For recipes, cooking inspiration or for finding American, English or other foreign food online in Japan.
Some of the below I don't use (for shopping sites) or don't read often (for blogs) but either know people who do use these shopping sites and they have been recommended to me or in the case of the cooking blogs, I have come across them and thought them worth including in this list. However, some have become my go-to when shopping for cooking ingredients I can't find at normal supermarkets.
Shopping for Cooking Ingredients in Japan
Herbs, spices, vitamins, seeds, etc
iHerb.com - http://www.iherb.com/
A great site for various dry goods and bulk products, especially good for health food fans. Use the link above to get $5 off your first order.
I use iHerb for vitamins, buying seeds I can't find here (to make a really great, healthy bread) and especially spices which are so cheap here compared to supermarkets. For example, I get some chili powder (for cooking red bean and beef chili), around 80g for $5 compared to about 15g for $2.50 at the supermarket which is just enough to make one pot of chili.
Flour, kitchen utensils, etc
Amazon.jp - http://www.amazon.co.jp/
I also use Amazon for sourcing ingredients (for example, whole grain flour) I can't easily find in supermarkets, as well as just about anything else you might need, like cooking utensils. Wherever possible, I like to support local business but sometimes Amazon is the only option.
More Cooking Resources
- Foreign Buyer's Club - http://www.fbcusa.com/
- A great resource for foreign foods in Japan if Costco is a bit too far!
- The Flying Pig - http://www.theflyingpig.com/
- Another great resource for buying foreign foods in Japan!
- The Meat Guy - http://www.themeatguy.com/
- Need some meat? This is your guy! Affordable prices with regular discounts for JETs! Check out the cheeses, too!
- Tengu Natural Foods - http://store.alishan.jp/index.php?main_page=index&language=en
- A nationwide mail order service for organic vegetarian foods, environmentally sound cleaning supplies, and much more!
- Costco - http://www.costco.co.jp/p/?lang=en
- Same as Amazon: Costco, but in Japan! You do, however, have to go to the mortar-and-brick store to access their deals. Great for getting bulk purchases of foods you miss, and various other knick-knacks! But you're going to need a card...!
- Cooking With Dog - http://www.youtube.com/user/cookingwithdog
- A great YouTube channel full of instructional videos about how to make popular Japanese foods!
- The Lazy Beggars' Guide to Cooking in Japan - http://lazybeggars.wordpress.com/
- An amazing blog run by Laura Lou that teaches you how to eat healthy in Japan while not breaking your budget!
- 18 Microwave Snacks You Can Cook in a Mug - http://www.buzzfeed.com/arielknutson/delicious-snacks-in-a-mug
- No access to an oven? Fear not! Here's a list of snacks you can prepare in your mug, in a microwave!
- Just Hungry - http://www.justhungry.com/
- A huge collection of recipes, information, reviews, and tidbits about Japanese cooking, eating, and more!
- COOKPAD - http://cookpad.com/
- A popular Japanese website for recipes! (JAPANESE ONLY)
- Hiroyuki's Blog on Japanese Cooking - http://hiro-shio.blogspot.com/
- The blog of a Japanese man with a lot of relevant information to cooking in Japan!
- Go Ramen - http://www.goramen.com/
- Interested in ramen? This blog is a must-read! Immerse yourself in noodles!
- C.bonbon - http://c-bonbon.blogspot.jp/
- The blog for a shop that specializes in intricately decorated sugar cookies. She also takes custom orders! (JAPANESE ONLY)
- なおちゃんのキャラ弁＆キャラスイーツ - http://ameblo.jp/naokyaraben/
- Amazing examples of the much-loved "character bento" of Japan, along with some "character sweets"!
- The Inaka: Taketa Restaurants - http://www.theinaka.com/taketa-restaurants/ (site out of order)
- A good resource for restaurants in Oita prefecture, Taketa town!
- Ainan's Food Adventures - http://ainansfoodadventures.blogspot.jp/
- A veggie-friendly blog written by our own Ainan Brahma Bauvas!
- Tabemoto - https://tabemoto.wordpress.com/
- Gastronomic adventures in southern Japan, written by our own Laura Turner!
- Chef Tony - http://cheftony.blog.fc2.com/
- The cooking blog of an enthusiastic chef in Hiroshima!
- Kinniku3- YouTube Channel- http://www.youtube.com/user/kinniku3/videos
- Great looking Japanese recipes (Japanese only)
- パティスリー・シェフ Series - http://cakechef.info
- For those who are ambitious, recipes for French desserts from patissiers in Japan!
- Just Bento - http://justbento.com
- Great, healthy bento ideas (Japanese and non-Japanese) that are really cute! Also features a "guy does bento" series that is a little less cutesy!