Where To Buy Natto: Guide To Finding The Best Near You

If you have not heard of natto then you are not alone. It is essentially a Japanese superfood which is made from delicious fermented soybeans. This food has a unique and delicious umami flavor.

Some people may not like the slimy texture of natto and it can be a tad salty but it is truly a one of a kind delicious Japanese food. 

Where To Buy Natto Guide To Finding The Best Near You

On top of having phenomenal flavor, natto is also full of probiotics which is why it is one of the best and most healthy foods for gut health in the world. As time has gone on, natto has become a super trendy food which has become popular.

Especially for vegans. It is loved because of the delicious meat-like flavor. 

But it can be hard to find places that actually sell natto. So, where can you buy this delicious Japanese delicacy? Well that is what we are here for.

In this article we are going to teach you everything you need to know about natto including where you can purchase this delicious superfood. 

So, without further ado, let us dive right in and get started!

What Should You Consider When You Are Buying Natto?

If you are finally ready to give natto a try then you are going to need to understand when you need to look out for. It can be hard to know what to look out for if you have never purchased it before.

If you are not careful you could purchase the wrong variety of natto which may leave you with a bad taste in your mouth and an awful first experience. 

As an example, if you purchase a variety of natto that has an extremely strong taste and is very slimy then you are probably never going to try this delicious food ever again.

If you are new to natto then we recommend that you try a variety that does not have a very strong flavor and is not quite as slimy. This will allow you to get used to the delicious and unique flavor of natto before you try something stronger and different. 

We know how hard it is to know what you need to keep an eye out for when you are purchasing natto. To help you better understand what to look out for when you are purchasing natto we have decided to list everything that you need to know below.

So make sure to check it out when you are ready: 

  • Soybean Varieties – When it comes to making natto red and black soybeans are most frequently used. Both types of soybean make the same product.
    However, both types of bean will have a different flavor profile. You can equate the difference to how black beans and pinto beans are different. With all of that being said, you can also find natto, which is a combination of red and black soybeans. 
  • Non-Organic or Organic – When natto is being made, they use soybeans that are almost entirely organic.
    This does cost more than a non-organic option, but the perk is that you will be able to enjoy your natto knowing that there are no pesticides, or other artificial chemicals in your delicious natto. 
  • Container Size – As soon as you open your jar of natto you will break the vacuum seal. This means that the natto will start to ferment again.
    If you want to enjoy the best flavored natto then you need to consume your jar within a few days. Because of this you may want to consider purchasing a smaller container so that you do not run the risk of a large amount of natto spoiling before you get to enjoy it. 
  • Salted or Unsalted Natto – If you are looking for a more common variety of natto then you should consider getting the salted version. But if you like mild flavors then you may need to consider purchasing the low salt or unsalted natto. 
  • The Seasoning – The seasoning of your natto can make a big difference. If you want something with a little extra flavor there is natto that comes with turmeric and other spices. So, make sure to consider that when you are looking for a tasty serving of natto.

This list covers the basics of what you need to look out for when you are considering a natto purchase. It is worth considering any of the above if you have a specific preference for some flavors. 

What Are The Different Varieties Of Natto?

What Are The Different Varieties Of Natto

There are a variety of different types of natto. They all tend to have the same general flavor profile. However, the saltiness and umami flavor will differ slightly. On top of that some types may have a different taste and texture.

Some types of natto will be more slimy than others. There are a lot of different types, some that are more dry, others that are made using whole means and others that are produced in different ways.

There are six main different varieties of natto which we will talk about in a bit more detail below: 

  1. Daitokuji Natto – over fifty percent of natto products available will fall into this category. If you want to try out natto and have not had it before we suggest that you try out this variety as it is the most ‘normal’.
  2. Hikiwari Natto – This variety of natto is made using large soybeans which are totally ripe. These soybeans are then ground and cracked when it is milled in a kind of mill.
    Only about seven to eight percent of natto will fall into this category. However, in some regions like Tohoku this type of natto is most popular.
    The bits in this type of natto can be quite small which makes it hard to eat with something like chopsticks. It is also quite sticky. But we have found that the flavor of this type of natto is more mild than normal natto which is why it is so easy to eat.
  3. Ootsubu Natto – This variety of natto is made using giant whole soybeans so you can enjoy this delicious delicacy to the max. However, it may be more geared toward those of you that are used to eating natto. It is the most pungent and has a strong texture unlike the two varieties we mentioned above.
    For this reason we do not recommend it to those of you that are not used to natto. 
  4. Mito Natto – This variety of natto is manufactured using smaller soybeans as opposed to the medium or large ones. Because of this mito natto has an almost caviar consistency which is kind of fun. 
  5. Niowanatto Natto – If you have never tried natto before then this is a great option. It does not have a very strong smell and it is made using a type of special enzyme that helps to release that delicious umami flavor. On top of that it is not as slimy as many of the other types of natto. 
  6. Hoshi Natto – This variety of natto is most often used as a topping for soups or salads. But it can easily be eaten as a crunchy and delicious snack if you have a craving for something savory, salty and crunchy. 

