A great little shop for those curious about Japanese snacks and some foods, Asahi offers a good variety of dry goods and frozen foods, as well as souvenirs and videotapes for rent. If you're looking to do some experimentation into Japanese cooking or you're just looking for a light snack and a bottle of Ramune, this is your store. For those more hardcore into the cuisine and need difficult-to-find ingredients, you may suffer from their limited selection, lack of fresh groceries, and from sticker shock. Their price mark-ups are absurd-- many items will be at least two to three times higher than the same items found in San Antonio or Houston-- and although most items are imported directly from Japan, there are a few that, while the original product may be Japanese, the store only carries kinds made in other countries, so check your labels. The prices may be high, but remember that you are paying for the Austin convenience and supporting a unique local business. As is typical with Japanese shops, the staff are friendly, the store is immaculate, and whether or not you find exactly what you're looking for, you won't leave disappointed because you can find other delicious and collectible treasures-- some you may have never tried before. Go ahead-- take home that frozen oden kit and try it out tonight with some friends and a bowl of rice-- don't forget the karashi mustard (it's next to the wasabi). Grab a teapot and a bag of tea to enjoy with some rice crackers. You won't be sorry.
Pros: Convenient, Clean, Ample parking, Friendly staff
Cons: Expensive, Small selection