Archive for October 2009


Finding Japan-ness


As much as we love the screeching sound of the tires touching down at Haneda, as equally hard it is to feel them lift off again. You simply cannot get enough of Nippon.

To try to make up for the lack of izakayas, ubiquitous Maglev transportation, and the whispering of “irasshaimase” everywhere, we have made a short guide to the three best places to get your Japan fix – outside of the Land of the Rising Sun itself.

1. Kinokuniya, Bryant Park, New York
Yes – they are all over the states, and no – it’s not the same as the one between Shinjuku and Shinjukunishiguchi. But it is good enough to pick up some Takehiko Inoue, and what’s more – there is a NTT Docomo counter downstairs.

2. Toraya, Japantown, San Francisco
Apart from the katsudon being absolutely oishii, you should try to get your hands on some Kuromaguro (or Honmaguro, if you will). One bite and you’ll be back at that charming Mimasuya in Chiyoda-ku in no time. Pop into Ichiban Kan for something kawaii on your way out.

3. Japanshop, Neustadt, Berlin
An ambitious nippon excursion, far from the German strictness of Mitte. Stepping in through the door and hearing Eiko Yamashita is a good sign, no matter where you are. But seeing that they have the full lineup of Hana-Kimi by Hisaya Nakajo makes you want to stay all afternoon.