* Japan in New York

Posted on February 25th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Wants.

Spent the day in New York City yesterday, seeing the Gates and checking out all the Japanese stores I could find, mostly midtown. I figured I’d post them just in case anyone else is looking. I found out about these places from various friends and from this guidebook I got at the library called Asia in New York City.

Kinokuniya, 10 W 49th between 5th and 6th: Great big bookstore. Good craft book selection. Not as good crafty/home magazine section. I’m going to do a separate post one of these days about my little book collection. I still haven’t been able to find any Wachifield books, though. They’re really well-illustrated children’s books by Akiko Ikeda, and we have a (2004) calendar with the characters, but no books. I’ve tried 3 different Japanese bookstores with no luck. I really wish someone would buy the US rights.


Takashimaya, 693 5th Ave, near 54th: Department store with tea house in the basement. I had lunch and tea here and stole a few ideas from the children’s department. Expensive and fancy, but fun to browse.

Things Japanese: Prints, books, antiques. They were in the middle of moving, to I know not where. Not much to see, anyway, unless you like antiques. What secondhand books they had (the attraction for me) were already packed up.

Katagiri, 226 E 59th (near 2nd?): Funny Japanese quicky mart/gift/video store. They had some really cute sake sets. I got some little paper parasols for Blythe.

Zakka, 147 Grand St: Design books/magazines/toys/clothes. Neat shop. Had an I Love You It’s True Blythe (for $120), and some Blythe stickers and little figures (not petites, alas). Lots of other wacky toys, and some neat design books. Also, Japanese coin-machines that give out little figurines. I was disappointed it wasn’t this type of zakka, though (scroll down to 1/5 entry).

Asahiya: Bookstore, supposedly at 360 Madison Ave according to the 2000 guidebook. Turned out to be a bank at that location, as far as I could tell. :( The Asahiya webpage gives the same address, but the map shows it kind of around the corner on 45th. Other places say the address is 52 Vanderbilt Ave. Maybe one day I’ll find it.

One last place I’ve been that’s in the area is the Mitsuwa in Edgewater, NJ. It’s a whole shopping center. In one building is a big grocery store, a really good food court, pastry counters, and some little specialty kiosks. Then there’s like a strip mall of all sorts of other specialty stores, including one with toys (no Blythes when I went) and stationary, and a good bookstore.

One place I didn’t hit, but that I’d like to visit, is Toy Tokyo, which sounds fun. Doesn’t hurt that they have some Blythe stuff.

[Edit: Momomoogie mentions a Japanese 99 cent store on Grand St called Samurai. Man, I must’ve been right by there and I missed it! The same with Book Off (thanks Mary!)]

If you know of any good ones I missed, please leave a comment.

6 Responses to “Japan in New York”

  1. Mary I Says:

    Book-Off is one of my favorites – 41st b/w Madison & 5th. It’s all used books and you can find some great deals! They have a decent craft section and the books can be had for as little as a couple of dollars. And, it’s just down the block from Cafe Zaiya – yummy & cheap Japanese food and Beard Papa’s cream puffs.

  2. Cassi Says:

    It sounds like such a fun day! Thanks for the virtual shopping, I loved it :)

  3. laure Says:

    Hello, I found your page since I was searching for ways to buy Wachifield products in the US… I was wondering if you ever did come across a store that sells their items? I am in love with this cat, and am searching high and low for this stuff! Any help you can offer is appreciated.
    Yours, Laure

  4. Yuki Says:

    I just got some great wachifield stuff in a store in Kobe, Japan and I heard that the bookrights has been granted to the northamerican marked. I too has been looking for the books and they must be out there somewhere, since the first Dayan drawing was made in 1976. But its a Tokyo produkt and you dont find Wachifield all over Japan either.
    Does that Book-off store have a onlineshop?

  5. cynthia Says:

    I was at the NY Asahiya in Oct. 2005. It’s at 52 Vanderbilt Ave.

  6. Lorna Rackley Says:

    I go along with you, I do think! Will this become likely that will have your web blog translated into Chinese? English is my own 2nd language.


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