Did you know that Japan and Thailand’s relationship goes way back to the Ayutthaya period? In fact, Samurai warriors were hired as guards by the Thai King back then! That’s why it’s no surprise that many Japanese still live in Bangkok, namely at Sukhumvit (Thonglor and Ekkamai).
In this area, you’ll find many Japanese supermarkets, bars and restaurants. You can even find a “Tsukiji Market” lookalike – it’s like you’re not even in Thailand anymore!
So if you’re ever missing the country of cherry blossoms, and don’t have the funds to actually go to Japan, why not go to Bangkok’s little Japan? いらっしゃいませ(Irasshaimase)… 😉
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Japanese shopping markets
Remember the fresh seafood, juicy fruits (whose prices can go up to $35) and delicious Wagyu beef in Japan? What if you could now get it in Bangkok? And not just that, but also Japanese necessities, snacks, frozen food, and more.
1. Tsukiji Market moved to Bangkok?! – Thonglor Nihon Ichiba
Sadly, it didn’t 🙁 But you can get a similar experience at this Japanese wholesale seafood market.
Opened in 2018, you can find Japanese-imported fresh seafood and beef, delivered to Bangkok within 10 hours by storing them in ice (freshness guaranteed!!).
You can also get fruits and vegetables at cheaper prices, and even boxes of sushi…So what’s not to love about this supermarket?!
Excited? Come here after 12pm, when the supermarket is open for regular customers (it’s open in the morning for businesses only).
2. Japan’s largest discount chain is finally here – Donki Mall Thonglor
Miss Don Don Donki? Miss it no more because our favourite Japanese supermarket is finally in Bangkok, now in the form of a five-storey building fitted with a supermarket, sports area, restaurants and bars! Here are our two favourite spots in this mall. 😀
2a. Get ready to buy loadssss – Don Don Donki
One place I always visit in Japan is Don Don Donki. Why? Because of its great prices, which is also the case here! 😀
On top of fresh fruit and veggies, you can also find seafood and meat products (both fresh and cooked). So if you get hungry, buy their sushi, bento boxes and/or Japanese sweets (PS: The sushi here is so cheap!! It’s much cheaper than other places in Bangkok.)
You can also get snacks like Kit Kat, instant ramen, furikake and more.
Not a snacks person? Get alcoholic drinks (Japanese rice wine or Sakura blossom liquor anyone?) and daily necessities (masks, skincare products, etc) instead. Find out what other Japanese goodies you can buy here.
Tip: Buy their famous roasted sweet potato before entering the supermarket (or risk starving). It’s super yummy!
2b. Can you figure out the magic trick? – Legend Castle
At Legend Castle (located on the 4th floor of Donki Mall), watch a Japanese magician perform magic in front of you. From card tricks to those using fire, get ready to be surprised and try to guess how they did it.
This is a Japanese bar, so many Japanese guests frequent here. But even if you don’t speak Japanese, they can also speak English (enough for you to understand the situation and feel like you’ve come to a magical castle).
Other than alcoholic beverages, this bar also offers dishes common in Japan like pizza and taco rice (trust me, Japanese people loveeee these kinds of taste).
3. A typical Japanese supermarket – Makotoya
Staying in a place with a kitchen? Come to Makotoya and grab frozen seafood and meats (Maybe even cook them bbq-style?).
Not to worry if there’s no extra facilities where you’re staying. If you’re not cooking you can still visit this supermarket to get other Japanese imported ingredients like Japanese sauces, Matcha and Hokkaido rice.
Japanese sake and shochu? Yep, they’ve got it too!
4. Meet the supermarket to go to for Japanese exports – UFM Fuji Super (Branch 1)
When many Japanese people frequent a particular store, you know that the store’s goods can be trusted. Thus, it’s no surprise that there are four UFM Fuji Super branches in Thonglor district alone! Yep, the quality is that good.
For today, we’ll introduce the Sukhumvit 33/1 branch (it’s the branch nearest to the BTS). Like other supermarkets in Japan, you can find fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and dry goods (e.g. snacks, seasonings, etc). In fact, the variety is quite impressive, it even feels like you’re shopping in Japan!
Don’t know what to eat for dinner? UFM Fuji Super sells ready-made food from 7pm. So if you’re around the Thonglor area and wish to eat Japanese food for dinner, or as a late-night snack, why not get it from here? It’s delish too!
PS: They also sell Nattō!!
Japanese Hot Springs
Japan is definitely NOT Japan without a visit to the hot springs. Not only is it warm and soothing, but there are also a lot of minerals which soften your body and brighten your skin. No wonder Japanese people have such nice skin… <3
5. Soak in a hot spring and relax your troubles away – Kashikiri Onsen & Spa
I once wondered why people rave about hot springs, to the point that they’re willing to spend a good few bucks just for a few hours in the hot springs? But ever since I went to Japan and tried it out, my life changed…Mannn.. Ultimate relaxation.. <3
Why visit Kashikiri Onsen? It’s so Japanese here – from the many Japanese dolls decorating the place to the Japanese bathrobes. You can opt for a private hot spring bath or a private couples onsen!
