About Shotengai

Shotengai is a brand with a vivid Japanese style. Our story began with my personal experience as an overseas student in Japan.
Stella Chao with Shotengai Box

Our Story

“Stella's Mosaic of Memories: Between Montreal Nights and Eastern Delights”

Amidst the soft whispers of Asian snack bags, Stella felt a familiar warmth, like the embrace of home. In her snug Montreal apartment, evenings took on a special glow during movie nights. Those Eastern biscuits and crackers became more than just snacks — they were stitches in a quilt of memories, connecting international students in their shared journeys. While North America's culinary canvas is vast and vibrant, there were moments Stella yearned for the nuanced flavors of her homeland. Dairy, for instance, was a bittersweet experience — a love many of her Asian peers shared, given their palates' mild sensitivities.

Stella Chao with Japanese Snack Box

Cravings & Camaraderie: A Quest for Home

"Across vast North American landscapes, the search for familiar flavors unites Asian hearts"

As they journeyed across North America's diverse terrains, Stella and her friends felt a void — the absence of Asian grocery stores that felt like home. Without a car and faced with the crisp bite of Canadian winters, even a simple grocery run became an expedition. Their hearts' deepest craving? The reassuring taste of authentic Asian flavors. And though Asian markets dotted the landscape, they often found them lacking in diversity, offering limited choices with premium price tags, and rarely refreshing their product lines. On a trip to Ottawa, despite the familiarity she could feel when she visited an Asian market, a friend couldn't help but note, "It's almost always the same stuff, right? I just wish they'd surprise us with some fresh choices once in a while." However, in the comforting embrace of a backpacker’s hostel, as Stella shared tales with travelers spanning Vancouver to Boston, a silver lining emerged. Over mugs of piping hot tea, a sense of camaraderie unfurled — their shared narratives, though spread across cities, sang the same tune. Their experiences, their cravings, and their stories painted a larger picture of unity, reminding them that in this grand tapestry of North America, they weren’t alone in their journey.

From Shotengai to Montreal: Stella's Flavorful Odyssey

"From the Bustling Bylanes of Shotengai to Montreal's Quiet Corners: Discovering Delicious Treasures that Whisper of Home and Adventures Beyond."

When studying abroad in Japan, Stella's tales often revolved around the vibrant buzz of shotengai. More than just bustling streets, they were a window into the country's heart. Beneath those shaded canopies, she unearthed more than just shops; she found a treasure trove of flavors. Snacks that seemed tailor-made for her. Delightful to the palate and gentle on the conscience. For someone with Stella's passion for snacking, it was a dream come true. Back in Montreal, however, these were rare gems. Beyond the snacks, she missed the soothing flavors of kelp, seaweed, and miso — Asian treasures renowned for their wellness benefits. Each taste was a postcard from home, invaluable in its comfort.

Stella Chao Becomes THE AMBASSADOR

Flavorful Fusion: Dancing Between Worlds

"Where the Soulful Tunes of Asia Meet the Rhythm of the West: Dive into Our Journey As We Become 'Your Gateway to a Healthy Japanese Lifestyle'."

For many young Asian immigrants to North America, like Stella, life becomes a beautiful dance between the old and the new. The vibrant rhythm of North American dishes in one hand and the soulful tunes of timeless Asian recipes in the other. These flavors are more than just food; they're heirlooms, reminders of cozy kitchens and family feasts. Like many of her peers, Stella envisions intertwining these memories into her new narrative. Reflecting, she'd often say, "A shotengai was more than a market; it was my first step into the wholesome heart of Japan." And this very essence is what we, as a brand, aim to embody: "Your gateway to a healthy Japanese lifestyle." It's an invitation to all, a gentle nod to the beauty of blending cultures.

Our Mission

In Shotengai, you can find the most authentic Japanese snacks, teas, drinks, and home goods. Selected among thousands of products and putting them in subscription boxes, we want to provide you with the really good ones that local Japanese will consume and enjoy.

  • Subscribe

    authentic snacks boxes delivered to your door directly from Japan and start discover Japan through snacks!

  • Curate

    a new box around a different theme monthly filled with limited edition Japanese snacks, drinks, and more.

  • Enjoy

    Japanese snacks, teas and candies with friends and family when celebrating the holidays, even every day!

  • Reward

    Garagara are rewards that you receive for staying subscribed. The longer you stay subscribed, the more rewards you’ll receive!