american items not found in japan

If you are looking for the best American Items Not Found In Japan, then look no further than this article. It includes things you cant buy in japan. Perhaps you are interested in american products not sold internationally, then reading this article may help you.

There are two common misconceptions about moving to Japan:

A. You can get anything you could in the US, through the magic of internet

B. You can’t get anything you are used to, and you will live on rice and miso for the next five years.

Neither are really true. As someone living in the countryside, and shopping at a mid-sized town, let me tell you what you likely will and will not be able to find.

things you cant buy in japan

American Items Not Found In Japan

This cream of broccoli soup might cost you $6 per bowl to make.  Cream is jacked, cheese is jacked, and broccoli is too, to a lesser extent.
This cream of broccoli soup might cost you $6 per bowl to make. Cream is jacked, cheese is jacked, and broccoli is too, to a lesser extent.avlxyz on flickr

More Than Miso

You actually can get most things at your average supermarket. If you can’t, there will likely be a foreigners’ store in your area. Most things foreigners commonly complain about are actually pretty easy to find. I have found:

  • cheese
  • peanut butter
  • shirts
  • chocolate
  • mint flavor (popularity is rising)
  • pasta of all sorts
  • decent Italian restaurants
  • Mexican food
  • most major spices to make any of these things

So don’t freak out. My list of things I haven’t been able to get at all is much shorter.

The real sticking point is price. If you’ve lived on your own for a while and know the prices of things, adjusting to “import prices” can be rough.

Fruit and what you could call "decent" chocolate are outrageously expensive. You won't be making this, even if strawberries are in season.
Fruit and what you could call “decent” chocolate are outrageously expensive. You won’t be making this, even if strawberries are in season.Hans on pixabay

Things That Are Awfully Expensive in Japan

So here’s my list of things that are only available at jacked prices. Some of these things you could bring from home, but some are just shogunai (nothing to do about it).

  • Broccoli (I eat a LOT of broccoli, other people might not notice this one)
  • Chocolate in general
  • Baker’s chocolate and cocoa in particular
  • Cream
  • Cheese (you can get it, but you pay through the nose compared to US prices)
  • Fruit, except bananas. Don’t ask me why. Expect about $1 per piece of fruit at the cheap end.
  • Pasta sauces
  • Peanut butter – I don’t eat much, so I don’t notice this.
  • Button/crimini/portabella mushrooms
  • Clothes
  • Gym memberships
  • Energy drinks
  • Accessories

Now, Japan has its own version of peanut butter which tastes like the fluff was mixed into the jar. It’s okay if you like that kind of thing, but for our purposes, we’re talking about Skippy being expensive.

Same way with chocolate. You can get it … but what you can get easily is strange. If you go for Western style, it gets more expensive. Baking is not popular in Japan, due to lack of real ovens, so the baking section is like easy-bake versions of everything. A 3 oz bag of chocolate chips, 10 grams of baking powder, and 1000000000 decorating implements.

If you have the luggage space, I suggest buying some dried mushrooms if you really enjoy the flavor. No one told me that mushrooms were going to be so rare, or so expensive. I guess most people are focused on the cheese and chocolate.

Regardless of all this, I would save most of the suitcase space for clothes if you don’t have an Asian body type. Even those of us who are more slim will have trouble finding things that really fit, especially larger busts, wider shoulders, and curvier hips. I do not mean larger hips, but literally curvier. They don’t sell clothes that lay well on a ba-donka-donk, so you have to size up, and end up with a sack.

What Should You Bring When Moving to Japan?

If you like these things, throw them in your suitcase.

  • Hard cheese, like Romano or Parmesan, that won’t spoil during the trip.
  • Dried mushrooms.
  • Cocoa powder and bakers chocolate, if you want to bake, or just a few mixes.
  • Many pairs of pants.
  • Underwear.
  • Bras.
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste with fluoride, if you use it.
  • Flavored coffee creamer. It doesn’t exist here—this is one thing you truly can’t get anywhere in my area.
  • Omiyage, that is, small edible gifts for everyone.
  • Any medications you are currently taking that aren’t expressly prohibited.

american products not sold internationally

The handbook I got from JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme) said that you can only bring X amount of Y at a time in your suitcase. After checking the relevant customs rules, I couldn’t find anything about such restrictions. There is a “reasonable personal use” clause on everything, meaning you are not supposed to bring enough to sell.

The JET handbook’s statement that you can’t bring more than one month of medication into the country at a time seems to be false. Sending medication later is expensive and requires paperwork, and going to the doctor is of course no fun. So bring as much of your medication as you need until you get settled. Everyone who isn’t on the JET program does that, and no one has had problems. Just don’t go crazy and make people think you are dealing meds.


