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Rice Cookers - Which One and Where to Buy in Tokyo?

Rice Cookers - Which One and Where to Buy in Tokyo?

Old Jun 5, 17, 5:15 pm
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Rice Cookers - Which One and Where to Buy in Tokyo?

Hope some of our Japan locals can give me some advice. I am looking for a Japan-made rice cooker with a max no-tax budget of about Y45,000 with English instructions and US electric compatibility that offers at least some of these features:

1. IH not microprocessor
2. clay pot or similar material - ability to char some of the rice, and use steam and pressure to sweeten it (we generally cook with haiga rice)
3. steam and pressure
4. ability to cook other food - e.g., marinated chicken, meats, vegetables

Sort of a one-stop-shop cooking device where you can prepare different dishes aside from rice.

Aside from the model itself, what is a good store and location that offers the best pricing on rice cookers for foreign use? Doesn't need to be Akihabara, it can be a non-tourist area off the beaten path.
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Old Jun 5, 17, 6:04 pm
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Bic in Yurakucho is huge and access is easier than Akihabara but may have more domestic versions than would Akihabara.

Would look online and then search where the model you want can be bought. Amazon may even stock it.
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Old Jun 5, 17, 8:23 pm
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The Duty Free Laox in Ginza might also have some rice cookers or multipurpose cookers.
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Old Jun 5, 17, 9:29 pm
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Originally Posted by mjm View Post
Bic in Yurakucho is huge and access is easier than Akihabara but may have more domestic versions than would Akihabara.

Would look online and then search where the model you want can be bought. Amazon may even stock it.
Thank you - actually this location is my usual go-to for stuff because it is away from the tourist areas and has a huge supply of everything, but it's hard to compare prices between shops since it's the only one in the area. Of course all electronics in Japan are YMMV given I was just at Bic yesterday looking for a plug in USB charge plug and they were selling the same 1amp plug for US$13 I can buy at Walgreens for $1.

I should check Amazon, you're right - if I can find the same device from Amazon for a similar price, it saves me the hassle of dragging it home with me.
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Old Jun 6, 17, 5:26 pm
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The place to buy kitchen goods in Tokyo is Kappabashi in Taito-Ku. Just walk the street and check the stores. Don't expect English instructions, but it's pretty self-explanatory.

Bic is not the place for this type of product.
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Old Jun 6, 17, 6:36 pm
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Originally Posted by gnaget View Post
The place to buy kitchen goods in Tokyo is Kappabashi in Taito-Ku. Just walk the street and check the stores. Don't expect English instructions, but it's pretty self-explanatory.

Bic is not the place for this type of product.
Is this also true for consumer electronic kitchen devices? I was amazed at the brush store and disposable bento/plastic goods store in Kappabashi but didn't really notice a lot of consumer electronic kitchen goods. I'd go to Kappabashi to find a tofu press or traditional clay pot for rice (not electric). Or an industrial rice cooker... The amount of analog cooking gear and table ware was overwhelming, though, so I might have missed it.

Here's the Kappabashi directory for "rice cooker". No idea if they mean the consumer or commercial versions.
http://www.kappabashi.or.jp/search/s...&lv4_catID=685

ETA:
Is this what you looking for?
IH + Pressure + Clay Pot (Japan model)
https://www.tiger.jp/front/productde...ductId=JKX-V2K
https://www.tiger.jp/front/productde...oductId=JPX-2X

google.co.jp search with productId brings up Amazon.co.jp, Yodobashi, and Bic.

Other similar items https://wow-j.com/en/Allguides/other/shopping/00093_en/

Tourist models seem to be 220V?
https://www.tiger.jp/tourist/en/

Last edited by freecia; Jun 6, 17 at 7:33 pm
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Old Jun 6, 17, 8:35 pm
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Originally Posted by freecia View Post
Is this also true for consumer electronic kitchen devices? I was amazed at the brush store and disposable bento/plastic goods store in Kappabashi but didn't really notice a lot of consumer electronic kitchen goods. I'd go to Kappabashi to find a tofu press or traditional clay pot for rice (not electric). Or an industrial rice cooker... The amount of analog cooking gear and table ware was overwhelming, though, so I might have missed it.

Here's the Kappabashi directory for "rice cooker". No idea if they mean the consumer or commercial versions.
http://www.kappabashi.or.jp/search/s...&lv4_catID=685

ETA:
Is this what you looking for?
IH + Pressure + Clay Pot (Japan model)
https://www.tiger.jp/front/productde...ductId=JKX-V2K
https://www.tiger.jp/front/productde...oductId=JPX-2X

google.co.jp search with productId brings up Amazon.co.jp, Yodobashi, and Bic.

