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"Village" is right! - Review by Heather B | Inc Inc


"Village" is right! 9/20/2006

If you lived in one of the apartments above Uwajimaya Village Seattle, you would never need to venture away from home again! The large flagship market boasts a WaMu branch, a nice Shiseido shop (for the unfamiliar, Shiseido is a brand of upscale cosmetics geared towards the Oriental complexion), a beauty salon, an optician, a Kinokuniya bookstore (largely Japanese, but a good selection of books in English, too), a gift and housewares shop (everything from cards to rice cookers to fine artisan pottery), and a food court with a good selection of cuisines, in addition to their own deli. The grocery itself is primarily Japanese and was founded back in 1928 by Fujimatsu Moriguchi, who named his Tacoma-based enterprise "Uwajima-ya" (Uwajima store) after his hometown. He and his family were interred during WWII, but afterwards relocated to Seattle, where they proceeded to open a retail store. Uwajimaya has been there ever since. Uwajimaya offers Japanese and other Asian staples and delicacies, extremely fresh (read: sashimi-quality) fish, a wonderful selection of produce, cuts of meat popular in Oriental cuisine (including sukiyaki beef and pork), a good selection of Asian (again, primarily but not exclusively Japanese) wines and beers, a large selection of frozen foods, teas, snacks, noodles...basically everything one needs to cook nearly any Oriental cuisine at home. There's even a small selection of Western-style foods. The gift and housewares section is separate from the grocery, and is a wonderful place to find gifts for a loved one, yourself, or your home (when was the last time you bought your house a present? ;-) ). There are Japanese knives, woks, bamboo steamers, rice cookers, dishes ranging from teeny condiment bowls to huge platters, cards with lovely calligraphed kanjis, Sanrio for the little ones...I think they even have fabric and patterns there (they used to, at any rate). Kinokuniya is a wonderful place to browse for cookbooks, manga, and books about Oriental history, lifestyle, culture, and architecture--even if you don't speak the language, there is a large selection of books in English. I don't know offhand if there are books in languages other than Japanese and English, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if they did. We love to shop here, even though it's a long drive for us. We look at all the pretties, plan wonderful Asian meals and shop for them, browse the books, and then get lunch at one of the many stalls in the food court. Food Court offerings include: Aloha Plates (Hawaiian BBQ), Noodle Zen, Saigon Bistro, Shilla Korean BBQ, Thai Place, Yummy House Bakery (and oh, it is!)--even a Herfy's for the thoroughly unexperimental! more
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