AliExpress is a massively popular Chinese online retail service owned by Alibaba Group. It was launched in 2010 and hasn’t stopped its journey to becoming the ‘biggest online marketplace of the world‘ ever-since. AliExpress stands toe-to-toe even with Amazon in terms of buyers worldwide. It offers wholesale goods at direct-to-consumer prices from Chinese sellers.×280&!4&btvi=1&fsb=1&xpc=ai4TqlRMo9&p=https%3A//

It also works as a great dropshipping model for a lot of e-commerce entrepreneurs. Along with a lot of good sides, AliExpress has some cons as well. The biggest problem is the shipping time of AliExpress orders, which is pretty long considering the goods come from China. Also, some orders can be very expensive after shipping charges and taxes.

So, it is a good thing to have some AliExpress alternatives whenever you don’t like its services. That’s why we are telling you about 21 best sites like AliExpress. Some of these websites offer cheaper prices and faster shipping on certain products. And, you can also use them to maintain a nice profit margin for your dropshipping business.


LightInTheBox is the perfect AliExpress alternative as it is also a Chinese e-Store. It sells hot and trending products across the globe. Their products range from phone and electronics to fashion, jewelry, shoes, bags, and many other items. You can find almost anything here at a very cheap price.

The delivery time of LightInTheBox is also similar to AliExpress as their warehouses are located only in China. But, you may get a faster shipping time due to having fewer orders to ship. You can pay for your orders with PayPal, Western Union, or your credit card.


Wish is a widely popular online marketplace where you can buy almost anything. From clothing to footwear, electronics, healthcare items, and many more things, you can get them all for an incredibly cheap price. They are also known to offer great deals and coupons to their new customers.

Their shipping time is also faster than AliExpress as their products come from sellers located in small countries. Wish also provides an advanced rating system that is very helpful for both the consumers as well as sellers. It helps promote good ones.


Overstock is a US-based online marketplace. It makes profit by selling wholesale products at a highly cheap price tag. A major portion of their stock is comprised of overstock from the major retailers or their seconds. You can find some really amusing deals here. The shipping time will also be lower as compared to the Chinese marketplaces. You can get your items within a week.

The product range of Overstock is incredible. You can find everything such as clothing, decor, kitchen appliances, and many more items. You can even find furniture and other big home items. So, you can use to fill your house with great stuff at a reduced price.


DealeXtreme, more popularly known as DX, is an amazing online marketplace. The website works in a very similar manner as ‘Wish’ and sells cheap products coming directly from sellers. It has partnered with many small businesses and sells its products to a wide base of audience.!5&btvi=2&fsb=1&xpc=x6FxDoGgJS&p=https%3A//

The shipping time is a problem with DX also because their warehouses are located in China. Apart from this, you can get some really worthy deals on DX. You should always keep an eye on their clearance sales for the best prices.


Gearbest is the perfect AliExpress alternative if you are looking to shop for the latest gadgets or electronic devices. It works with over 5000 Chinese brands and top suppliers to deliver the best products. It has products from top Chinese companies such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Lenovo, and many others. But, it isn’t just an electronic store.

You can also find a massive range of other products as well. The prices available on GearBest are reduced, and you can even reduce them with the available coupons. They also have warehouses in multiple countries. So, you can get faster shipping from the local warehouse.


BangGood is another Chinese e-commerce platform that provides worldwide shipping of cheap goods. You can find almost anything on this website, from clothing to electronics, and even home items. The prices available are marked down from their original prices. You can also get amazing deals during special clearance sales.

BangGood provides a free $20 coupon to every new user. The shipping time for BangGood orders is faster than AliExpress for certain products. However, the regular shipping time is similar.


ChinaBrands is a widely popular Chinese e-Store where you can buy products at wholesale prices. You can find almost anything on this website at a highly affordable price. Their shipping prices are also low but you will get a long shipping time. It is the perfect website for buyers who want the lowest prices but can wait for their orders for at least a month.

Most of the ChinaBrands sellers run their factories from China, and their warehouses are located there only. This is the reason for the considerably long shipping time.


Bonanza is a unique American online marketplace where you can find a great range of products. They have over 20 million items from more than 50,000 sellers. It is a growing e-commerce store where even you can sell your items. It is a preferred platform by more than 20,000 entrepreneurial sellers. You can find some really amazing handcrafted items and collectibles here.

For people looking to shop regular items, this store may disappoint you a little. The prices of some items may be a little higher than some Chinese stores. But, the quality provided will be worth it.


Here are 21 AliExpress Alternatives that you can use to shop online.

  1. LightInTheBox
  2. Wish
  3. Overstock
  4. DealXtreme (DX)
  5. GearBest
  6. BangGood
  7. ChinaBrands
  8. Bonanza
  9. DHGate
  10. TinyDeal
  11. Target
  12. MiniInTheBox
  13. GeekBuying
  14. Jet
  15. TomTop
  16. Target
  17. MadeInChina
  18. American Greenwood
  19. Walmart
  20. eBay
  21. Amazon


AliExpress is amazing but it is always good to have options when you are shopping. So, these are the 21 best sites like AliExpress. If you ever feel like you should look somewhere else, these are some stores that you should visit. You can also use these for your dropshipping business if you are an aspiring entrepreneur. Make sure you have a solid plan before beginning.

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