What’s great here is that you can choose your minerals according to your needs, such as Noboribetsu (soothing the nerves), Beppu (rich in collagen) and Norikura (rich in healing minerals suitable for sensitive skin).
You can also get a massage here too!
After your onsen experience, feel refreshed with hot Japanese tea, and light snacks served!
Kashikiri Onsen & Spa
Price: from USD $27.90 / 850 Baht (1 hour Thai massage), from USD $72.20 / 2200 Baht (including 30 minutes hot spring bath & 2 hours massage) Website
Address: สุขุมวิท 49/2 84 Sukhumvit Rd, Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 81 268 4624, +66 2 258 7902
Opening hours: Daily from 9.30am to 10.30pm
6. Enjoy a 2-in-1 hot spring and Japanese photoshoot experience here! – Yunomori Onsen
Are you having thoughts like “Bangkok’s too hot already! Why torture myself in the hot springs?!”. Well… Let me start by saying this onsen is definitely not that. The water temperature is not as hot as in Japan and there are even cold springs. It’s actually very comfortable to soak in the onsen here.
They also offer massage and facial services, now that’s a holistic self care moment waiting to happen. 😀
Once you’re done (or before you get wet), take photos while wearing the traditional Japanese Yukata – either in the bamboo garden or indoors. Be creative!
Who doesn’t love Japanese food? Whether it’s fried, raw (I LOVE SUSHI!!), grilled or baked, it’s hard not to fall in love with the cuisine. And even if they’re pricey, most people (like me, oops!) are willing to splurge on Japanese delights just cause they’re soo delicious. To start your foodie trip, we’ve hand-picked a few different types of Japanese food to try!
7. Welcome to Bangkok’s Japanese town – Nihonmachi Mall
Just like its name (Nihonmachi means “Japanese town”), you’ll feel like you’re in Japan once you enter. I mean… the place is filled with typical Japanese restaurants and izakaya, all lit up by hanging lanterns. It even has a red-coloured entrance (which reminds me of Sensoji Temple). What could be more Japanese than this?
Can’t choose a restaurant to go to? Here are some recommended ones to get you started.
7a. On the hunt for a Japanese bakery filled with freshly baked treats? – Toraya Bakery
Toraya Bakery offers a wide variety of bread – including daifuku, dorayaki and pineapple bun – all beautifully packaged for you to take home. Better yet, their bread and drinks are affordable too! 😀
Price: USD $0.98-1.64 / 30-50 Baht Website
Opening hours: Daily from 11am to 10pm
7b. A two-storey Japanese izakaya – Nagiya Nihonmachi
If you want an authentic Japanese izakaya experience, you definitely should come and try their popular beef hot pot and skewers.
You can also choose your seats (either floor seatings on the upper floor and table-and-chair seatings on the lower floor) depending on your preference. Cool eh?
Price: From USD $2.63 / 80 Baht Website
Opening hours: Mon-Fri from 5pm to 12am; Sat-Sun from 12pm to 12am
7c. Enjoy a traditional (and delicious) barbeque meal! – Daimasu Nihonmachi
Ever tried a Japanese BBQ? What makes it so special is apart from your usual meats, they often includ more exotic types too (beef tongue, beef liver, etc).
Well, they’ve got it all here. You can even choose to grill it yourself or let a bbq master grill it for you. 😉
And if you’ve had too many grilled things, cleanse your palate with some sushi (must be reserved with the chef).
Price: From USD $3.61 / 110 Baht Website
Contact: +66 2 258 2590
Opening hours: Mon-Fri from 5.30pm to 1am; Saturday from 12pm to 1am, Sundays from 11am to 1am
Address: 115 Soi Sukhumvit26, Sukhumvit Rd. Bangkok, Thailand (Coordinates here) Website
Contact: +66 2 258 4959
Opening hours: Daily from 10.30am to 1am
8. Ever eaten Nagoya cuisine? – Katana Japanese Dining
If you want to try authentic Nagoya cuisine, you need to pay this spot a visit. They offer sashimi, cold soba noodles and stewed dishes, just like in Nagoya.
However, the most recommended dish here is their Japanese burger patty. It’s waaay different from fast-food burgers!
There are private rooms available too, in case you need a private space for your group of friends or family.
9. Try Osaka’s 100-year old signature sushi – Endo Sushi
Curious as to how it tastes? And why it’s so special? Well there’s no need to visit the city to find out, as Thonglor has it too (it’s the only branch located outside of Japan!).
Just like in Japan, the sushi master will prepare the sushi in front of you – using imported ingredients from Osaka. Awesome right?!
Other than fresh sashimi and sushi, there’s also grilled squid (in case you don’t eat raw things).
The price here is quite affordable too, so if you want legit (read: legitimate) sushi, eating here won’t leave you disappointed.
FYI: People say six pieces of sushi is equivalent to a bowl of rice, so remember to come with your friends or family to share and try the many different types of sushi. 😀
10. Is this art or food? – Maki on Fifth
Whatever it is, the dishes are that colourful and plated in such an artistic way that it looks like actual art.
