Local shop offers exclusive Japan treats, eats for all cravings
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At J-Shop in Honolulu, you’ll find some of the most highly desirable Japanese meats, seafood, vegetables and other food items, including many products not available anywhere else on the island.
Located on Young Street in Makiki (between Keeaumoku and Punahou streets), the Japanese grocery store opened about a year-and-a-half ago and receives shipments by air, direct from Japan, three times a week.
Owner and president Hideyoshi Takasawa has been in the importing business for almost 40 years — distributing to restaurants and businesses throughout Hawaii and on the Mainland — and decided to open a store featuring some of the products he brings in from Japan.
Among the most popular items are Shizuoka wagyu beef, Hokkaido Tokachi soy milk custard pudding, fresh natto from Hokkaido Kyushu, Aroma Melon, Benihoppe Strawberry, Japan Kosui pears, green tea from Shizuoka and famous Majo coffee.
For fish, there is silver salmon from Onagawa, as well as fresh, not frozen, high-quality hamachi, red snapper, flounder and Japan akule.
Vegetable offerings include Japanese mushrooms, eggplant, carrots, daikon and gobo (burdock). The store also carries a variety of Japanese sauces and seasonings, salad dressings, soba noodles, rice, azuki beans, unagi, fishcake and much more.
There also is a restaurant conveniently located inside the store serving made-to-order bentos that are prepared with 95-percent Japan products.
Best sellers include Wagyu Yakiniku Bento ($14.50) consisting of barbecue-style wagyu meat, rice and as-sorted Japanese-style vegetables — such as nishime, pumpkin, tofu, hijiki (sea vegetable) and gobo.
Other customer favorites are Sashimi Bento ($9.75) with ahi, salmon, hamachi and ika, along with rice and assorted Japanese-style vegetables; and Ten-Don (or Tempura Donburi, $12.50) which has two jumbo-shrimp tempura and assorted-vegetable tempura on rice with a homemade tempura sauce.
J-Shop also will host a special Fujisan Shizuoka Wagyu Fair Friday, Jan. 29 and Saturday, Jan. 30 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Shizuoka Strawberry Fair Friday, Feb. 12 and Saturday, Feb.13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
1513 Young St., Makiki
Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; closed Sunday