Other similar items https://wow-j.com/en/Allguides/other/shopping/00093_en/

Tourist models seem to be 220V?
https://www.tiger.jp/tourist/en/
Yes, those are the right type of models....Bic did not have them all, but at first glance it looked like the combination of features pushed the price to almost Y100,000 which is way over budget for a rice cooker
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Old Jun 7, 17, 1:24 am
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All I'll say on this is if you want a high end rice cooker and you want it to last (for the lining to stay intact) don't use it to cook other things. Doing so will severely shorten your cooker's life span.

I used to do all kinds of things using the multi features of an old Sanyo made for the European market. It took about a year for the inner lining of the removable pot to start to mottle and degrade.
Just over three years ago we were in Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara in the rice cooker section and had a very involved and worthwhile conversation with Toshiba's representative there (my husband did the translating).
Her advice included:
Never wash rice using the cooking pot.
Don't use it for other foods except for rice. Avoid oil in particular.
If you want to extend the life of the pot to its maximum, avoid brown rice too (Haiga rice seems like a sensible compromise to me)
Alas, we couldn't afford Toshiba's offering, we did get a 3 cup UK compatible Zojirushi and have been using it ever since on a daily basis, often twice a day.
Following Toshiba's advice (with the occasional detour, we occasionally cook millet or quinoa or add them to rice) - our rice cooker looks like new, the lining is completely intact.

Sure, I miss being able to make takikomi gohan in the rice cooker, but I don't miss having to buy replacement parts every year. Monsieur Le Creuset compensates for Zojirushi San's limitations admirably - they make a great team!
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Old Jun 7, 17, 1:28 am
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Originally Posted by gnaget View Post
The place to buy kitchen goods in Tokyo is Kappabashi in Taito-Ku. Just walk the street and check the stores. Don't expect English instructions, but it's pretty self-explanatory.

Bic is not the place for this type of product.
Very untrue. You can buy some things there but with 27 years here and a fully stocked and functional kitchen none of which has been supplied by Kappabashi (save some really good knives from that general vicinity), I stand by my correct advice. You may like LAOX better but the big stores offer the best selection for brick and mortar places. 9 times out 10 now though I shop Amazon.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 1:58 am
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Originally Posted by mjm View Post
Very untrue. You can buy some things there but with 27 years here and a fully stocked and functional kitchen none of which has been supplied by Kappabashi (save some really good knives from that general vicinity), I stand by my correct advice. You may like LAOX better but the big stores offer the best selection for brick and mortar places. 9 times out 10 now though I shop Amazon.
I fully agree. Have lived here for one year less than mjm (先輩!), but same experience. The big stores are very competitive, especially when selling last year's models. Still, Amazon Japan is usually even better and certainly more convenient, and I know that my Japanese wife agrees. On the other hand, if the OP is looking for something with English instructions, I think that it's better to shop at Amazon in your home country.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 11:01 pm
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>> with English instructions and US electric compatibility ...

Your choices will be extremely limited, and prices much higher.

I have purchased several domestic models (100V) with no issue using them in North America. Used them for years.

As for English instructions, not sure why you need them. It's just a rice cooker. Unless you want to cook things other than rice, but as posted by others, it's not recommended if you want it to last.

If you must, Google translate using the camera should suffice, I would say.

BIC and Yodobashi are the places I go to. Huge selection and competitive pricing with actual samples you can touch. Easy return/exchange if it doesn't work - I always plug it in at the hotel to see that it at least heats up.

Last edited by beep88; Jun 7, 17 at 11:07 pm
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Old Jun 9, 17, 5:29 pm
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All of the Japanese models come with warnings not to use them on foreign electricity systems. Why not just buy in US?
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Old Jun 11, 17, 12:48 am
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Originally Posted by MattEvan View Post
All of the Japanese models come with warnings not to use them on foreign electricity systems. Why not just buy in US?
Most of the Japanese models have foreign electric versions available and are still made in Japan. It's next to impossible to find a Japanese style rice cooker anywhere in the US with these features, including a model which is actually made in Japan vs an overseas factory in China which in of itself is a deal breaker.
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Old Jun 11, 17, 4:24 am
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Not sure why made in China is a deal breaker. A quick scan of Amazon US shows what appears to be quality Japanese rice cookers (Zojirushi brand) for a good price.
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Old Jun 11, 17, 6:07 am
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Originally Posted by nishimark View Post
Not sure why made in China is a deal breaker. A quick scan of Amazon US shows what appears to be quality Japanese rice cookers (Zojirushi brand) for a good price.
I just don't buy Chinese made products especially expensive appliances when there is a Japanese made alternative even at a higher price. That's an argument for another thread but for this case it's a specific Japanese rice cooker we are after. I've seen the same models on Amazon's Japan site but not every vendor will ship to the USA....Rakutan is another option but their shipping fees seem rather high. It looks like the only option vs dragging the machine through the airport.
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