Just before Christmas I went on a little holiday to New York and while I was there I made sure to keep my eyes open for Japanese-related stuff. I wasn’t disappointed!
On my first night I visited Starbucks and was delighted to discover that the rumours I had heard were true – Matcha (Green Tea) Frappuccino (クリームベースのフラペチーノ) exists in New York!!
While visiting St Paul’s Chapel to see the exhibition and memorial for 9/11, I wasn’t that surprised to see that there were some gifts from Japan on display:
Hello Kitty was everyone, just as she is in the UK (is she some kind of global phenomenon now?!).
I bought this cute charity Kitty:
Found a whole Hello Kitty shop:
(Although I’m not sure how official it was.)
I even met Kitty-chan herself outside Radio City:
And spotted this… unusual “Hello Titty” T-shirt:
Mario was around too:
I spotted this fantastic sumo cushion in a shop window in Soho:
And was delighted to find a shop which sold lychee flavoured Ramune (ラムネ), as well as original flavour.
The flavours were amazing: sesame-shichimi, persimmon-peach, shiso-lime, adzuki and green tea.
I was excited to find a 7-Eleven:
One of my happiest finds was the Strand bookstore (on the corner of 12th St and Broadway).
At first glance, you wouldn’t think there was anything remotely Japanese about this shop. However, their logo is sometimes written STR本ND, and I found this wonderful cloth bag with the logo and lots of time 本s on it (本 (hon) is book in Japanese).
Finally, on my last day, I was very excited to come across a real Japanese bookshop – Kinokuniya! I used to love the one in Shinjuku, and this one was exactly the same inside. As well as a very impressive range of books (in English and Japanese), they also sold character goods (like Rilakkuma!) and some traditional goods.
Kinokuniya is on Sixth Ave between 40th Street and 41st Street.
Of course, I also did lots of non-Japanese stuff in New York. If you’re interested in that, please keep an eye on AliMuskett.com, where I will be posting about my non-Japanese adventures in the Big Apple.