Recommended Food to Stockpile from Convenience Store
It is not necessary to fill up a storage room full of supplies as the Tokyo Metropolitan government recommends a minimum of three-days worth supplies. Aside from cup noodles, protein bars and frozen food, there are other recommended ready to eat meals and immune boosting foods good for stockpiling that are available to purchase at convenience stores that this article will introduce in the following.
Due to its antioxidant properties and high concentrations of magnesium, zinc, vitamin C and selenium, matcha green tea is considered a superfood. It is the most accessible Japanese superfood starting from 280yen for 20 tea bags (tax inclusive) or 140yen(tax exclusive) for 150ml bottled tea .
Japanese green tea
Umeboshi is a pickled ume fruit which is a cross between an apricot and a plum usually found at the center of onigiri rice balls. It is said to improve circulation from its high levels of citric acid, boosts the immune system and ramp up energy while its polyphenols are purported to reduce the risk of diabetes and lower blood pressure. Some are sour, and those mixed with honey are sweet. One umeboshi is usually sold from 103yen (tax inclusive) and a package of umeboshi costs around 300 yen (tax exclusive).
Natto, a fermented soybeans divides opinions due to their slimy, gooey texture and strong, pungent odor. However, like most beans, it has vitamin K2, and is rich in protein and contains an enzyme called nattokinase, which is believed to thin the blood and improve blood flow. All together, these make the natto an excellent diet choice for the prevention of blood clots, hypertension, strokes, heart attack and bone health. One package of natto is often sold from 89 yen (tax inclusive).
Ready to eat meals good for stockpiling
Even these nonperishable foods that are good for stockpiling can go off eventually so watch out for the shomi-kigen (best by date) or the shohi-kigen (consume by date). Usually these will last about a year, however, even the bottled drinks can go off depending on where and how you stock them. So it is best advised to keep your stockpile under control and use it up from the ones that are close to expire.
Mapo tofu (left) Mapo Harusame (right)
Mapo tofu is a popular Chinese dish from Sichuan province, however the Japanese version of mapo tofu is different from the original and it's much milder with less spicy and made with less oil. All you need is to heat it up in the microwave for these ready to eat packaged ones. Depending on the convenience store, the brand is different and the price varies but the cost will start around 260yen (tax inclusive).
Counterpart to the tofu version, there is mapo harusame (glass noodle). It is basically the same as mapo tofu, but uses rice/glass noodles instead of tofu. Spiciness can be chosen depending on your preference from non spicy (甘口), spicy (中辛) and very spicy (辛口). It is sold for 325 yen (tax exclusive).
Salmon flake is one of the all time favorite items that has been used in many styles of dishes from onigiri rice balls to pasta to salad to sandwiches to many more. From 375yen (tax inclusive) for two jars, salmon flakes can be found in most convenience stores.
Furikake (Egg & seaweed flavor)
Made out of powdered, granulated or thinly sliced food flakes known as “furikake” in Japanese, is a popular seasoning served on top of cooked rice or mixed in for onigiri rice balls. Out of the many flavors, noritama flavor is an exquisite kind of furikake with a great balance of nori (dried edible seaweed) and egg, popular among children. It is sold for 110yen (tax exclusive) for a package with 28g and 215yen (tax exclusive) for a bigger package with 58g.
Instant rice is a highly popular food as it is the dietary staple of Japan and also good for stockpiling because all you have to do is heat it up for 2 minutes in the microwave and the rice is ready. Depending on the brand, the amount of rice is different, ranging from 100g to 300g. It is sold from 297yen (tax inclusive) for 3 packages of instant rice.
Some example of retort pouch curry sold at convenience store
Each box is filled with one pouch of curry, and there are many different flavors sold from different brands ranging from cheese curry to tomato curry to Japanese style curry to many more. Most of these pouches contain some vegetables and meat. All you have to do is pour the curry into a bowl and heat it up in the microwave. One box is sold from 200 yen (tax exclusive) and each convenience store sells different curry from different brands.
Egg drop soup
All you need is to pour in hot water for these instant Japanese style egg drop soup. Some are sold in a cup, and some are sold as freeze dried packages available from 141yen (tax exclusive).
Ginger with tofu
Sliced ginger can be used as a garnish for simmered dishes, salads, and soups. For a simple dish, it is recommended to be eaten with tofu. It is sold for 369 yen (tax inclusive) for a can of sliced ginger but some are sold as ginger paste which are cheaper starting from around 121 yen (tax inclusive).
Disaster Preparedness Tokyo Manual
If anyone is curious to know more about stockpiling, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has an excellent manual called “Tokyo Bosai (Disaster Preparedness Tokyo Manual” available in both English and Japanese. It is available either in kindle version from Amazon or in PDF downloaded from the official Disaster Prevention Information webpage. For stockpiling, check the “02 Let’s Get Prepared Disaster Preparedness Action”.