Buyers Club which is an on-line shopping site that can import almost anything given the time and money. So what I ask for souveniors are organic food that is homemade by small organic food shops in the country, or spice mixes that you can only get at open-air markets.

Especially, spice mixes can be really handy for busy people and bachelors, because all you have to do is to buy a piece of cheap meat or fish from your local store, throw it into a frying pan with a dash of spice mix and you get a perfect main dish with the taste of home.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/12/6 15:28
Sending TV dinners like hungryman is probably unrealistic, not to mention many of those items contain meat products.

As an American living in Japan, there are some things I miss, but would probably be impossible to send through the mail.

Though Japanese versions of these foods also exist in Japan, they aren't exactly the same.

Japanese snicker's bars are not the same. They tend to be much more milder (and expensive) compared to other snickers bars which are much sweeter, I think the Japanese snickers bar, obviously is developed for the Japanese market.

Any case, Dorito's COOL RANCH, is what I miss, you can find regular dorito's but not Dorito's cool ranch, looked everywhere, no one has it. I even found rootbeer which is quite rare in the Tokyo area, but no CoolRanch doritos.

I can find beef jerky ok and the Japanese have their own versions too.

I miss Taco Bell, yes junk food, but you can't send that though the mail, there are of course Mexican restaurants in Japan, so If I wanted Tacos and wanted to pay an arm and a leg I could get it.
by ExpressTrain (guest) rate this post as useful

foods I missed when I lived there 2009/12/7 11:50
Snyder's big pretzels & pretzel nuggets.
for cooking: chipotle chiles in adobo sauce.
by Spendthrift (guest) rate this post as useful

American food not found Japan. 2010/1/13 17:11
I live in Japan, but have not seen apple sauce, pita bread, or whole wheat tacos. Those might be some good items. Also cereal is not common here except for corn flakes and a couple others I can't remember. I think any kind of cereal with marshmellows or other sweet iteams in them would be good. Tonly a couple kinds of cereal here, and none of them are sweet. I have also been looking for mayonnaise. They have mayonnaise in Japan, but it tastes different from the U.S. I can ot make some of my old recipes and have them come out tasting the same using the Japanese mayonnaise. Another thing that might be good are protien bars. I don't see much variety in the stores, and the ones I do see are different from the U.S.
by gaijin111 rate this post as useful

More food items 2010/1/14 01:40
Ok, I thought of a few more: fruit roll ups, candy corns, zinggers, kool-aid, moon pies, star burst, the white and pink frosted animal cookies, pumpkin in a can, and chilli in a can.

I was also remember the two other cereals I saw here besides corn flakes. There were rice crispies and frosted flakes. Those are the only ones I have seen here.
by gaijin111 rate this post as useful

I found a site that sells lots of this 2010/4/20 15:46
I actually found a good website that sells some/lots of what everyone above is missing. It is called They seem to have a good selection of Costco, Ikea and other imported foods.
What I miss the most is fresh pasta, deli meats, and fresh deli olives...Oh yeah and corn pops, and red licorice! Definitely miss those sometimes!
by john (guest) rate this post as useful

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