Call me a weirdo, but when I’d initially packed for my trip to Japan, I crammed two 2-pound bags of whey protein powder into my check-in luggage. I imagined what I had to say to the customs officer. I even giggled about feeling like a smuggler. Luckily, it was all fine.
I arrived in Tokyo with my precious whey protein. In case you were wondering, I brought Optimum Nutrition’s Protein Energy (chocolate flavor is my favorite), which came in resealable bags and took up less space in my luggage.
Eventually, I ran out of the stuff, of course.
The good news is that there is whey protein in Japan. The popular Japanese protein brands are DNS, Weider, and Morinaga. As a site note, DNS carries a green tea flavor whey protein. If you love green tea-flavored stuff, you’ll love this stuff. I was a big fan.
Plus, the nutritional profile on most of them isn’t bad.
To put how much protein powder will cost you in Japan, I bought a 350-gram bag for 2100 yen (which was about 20USD at the time), which puts it at 2USD per serving.
Online Stores Have Them, But Expect to Pay More
You could check Bodybuilding.com and Amazon.jp to buy protein and other stuff, but it’s going to be more expensive.
My perspective on “expensive” might be a bit skewed since I used to work at Bodybuilding.com, but even when comparing prices on the same brand and quantity, whey protein in Japan often cost 1.5-2 times more than it did in America. Not to mention the shipping costs.
One site that was actually really awesome was iHerb.com. You could order a bunch of other stuff (like peanut butter!) and get free shipping. From what I saw, you didn’t have that many choices, but at least you can find the ever reliable Optimum Nutrition.
They’re in Drug Stores
Big chain drug stores like Tsuruha, Matsumoto Kiyoshi, and Don Quijote sell a ton of things, including protein and other weight loss shake products.
They’re in Gyms
While I was in Japan, the only gym I went to was a public one called Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium in Sendagaya, which was close to Yoyogi. Part of their facilities included a small shop that sold a variety of protein products. You can
They’re in Sporting Good or Health Food Stores
Well, when I was there, Sports Authority was still in the midst of closing in the U.S., so I can’t say for sure Sports Authority stores will still be around in Japan. They had a good selection of DNS and Weider protein powders.
If you forego protein powder or want to know more about finding protein in Japan, I wrote Japan’s various protein sources in this post How and Where to Find Protein in Japan.
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