Maybe I’ve just been living in small fridge land, but until I moved to Japan I honestly had no idea fridges could be this crazy. Naturally, I decided to write an article on the best Japanese refrigerator brands, because who doesn’t love reading about this kind of thing?!…
Also, there are actually 7 entries on this list, but number 7 is more of an honorable mention. It’s incredibly popular in japan, but not actually a Japanese refrigerator brand. I felt like I couldn’t finish a list like this without adding it in, so you’re getting that one as well!
What makes a good Japanese refrigerator?
Japanese refrigerators are some of the best in the world for a number of reasons. It’s also important to mention that a lot of these models have been designed specifically for the Japan’s market. That means for some of these Japanese refrigerator brands, you’ll need either need to import them to your country, or live in Japan. Anyway, here are a few things that make these refrigerators so successful.
A lot of Japanese houses are small, really small. That’s why you’ll find a number of models that seem almost too small to fit enough food in being offered on the Japanese market. But don’t be fooled, there are also a lot that are over 500L big, that’s just mad! You’ll find that food is a huge part of almost every Japanese persons life, and so it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that people often have the biggest refrigerators they can fit in their kitchen!
As you’ll soon find out, lots of Japanese refrigerators come packed full with technology. While a lot of that technology is general, a good portion of it has been aimed at fresh food and keeping it in as good a quality as possible for the longest amount of time. Japanese diets focus heavily on fresh fruit and vegetables which means technology like that is highly popular in almost all models.
Japanese refrigerator brands love to make things easy for their customers. They do this in a variety of ways, but the most common is through double side access. That means you can grab the fridge door from either the left or right and it will open normally. This is an incredibly smart idea, especially for Japanese people with limited space. This way they can confidently place the refrigerator anywhere in their apartment without worrying about gaining access to it.
The name AQUA might not ring a bell at first. However, this brand is actually owned by Haier, a leading Japanese appliance manufacturer. AQUA offers many stylish refrigerators with unique designs that are sure to blend in well with your kitchen fixtures.
This includes single-door, double-door, multi-door, and double-door bottom-mount varieties. Their AQR – VZ46M(T) 458L stands out as one of AQUA’s most popular models.
This slim single-door refrigerator has a whopping three bottom-mounted drawers. This makes it perfect for storing all types of veggies, dairy, and meats. Its tasteful mocha brown color is a bit strange, but who cares when it’s this flipping big?!
The Hitachi name has stood out in the Japanese electronic appliances world for many years, and I’d be incredibly surprised if you’ve never heard of it before. This brand makes everything from kitchen appliances to railway systems, so you can be sure their engineers and designers know their stuff when it comes to designing nothing but the best Japanese refrigerators!
Hitachi’s refrigerators stand out because each one is designed with energy efficiency in mind. They utilize frost recycling, cooling, and a multi-valve control system to help you save on your energy bill and protect the environment.
One of their most popular Japanese refrigerators at the moment is the R-HWSCC47S(W) model. This single-door refrigerator has a 470 L capacity and five drawers. It also has a dedicated ice-making room and a quick-freezing freezer compartment. There’s also a 2 step case vegetable room to keep your veggies cool and crisp for your next Japanese cooking session!
This refrigerator, along with many of Hitachi’s others is a dream for any chef that wants to store a wide range of ingredients in optimal conditions without taking up too much kitchen space.
As one of Japan’s oldest electronic product manufacturers, Sharp needs no introduction. There’s a good chance you owned a Sharp CD player or a Sharp microwave at some point. In 1973 the company took its first steps into becoming the famous Japanese refrigerator brand it is today. Its first offering was a massive three-door fridge with a vegetable compartment.
As far as Sharp’s modern offerings go, the SJ-X417J is one of the top ones. This single-door, four-drawer refrigerator has a capacity of 412 L with a top door that can be configured to swing open to the left or right. This makes it excellent for kitchen corner spaces and shows it has clearly been designed with Japanese homes in mind.
You can also activate the refrigerator’s ice cube tray and water supply cleaning functions by pressing a single button. As an added bonus, this Japanese refrigerator is equipped with plasma cluster ion technology to keep the internal air clean and your food fresh for longer.
With all these amazing features packed into a sleek appliance, this refrigerator will definitely be one of the SHARP-est tools in your kitchen… Clearly, I shouldn’t quit my day job…
TOSHIBA has made it all. From laptops to rice cookers, this company has earned its reputation as one of Japan’s most reliable brands. As you might expect, Toshiba has extended its high-quality designs to its range of Japanese refrigerators.
The GR-U500GZ(ZH) model is one of the most popular here in Japan. This single-door, four-drawer refrigerator uses a special twin cooling system that channels high-humidity, chilled air to the vegetable drawer over a dozen times daily. It also uses ice-coating technology to keep meat and fish fresh without actually freezing them.
Want to store some prime sashimi ingredients in advance for your weekend get-together with friends? You can count on this refrigerator to keep your ingredients as fresh as the day you bought them.
Panasonic is a household name for good reason. The brand has delved into everything from Blu-Ray players to electric shavers. You might not think of Panasonic as a Japanese refrigerator brand, but the company does have many respectable options out there.
Their NR C373GC(T) and NR-C373C(N) are winners in my book. The first model comes in a low-profile dark brown color while the latter has a more dazzling (also slightly gross) “grace gold” finish.
These single-door, two-drawer refrigerators have a 365L capacity, making them smaller than some of the others on our list. However, their drawers are quite spacious and can accommodate heavy fruits and vegetables. I’ve even seen a whole pumpkin fit into one of them at the local electronics store. Pretty cool if you ask me!
The refrigerator’s top section has glass shelves that are super easy to clean and the exterior’s polycarbonate resin is built to last. This appliance would be a great fit for a smaller home kitchen, exactly the sort that Panasonic designed this for..
6. Mitsubishi Electric
Mitsubishi Electric are kings when it comes to home appliances, especially Japanese refrigerators. The company knows all about air conditioning and cooling given that it produces heat pumps, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and ventilation fans. The Japanese manufacturer combines parts from all these appliances to create some of the best refrigerators available on the market.
Take their MR-CX37H(T) 365L model as an example. This single-door, two-drawer refrigerator has a capacity of 365 L. Its door features an ergonomic design with a recessed lip around its side and bottom, making it easy to open from anywhere. This means you won’t need to worry about putting down your groceries to get this door open.
Its dark brown exterior is again, a little strange, it’s clear that’s a key element of it’s design and target demographic. This Japanese refrigerator was made for people who consider their kitchen appliances a key part of their home decor.
Our honorable mention for this list is Hisense, a popular Chinese appliance manufacturer. Yes, you’re right it’s not a Japanese brand, but I cannot go into any electronics shop in Tokyo without bumping into one of these. They’re just that popular! Don’t let the fact it’s not a Japanese refrigerator brand fool you into believing its designs can’t compete with the other ones on this list. The company has a keen understanding of what a reliable refrigerator should be like and has implemented numerous design features to produce some of the most affordable refrigerator models on the market.
The HR-G3601W model is a particularly popular choice for its simple and no-nonsense design. This single-door, two-drawer refrigerator has a 358L capacity. It can create ice in just 90 minutes, making it perfect for social events where you need to refresh your punch bowl multiple times.
This refrigerator also emits hi-nano negative ions to stop the growth of bacteria and keep bad odors at bay. That means you can always count on your food to look and smell great each time you open the door! Great!