On Wednesday, I went with my friend to Katagiri, a Japanese store in Manhattan.
While walking to the store from the train, we passed by a pet store. To the left and right of the entrance there were window "cages" filled with the most adorable puppies. Some of the puppies were fighting, some were lounging around and some were just walking around, but all of them were kawaii!
Katagiri was a little disappointing, and the gift shop, even more so. Originally, we were planning on going to Sunrise Mart in the Village, anothe Japanese store. However, after finding out that Sunrise Mart is a "small, cozy, Japanese supermarket" and Katagiri is the "oldest Japanese store in New York" and it has an adjoining gift shop, we went to Katagiri. I don't know which store is bigger, but Katagiri seemed very small and perhaps we should have went to Sunrise. On a positive note, I bought a 12 pack of the very hard to find Kirin beer, two 150oz bags of imported green tea leaves and two packs of green tea with brown rice. Barley tea, a famous summer drink in Japan, was unfortunately not Kosher and unlike tea leaves, needs to be Kosher. Most of the shopper and all of the workers were Japanese and were very nice. The store also sells sushi rice though a bigger selection of rice and nori can be found in bigger stores in Chinatown.
The gift shop was a big disappointment. The store was tiny with hardly anything there and what was there was ridiculously overpriced. Plastic soup bowls that I ordered from Japan for $3 were being sold for $8. A one cup traditional tea kettle went for $73. The Chinese owned Japanese store on Brighton is not only cheaper but 3 or 4 times bigger.
Next time I want to check out Sunrise Mart, specifically to find out if they have Kirin. If Sunrise doesn't, I guess I'm going back to Katagiri.