Hours: Lunch, dinner: daily
Japanese superstore with a mind-boggling array of offerings and a food court noted for its noodle stands and sushi counter.
A visit to Mitsuwa Marketplace provides the sort of sensory overload and culture shock untraveled Occidentals have been trained to expect from the frenzy of modern Japan. The local branch of this Japanese superstore houses a cosmetic counter, bookstore, china shop, travel agent, bakery, and a liquor store with an addling array of sakes. You can spend hours wandering the wide aisles of the spotless supermarket, eyes glazing over at the rows of mysterious products in brightly colored packages. The fish department is an excellent source for unusual species and sashimi-grade seafood, and the produce section yields consistently fresh (and often pricey) fruits and vegetables with some really uncommon finds-its the only place I know where youll (occasionally) see fresh wasabi root. The food court presents a singular opportunity to experience the varieties of Japanese fast food locally. The sushi counter, with its plethora of prepackaged rolls, reflects the populist origins of raw fish and rice as fast food for travelers rather than the rarefied restaurant meal weve come to pay dearly for. At the curry stall, Otafuku-tei, thick gravy chunky with carrots and potatoes is ladled over rice and accompanied by fried eggs, panko-breaded pork chops, or ground meat pattiesa dish that results in such an intense MSG high Id recommend assigning a designated driver. Next door, Kayaba specializes in bowls of udon and soba noodles; another stand, Santoka Ramen, serves the long tentacular noodles in salt-, soy-, or miso-flavored broths. The choices can be baffling, so each stall helpfully displays shiny plastic but not unappetizing models of each dish. New to the mix is Gabutto Burger, which serves Japanese-style burgers doused in teriyaki sauce or a proprietary sweet demi-glace and flavored fries.
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