Wednesday, August 1

訪問の日本町

I made a visit to San Francisco's Japantown last week and gathered up some fun purchases. I went into Soko Hardware and picked up some great slippers, some really cute rice bowls and a jumbo pack of chopsticks (I love eating with chopsticks!) all for under $10. Japantown is a great and inexpensive resource for beautiful china, Japanese cookware, amazing paper lanterns (think Noguchi, but for $25), Japanese papers and art supplies, including Origami should you like to try it. Just the papers alone are really beautiful and can be used for lots of cool art projects or gift wrapping.

The Kinokuniya Book Store is there too, with great lifestyle mooks (think book/magazine) about designers like Lotta Jansdotter, and tons of other inspiring art and lifestyle books. I also love the Nijiya Supermarket, where I picked up some amazing hamachi sashimi, some seaweed salad, bunches of fun noodles and some spicy new sauces to try. I find everything is very reasonably priced, and really just one big adventure into a culture I'd like to know more about. I highly recommend visiting your local Japantown.

17 comments:

decor8 said...

Oh Victoria, memories! We went to San Francisco on our honeymoon (I think I told you this) and loved Japantown. I got my hair cut there by this amazing cutie pie who gave me the best rock star haircut I've ever had. And the bookstore, great. And they have a great ice cream store too, it was inside of a mall I think. Oh I love San Francisco, and whenever you blog about your city, I get this "I left my heart..." feeling. But thanks!! I love your beautiful posts.

Megan said...

Japantown has to be one of my favorite places in all the city- and you visited all the best shops! You've got me craving a Soko Hardware visit, so think I'll hop on BART tomorrow and do just that. Thanks so much for the lovely photos.

Lisa Marie said...

I love Japantown in SF! But did you know there are only 3 Japantowns in the whole country? SF, LA and San Jose. Thanks a lot, WWII.

sfgirlbybay said...

i'm glad it's brought good memories for you and some inspiration to visit again.

i did not know that lisa marie! that's too bad. war does wonders for culture, doesn't? 'snow falls on cedars' is an interesting book on that period in our history.

robyn said...

I love it when you write these posts, all the great places you recommend. I don't think any other blog does this. Thanks Victoria. Japan town is special.

beachbungalow8 said...

i love japan town. that book store is incredible. as are about any other ship within. i've spent lots of hours there, letting my toddler run through the mall.

the antibride said...

if you like everything japanese, i HUGELY recommend the BBC documentaries called JAPANORAMA. i've just recently discovered them and became an insta-fan!

ASD said...

Fantastic post. We need more Japantowns and less strip malls. So cool- too bad there are no East coast versions... ~anne

studio wellspring said...

i concur. so very much. thanks for bringing it up. and if when you visit you get a little warn out try going to kabuki day spa. for $20 you can soak away your worries in the most comforting of atmospheres.

treasuring said...

Oh, I wish I was in Sf right now to go to Japantown! I also love eating with chopsticks and can't resist buying them. I'll be sure to visit next time I'm in the area! Thanks for post!

Anonymous said...

Responding to asd and other East Coast fans of all things Asian-

In NYC there is a Kinokuniya Bookstore right next to Rockefeller center on 49th St. & 5th Ave (Dean and Deluca deli next door)
For housewares there is Asian superstore Pearl River on lower Broadway (bet Broome & Grand), which is technically "chinese" but carries a very complete assortment of paper lanterns/lamps as well as beautiful japanese dishware.

Also I heard rumors of a first Muji store opening in Manhattan soon. (For no frills modern japanese design at bargain prices)

So although there is no "official" Japantown here, don't feel too deprived.

Cheers

wasabipress said...

I liked your posting, but hope that the big packet of chopsticks that you purchased were not of the disposable variety- use once, then throw it out....my artist friend Donna Ozawa actually addressed this very issue with San Francisco J-town merchants not long ago with her Waribashi Project.

http://waribashiproject.blogspot.com/

If you did purchase the reusable, washable hashi- then kudos, and enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am a japanese from NY and love to read your blog almost everyday!

Wednesday posting about visiting Japantown got my attention because the title was in Japanese!
I understand what you meant. It's almost there.
Maybe you want to said 日本町の訪問.
But thanks for showing Japantown in SF!

sfgirlbybay said...

hi wasabipress - yes they are the laquered wood ones you can keep. i read somewhere, that millions of trees are destroyed each year to make chopsticks. the article suggested bringing your own set with you to sushi, chinese food etc. to help save on the waste. and the Chinese government has introduced a chopsticks tax to help preserve their forests!

ethernautrix said...

May I suggest the Kinokuniya stationery shop if you like pens? It's also the only place I know of where I can buy Pilot ink in a bottle. (There may be other places in the City, but I don't know of them. Not even Flax carries Pilot ink in bottles.)

For udon, I highly recommend Mifune. The best udon I ever ate was in a restaurant in Tokyo that I'll never find again, but Mifune runs a close second.

sfgirlbybay said...

thanks ethernautix - i'm going to try Mifune! it's hard to know which restaurants to go to there - there's so many, so any recommendations are great!

ASD said...

Check out my Thursday post to see how you inspired me :)

www.pretavoyager.blogspot.com