Why Costco Japan Is a Shopper’s Dream, From Sushi to Appliances

Costco Japan

Costco Japan by Own Work (CC BY-SA)

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Costco Japan
Costco Japan by Own Work (CC BY-SA)

Isle’s Aisles

With its vast warehouses, bulk products, and jumbo pizzas, Costco seems to follow the American maxim that bigger is better. Yet, the warehouse store has thrived in 11 countries across a variety of cultures — though with some adjustments.

At Japanese Costcos, shoppers enjoy fresh sushi, affordable wagyu beef, and popular Japanese electronics such as rice cookers. If that sounds like a dream, know that you’re not alone. 

Costco super fans are posting constantly about the superstore’s exclusive Japanese products on TikTok and Reddit. Here’s why Costco Japan is a shopper’s paradise that’s captivated the internet.

Costco Sushi
Costco Sushi by Alex.W (CC BY-NC-ND)
Costco Bakes
Costco Bakes by Michael Ocampo (CC BY)

Bulgogi Bake

This Asian take on the chicken bake, a food court favorite, has Costco fanatics drooling. While the exterior looks the same, Costco’s Japanese version stuffs marinated slices of Korean-style beef inside. Other Japanese food court exclusives include a shrimp bisque, a citrus smoothie, and Aussie beef pies.

Hungry for more? Check out what other treats you can find at other international Costco food courts.

A paradise for seafood lovers
A paradise for seafood lovers by Shih-Chi Chiang (CC BY)

Fresh Fish

Beyond huge trays of affordable sushi, Costcos in Japan also sells an impressive assortment of fresh fish and seafood, including varieties that are difficult to find in the United States. 

Whether you’d like to pick up some sushi-grade tuna or a few octopus tentacles, Costco Japan looks like a fish market compared with its American counterpart.

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Brown Rice
Brown Rice by Rob (CC BY)

Wide Variety of Rice

Costco Japan sells bags upon bags of different types of rice. Given that the average Japanese person eats around 110 pounds of rice a year, that shouldn’t be a surprise.

Japanese Snacks
Japanese Snacks by theloneconspirator (CC BY)
Daikon by Hidetsugu Tonomura (CC BY-NC)

Asian Vegetables and Greens

Costco offers plenty of fresh produce in the United States, but veggies such as daikon can be hard to find. That’s not a problem in Japan, where you can find the radish at Costco among other Asian greens and vegetables. 

Japanese Appliances at Costco
Japanese Appliances at Costco by Danny Choo (CC BY-SA)

Japanese Appliances

From mini beer taps to rice cookers and portable grills, Costco locations in Japan offers no shortage of unique appliances that aren’t common stateside.

Wagyu Beef
Wagyu Beef by Shoko Muraguchi (CC BY-NC-SA)

Wagyu Beef

A pound of this world-famous marbled beef can easily cost hundreds of dollars — but not in Japan. Costco members can buy premium cuts of rich Japanese Wagyu beef for around $5 to $7 per 100 grams (or $23 to $32 per pound).

Sake by tokyo.natural (CC BY-NC-SA)

Japanese Alcohol

Not only does Costco Japan offer well-known classics such as Asahi, Kirin, and Sapporo, but the wholesaler also has aisles full of sake, shochu, and fruit wines that you’d struggle to find in the in the United States.

Shopping in the States? Find out which is the best Costco alcohol to buy and which bottles to leave on the shelf.

Costco Executive Membership Card

Frequently Asked Questions About Costco Japan

Can I Use My U.S. Costco Membership in Japan?

Yes, your membership is valid at any Costco location worldwide and online, including in Japan. So, thankfully you can indulge in all of that sushi and Japanese Wagyu the next time you visit (just don't forget your card). The website for Costco Japan is also bilingual with both Japanese and English options if you prefer to order online.

How Many Costcos Are There in Japan?

Currently, there are 32 Costcos in Japan. The newest store recently opened in Meiwa, a town north of Tokyo. Costco plans to operate more than 60 stores in Japan by 2030.

How Much Is a Costco Membership in Japan?

The annual Gold Star membership in Japan currently costs 4,840 JPY (approx. $33 USD) and the Gold Star Executive Membership goes for 9,900 JPY (approx. $67 USD).