Daily Necessities and Dietary Options (Halal, Vegetarian, Vegan)

Here is some basic shopping guidance for those living in Sendai.

Designated Garbage Bags

If you do not use the designated garbage bags when you dispose of your garbage, your garbage will not be taken by the garbage collectors.

household garbage


It is quite easy to confuse detergent with bleach and fabric softener. Be careful, checking the label and description as thoroughly as you can.

Food (for those with dietary restrictions)

Some designated ingredients and materials are displayed on food packages, yet not all food products display everything. For this reason, it is recommended to ask friends for advice until you get used to the food products found at shops in Sendai.

Facial Tissues and Toilet Tissues

Be aware that facial tissues do not break down in water easily enough to be disposed of in the toilet.


Basic medicines are available at convenience stores. At drug stores, there are pharmacists with whom you can consult for your medicine. When a doctor issues a prescription, you will usually be directed to the nearest pharmacy where your prescription can be dispensed. Be sure to bring your National Health Insurance card to the pharmacy as well as to the hospital or clinic.

Kerosene for Heater

Winter in Sendai can get extremely cold, and heating is an essential part of surviving winter.
There are many types of heaters available (airconditioning heating, electric heater, kerosene heater), and although less common, kerosene heater is still used in Sendai.

Kerosene for the heater can be purchased at gas stations as well as mobile kerosene vendors that can typically be seen making rounds in residential areas during winter.


Please take caution of the below points if you choose to use kerosene heater in your home:

  • Some apartment / home owners do not allow the usage or kerosene heater, or have a specific area in the room designated for the heater. Please check with your management office/home owner of this regulation before deciding on a kerosene heater.
  • Only use specified type of fuel for the heater. Do not use gasoline as a replacement of kerosene.
  • Be sure to properly ventilate your home to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, and ensure that you have a working carbon monoxide detector.
    • As there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning when burning kerosene in an enclosed room for an extended period of time, never sleep with a kerosene heater on.
  • Keep the heater clean and free of dust.
  • Be sure to use the heater away from combustible materials.
  • Be sure to turn off the heater before you leave your house, or when you change the oil.