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A Visit to Costco in Japan

A Visit to Costco in Japan

Curious what Costco looks like in Japan, and how their wine selection compares to the U.S.?  So are we, and we had a chance to visit a Costco in Kawasaki Japan, just south of Tokyo.

It turned out to be a fun trip with a few interesting surprises. Let’s go.

Costco Japan

We heard Costco stores in Japan are ridiculously busy on weekends (moreso even than in the U.S.) so we were able to visit during the day on a weekday, and it wasn’t jam packed at all.

Parking is in a huge multi level garage with all the parking spots lit with green or red lights depending on their availability. So finding a spot was a breeze.

They have really cool escalators for the shopping carts which is also very smart because having hundreds of people rely on elevators with giant packed shopping carts would be a disaster.

Overall, a lot of familiar Costco items in the store, including the usual Kirkland products, wine and otherwise.  When it got to the food that changed, and I’ll cover that in a bit.

Costco Japan

Costco Japan Wine Selection

The size of the selection was about what you would see at a decent U.S. warehouse, and they had many familiar bottles.

Some fun Kirkland wine finds were the Kirkland Suscol Cabernet, Kirkland Gran Selezione Chianti, and the Kirkland Sancerre.

Costco Japan
Costco Japan

Most of those have already come and gone at Costco’s in the US, so we were surprised to see them in Japan, and in pretty large quantities.

They had some of the highest end bottles on display we’ve ever seen at Costco.  The 6L 2014 Chateau La Tour might take the cake for 684,800 yen (about $4400 at current rates). They had several other La Tour bottles, and then a 2020 Cheval Blanc 1.5L for 159,980 yen (about $1000).

Costco Japan
Costco Japan

Overall pricing was about the same as the U.S. but we are benefiting from a very strong dollar against the yen right now.

For instance, the Kirkland Suscol was 2,995 yen or about $20.  It was $17 in the US.  The Kirkland Gran Selezione was 2,398 yen or about $15 so a couple bucks less than the $17.99 price tag here.

But everything is generally in the same ballpark.

Costco Japan

This sign is all about wine and food pairing, and we thought was worth sharing.

There was also an Italian marketplace set up in the middle of the store, featuring several Italian wines to taste, and a variety of food. We tasted the Primitivo Salento and Appassimento, both not bad at all for around $12. 

Costco Japan

Those are pictured to the bottom left here, along with a Brunello from 2005 that was 3,618 yen or around $24.  That was impossible to pass up, so my colleague in Japan purchased one.  No report back on the quality yet.

Costco Japan

Food Selection at Costco in Japan

Foodwise, we could go on for forever here.  Really nice meat selection.  We have some A4 Wagyu beef here that looked delicious.

Costco Japan

And a really nice sushi spread as you might expect in Japan. Cases and cases of seafood options you don’t see in the US.

Costco Japan

On the way out we ran into a small stand promoting Yoshida Sauce, and the timing was great as Mr Yoshida himself was in the store signing books and bottles.  And yes, he’s as fun as he looks.  Great guy.

The Food Court in Japan

And finally, the food court, and of course the hot dog and drink is the centerpiece for 180 yen. That’s just $1.16 in the U.S. so an even more killer deal.

Costco Japan

On the far left side of the sign you can see the Bulgogi Bake for 680 yen, about $4.40.  We had to try this as it was the most unique thing on the menu and it was really good.  Kind of like a Philly cheese steak with some Asian influence.

In conclusion

So good times at Costco in Japan.  The exchange rate really helps the buying power right now.  We wish we could get that meat and sushi in the US.  A few Costcos are reportedly doing sushi now, but the reviews from our readers have been mixed.

So if you’re in Japan, consider a Costco visit.  This store in Kawasaki is very close to the Haneda airport.

And now, back to the wine reviews. Kanpai.


Saturday 25th of May 2024

Heading to Japan in 2 weeks and wanted to check it out. Thank you. The sushi in Atlanta has really been mixed - maybe 6 out of 10, max.

Katy B

Saturday 11th of May 2024

This was my Costco when I lived in Japan. It had just opened when I lived there. I bought a car just so I could drive to and from. Thanks for posting as it brings back fond memories.

Big reach

Thursday 2nd of May 2024

So they still have the combo pizza there I see


Thursday 2nd of May 2024

Japan Costco is an adventure. I went to one near Yokohama on a Saturday afternoon and it was an absolute zoo.

Similar experience for the wine, although I don’t remember anything mega expensive. I would have to look.

The meat section got me…. Whole and sliced beef tongue, which is yummy. And then there was frozen, sliced beef intestine, which sounds a little scary to an American. Overall it lived up to expectations and was worth the trip. I need to go back when I have room in my suitcase.

Arthur H. Aske

Saturday 27th of April 2024

We have the Sushi selections here at the Washington State stores. It is OK, and a fare selection. Thank you for the tour of the Kawasaki store.