Thursday, May 12, 2016
Lately people have been asking me just how big the "super market" is on Shiraishi Island. This is especially relevant to those staying several days in accommodation such as the Villa, or Shiraishi Guest House, where there is a kitchen to cook your own food.
How large it is depends on how you see things: either the supermarket is half-empty or half-full. If you booked through the Okayama International Villa web page, they'll lead you to believe that you'll absolutely starve if you don't bring your own food to the island. This is simply not true (how do they think the islanders survive?!). While the variety of goods is not huge, it is definitely enough to get by and covers all the basics.
For an island of just 525 people, it seems to me like we have a pretty good store, but I'll let you be the judge.
Amano Store (086-568- 3015 proficient Japanese only) is open every day from 8:00 am to 6 pm (although they're usually open by 7 am in the summer). It is restocked every morning at 11:00 am except for Sundays when they are open regular hours but do not stock new items. (Please note that if you are coming to the island on the last ferry from the mainland, the store will be closed before you arrive).
There are four isles. Here are some samplings:
Vegetables: Most of your western-type veggies such as lettuce, carrots, mushrooms, onions, spinach, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumber and garlic. Also lotus root, daikon radish, ginger root, negi.
Fruits: apples, bananas, kiwi, and seasonal fruits such as strawberries, grapes and berries. There are cantaloupe, pineapple and peaches, but they're mostly for gift purposes so are expensive.
The Meat Section:
Mostly chicken, wieners and sandwich meat (ham). There is usually a little bit of salmon but not much fish since most people here are fishermen, so the last thing they want is more fish!
There is some ready to eat (or nearly ready to eat) food like tofu, yogurt, shumai, gyoza, canned tuna, corn, frosted flakes (the only cereal), instant ramen, curry, premium crackers and Ritz crackers. They stock spaghetti and pasta curls but no sauces, but you can make your own as they sell both canned tomatoes and fresh. There is a wide selection of snacks (chips as well as senbei rice crackers and cookies). If you're lucky, you'll find a bento lunch or onigiri before someone else does.
Not pictured but also available: bread, milk, eggs, cream, butter, margarine, cheese, soy milk, mayonnaise, cooking oil, soy sauce, mirin, miso, and other basic cooking needs.
They also stock personal hygiene items: shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, toilet paper, women's hygiene products (including, rather impressively for the Japanese countryside, tampons).