To see a full, detailed orientation on day-to-day living in Japan, click here.

Orientation to Food in Tokyo

Katheryn Gronauer | Transition & Wellness Coach

Katheryn Gronauer | Transition & Wellness Coach

Since moving to Japan, have you walked into a grocery store and wondered, "Uhh...which one is the milk I want?"

Perhaps you've been struggling to read food labels, aren't sure which soy sauce to pick in the sea of bottles with brown liquid, were curious about some vegetables and products you've never seen before, or are dying to have more fresh fruit and veggies if they weren't so expensive (and you actually knew what they were and how to use them!).

Hi! I'm Katheryn, a wellness facilitator and writer for Women's Health. When I came to Japan, I was so excited to learn about Japanese products and wound up losing 40 pounds. In this orientation, let me ease the overwhelm and help you integrate your life to Japan!

Here's what we'll cover:

Food Info and Grocery Store Photo.JPG


  • The 8 places where you can purchase foods in Japan and how they each operate

  • Identifying which products to use for ingredients you're familiar with (i.e. flour, oils, sugar, etc.)

  • The 7 core ingredients used in Japanese cooking, and what order to use them in

  • The 3 kinds of seating styles in Japanese restaurants

  • Etiquette and tips for dining out in Japan

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  • What a typical layout is for Japanese grocery stores

  • What price ranges are "normal"

  • Overview of vegetables and products unfamiliar to you

  • How to identify package dates on meats

  • Q&A: ask about products and produce you're unsure about - let me help you buy your food

This is the perfect opportunity to get any questions you have answered about food and health in Japan!

The workshop includes a guidebook to and translation card to reference during and after the workshop.

Japan Food Guidebook Cover
Japan Food Guidebook Labels
Japan Food Guidebook Products

Jacqui Miyabashi

I had met Katheryn once before briefly so when I heard about the tour of the Farmer's Market I was keen to join it. I hadn't been to the market before and probably wouldn't have gone alone so it was perfect timing for me.

I wasn't sure what I would learn but I was amazed by how much I did learn. Katheryn managed to make the tour feel like a casual girl's day out but with structure and a plan it was so much more enjoyable. Katheryn had mapped out a few of the spots to hit in advance. She had also planned a loose time schedule which we stuck to yet I did not feel rushed or exhausted. It was perfect!

Katheryn was very knowledgeable about food. I would have thought I knew a lot given that I have lived in Japan for a long time but WOW! I was blown away by all I learned about eating seasonally and eating according to how your body feels. For instance she recommended Japanese foods for inflammation or bloating.

I'd recommend this tour to anyone who is new to Japan or anyone who wants to expand their food repertoire beyond the commonly available supermarket foods. If you have dietary restrictions this would be amazing because Katheryn can read or ask about the food labels. She is a wealth of information and you'll learn a lot, which is incredibly empowering for future solo shopping trips!

- Jacqui Miyabashi, New Zealand

Before the session, I was feeling a bit intimidated, definitely confused about some of the basics, like how to differentiate between cartons of milk, vast arrays of soy sauce + vinegar, + why a single peach could cost $10! Katheryn explained the major "need to knows' in a concise, well organized manner.  

Her beautifully photographed accompanying guide to the in-person session is a keeper!  Finally, accompanying her to a local supermarket afforded me the opportunity to ask her questions on the spot + visually connect what I learned around her table with what's actually on the store shelves. Now I feel more confident that I will be buying what I thought I was buying, + excited about this new culinary adventure! This session is beneficial for anyone who doesn't read/speak Japanese.

Additional comment: Katheryn is a poised, knowledgeable, caring young woman with limitless potential.  I'm just glad I was able to join her intimate class before she's snapped up by a major corporation!

-Jennifer, USA

Thank you so much for an informative class. Was really awesome and enjoyable! Thank you for the advice, I got great tips and am ready for my next adventure into the supermarket!

-Liza, UK

The food guide is such a great help. Also the recipes are perfect to start Japanese cooking!! I also found the tour in the store very helpful! Thank you!

-Claudia, Austria


I am currently offering this workshop as a private session (Time: 2 hours; Price: 12,000 JPY).

Please contact me via the form below to arrange a time - I look forward to connecting with you!

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