What Is The Best Place To Find And Purchase Your Natto?

Natto used to be a very rare delicacy and it was almost impossible to find. You would have had to live in Japan or a major American city like San Francisco or New York.

Sometimes you might find a wonderful authentic Japanese restaurant or a small store that sold this delicious food. But aside from that natto never used to be very popular and people did not know what it was. 

But today, it has grown incredibly popular and is much easier to find. It is readily available online at several stores and some in person shops. But what are your options? Well that is what we are going to talk about in this section.

So, without further ado, let us dive right in and get started!

You Could Try Purchasing Natto At Amazon

Sadly most people do not have the luxury of living near a Japanese grocery store or restaurant. If they did, they would have fresh and delicious natto on hand whenever they want.

But for those of you that are not that lucky, an online option may serve you better. 

But with Amazon you can purchase reasonably priced natto and have it delivered right to your door. It is honestly one of the best options out there and there is nothing that you can say to change our mind. 

Let us take a closer look at the pros and cons of purchasing from this manufacturer. Below we have listed some of the best and worst things about this option: 


  • Shipping – You can order the best quality natto and have it delivered straight to your door without need to worry about anything. 
  • Reviews – With Amazon you can easily check out reviews and compare a variety of different brands without needing to leave the comfort of your home. 
  • Variety – You will have a wide selection of options. More so than any grocery store that you visit. So you can have your pick of the various types of natto.
  • Price – With Amazon you can rest assured that you will be able to purchase your natto at a reasonable price while also being sure that it is good quality. 
  • Options – With the Amazon retailers you can choose between wet or dry natto and be sure that you will find something that you will like there.


  • No Two-Day Delivery – The vast majority of retailers on Amazon do not have two-day Prime shipping which means that you will need to wait quite a while for your delicious natto to arrive. 

You Could Try Purchasing Natto at Asian Specialty Markets

If you happen to have an Asian or Japanese specialty market on your doorstep then you will likely be able to purchase some good quality natto there.

The main difficulty with this is the fact that many of the labels will be in Japanese which makes it hard for you to understand what you are purchasing. If you are not familiar with the language. 

Let us take a closer look at the pros and cons of purchasing from this manufacturer. Below we have listed some of the best and worst things about this option: 


  • On Hand Options – Japanese supermarkets tend to have a really good quality and wide variety of selection for natto in their store. 
  • Price – Natto from Japanese supermarkets tend to be quite affordable and can even be more affordable than ordering your natto online. 
  • Authentic Natto – The natto that these supermarkets have on hand tends to be imported from Japan which means that the natto that you get will be super authentic and tasty. 


  • Foreign Language Labels – If you are shopping in a Japanese supermarket then you may find that the labels will be written in Japanese which can make it hard to read if you are not familiar with the language on any level. 
  • Chemical Additives – There are some Japanese superstores that will have natto that contains chemical preservatives in it which are designed to keep it fresh while it is being shipped. 

You Could Try Purchasing Natto At Various Japanese Restaurants

Natto from authentic Japanese restaurants are certainly going to be among the best in the world. It is freshly made and usually does not contain any additives.

The main issue with purchasing natto from a Japanese restaurant is the fact that many of them do not actually sell natto. This is largely because it is not very popular in the US and there are a ton of people that are not familiar with this delicious superfood. 

Let us take a closer look at the pros and cons of purchasing from this manufacturer. Below we have listed some of the best and worst things about this option: 


  • Fresh Natto – If you are enjoying natto at a Japanese restaurant then you are guaranteed to have natto that is tasty and fresh. 
  • Less Chance of Chemicals – The natto you will enjoy in a Japanese restaurant will be made in house which means that you do not need to worry about any preservatives or chemicals messing things up.
  • Traditional Natto – If you want to enjoy natto that has been prepared traditionally and served as intended then a Japanese restaurant is where you need to get your natto fix. 


  • Not Always Available – If the restaurant is American-oriented then they may not sell natto as it is not a popular choice in the United States. 
  • Rare in America – Natto is not commonly served even in Japanese restaurants so you may need to research and call several restaurants before you find one that sells natto. 

Will Natto Ever Expire?

If you are purchasing your Natto from Amazon you are likely going to receive it in a sealed jar. If this is the case then it will more than likely be edible for quite a few months as long as you refrigerate it.

But to be safe we recommend that you take a look at the expiration date so that you have a date in mind. 

When you break the seal of your jar of natto you should try to eat it within seven days. Because it has been opened bacteria will be able to get in which in turn will allow the natto to start fermenting again.

This can turn them so sour that you will not want to eat them ever again. 

We recommend that you put your natto in an airtight container once you have opened it so that it will last longer. 

Final Thoughts 

Natto is not for everyone. That being said, it is a very healthy snack and it is certainly something that you should try at least once in your life. It is a lot like marmite. Some love it and some hate it.

There is no in between. So, go and purchase some natto. You never know if you will love it or not. 

With all of that being said, WE hope that you have enjoyed reading this article and learning all about these great natto purchasing options. Have a fantastic day and we will see you later!

Eve Mason
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