The flavour and aroma of the dishes are also mouthwatering and before you know it, your stomach will be rumbling. It’s not really an exaggeration when we say the dishes here play on three out of five of your senses – sight, smell and taste.
The dining environment is also comfortable and classy – the roof is even made of glass! On top of sushi, Maki on Fifth offers fried fritters, squid and noodles. There’s even a weekend lunch buffet! Interested? Check it out!
11. Don’t know what to eat? Why not eat everything instead? – Gyuma BBQ
You can do this at an all-you-can-eat eatery. At this buffet restaurant, feast down on unlimited portions of chicken, beef, pork and seafood (including salmon, shrimp, etc) as well as soft drinks and desserts.
However, you’re only given 2 hours to eat, so remember to use your time wisely. Want a beer instead of soda? No problem (it’s available for a fee).
PS: The restaurant area is quite small, perfect for a cosy gathering with your favourite travel group! 🙂
Price: 2-hours buffet from USD $16.36 / 499 Baht (includes soft drink and dessert); charge an additional USD $9.81 / 299 Baht for free-flow beer Website
Address: 25/11 Sukhumvit Rd, Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: + 66 2 714 0518
Operating hours: Daily from 11.30am to 11pm
12. One of Bangkok’s most delicious curries – Aoringo Curry BKK (Nihonmura Thonglor)
When talking about Japanese food, we can’t leave out the beloved Japanese curry. Good news is, there’s actually a very delicious Japanese curry in Bangkok – and might I say it’s one of the best ones in Bangkok.
The portion is super big, the pork is tender, and (if you want) the rice is covered with egg. Yum! You can also add cheese on top for some cheesy flavour. <3<3
Don’t want fried pork? No worries. There are other kinds of curry too, such as seafood (crab and battered shrimp!!!).
13. So many Japanese baked goodies! – Custard Nakamura
Do you know what’s the hardest choice to make when entering a bakery? Deciding on what to buy! And this was exactly what I felt when I entered this bakery.
Don’t even get me started on the cakes in the fridge. There are also a lot of bread options, from croquettes (with shrimp and pork) to sandwiches. With so many choices it’s hard making a decision!
One thing’s for sure. When I’m here, I have to keep a tight rein on my wallet or else I’ll be buying everything available. >.<
Price: From USD $0.79 / 24 Baht
Address: 595/2 Sukhumvit 33/1 Alley, Khlong Toei Nuea, Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 2 259 9630
Opening hours: Daily from 9am to 9pm
14. An actual authentic Japanese ramen shop right here in Bangkok – Ramen Tei
Getting tasty and authentic Japanese ramen can be difficult, especially in Bangkok. That’s why I always enjoy coming here, knowing I’m guaranteed a good quality ramen.
Opening back in 1983, this ramen store offers various kinds, including the classic Japanese Chashu pork belly ramen, Tonkotsu ramen and Hiyashi Chuka (cold ramen). They also have Yakisoba and fried rice if you don’t want to eat soup-based noodles.
The noodles here are made right in front of you, so you definitely won’t be bored waiting. But if you do get bored, order their Gyoza, beef liver or other appetisers. 😉
15. Get ready to be surprised! – Tan Tan Men
Believe it or not, despite its name, this store doesn’t only sell Dandan noodles. They also offer other kinds of ramen noodles (miso, soy sauce, curry, etc), as well as omelettes, curry and fried rice.
So what makes this different from other Japanese food stores? Well… the flavours here are not only authentic (tasting like the food you can get in Japan), but also taste like home.
How so? Japanese fried rice and handmade noodles actually taste quite similar to the ones in Southeast Asia. (Surprise surprise!) That’s because they originated from China (although the taste has been improved upon). So if you’re feeling homesick, do come here! 🙂
Special Mention #1. Have a field day shopping in this Japanese-themed mall – The Paseo Park Kanchanapisek
Although this mall isn’t located in Sukhumvit (40 minutes drive from BTS Thong Lo), you definitely won’t want to miss this place.
The mall is designed like a large Japanese garden and there are lanterns lighting up the entire place. The entrance to the mall also has a big red lantern, just like the one hanging in Asakusa!
There are two rows of stores beside the garden that you can visit too – all of them Japanese-themed. So if you’re on the hunt for Japanese makeup products or restaurants, here’s the place!
Wait… Are we still talking about Bangkok? Believe it or not, we still are!
But Thonglor and Ekkamai truly are full of all things Japanese – that even I thought were only available in Japan.
So if you want a Japanese-themed trip in Bangkok, visit these places! And let us know if you felt inspired by sharing your thoughts in the comments below! Happy travelling! 😀
PLEASE NOTE: All the above information is correct at the date of publication. If you come across any changes or updates, please let us know and we will update the information accordingly. Thank you!
|PLEASE NOTE: All the above information is correct at the date of publication. If you come across any changes or updates, please let us know and we will update the information accordingly. Thank you! |