Edible Japanese Treasures, Straight From The SourceFeatures Order of the Day
August 2, 2015
Story By: Andy Beth Miller | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
National treasures are just the kind of cache that J-Shop specializes in. And although this specialty Japanese grocery store is a relatively new venture — the establishment has been at its current location on Young Street for one year — owner Hideyoshi Takasawa is a 50-year veteran when it comes to expertly navigating the world of gourmet food vendors.
His wealth of expertise, paired with a keenly discerning palate and strong head for business, are just what bring such peace of mind to Takasawa’s clients, and have fostered a faithful and steady following of shoppers who regularly frequent J-Shop.
In fact, according to Takasawa, it’s common for his customers to stop by at least every few days, as “nothing stays on the shelf here, so we sell out within days — if not that same day — of when our products are brought in.”
Uncompromising on quality and taking a hands-on approach, Takasawa explains how he makes it a point to personally ensure the quality of each and every J-Shop product. “Every month, I go to Japan and meet in person with the manufacturers themselves … to see with my own eyes. It makes all the difference,” he says.
Air-lifted in three times per week, 95 percent of J-Shop’s products are brought directly from Takasawa’s personal contacts in Japan “to ensure the utmost in quality,” he explains. And just what are some of these rare gems from Japan?
Literally a world apart from that old hamburger steak you’re used to, J-Shop’s Wagyu A5 Beef (market price), with its rich marbled texture and juicy, unmatched flavor, is more than worth the higher price point one might pay here. Enjoy a serving cooked on-site at J-Shop’s okazuya, or opt to select a serving of any of “J-Shop’s Top Quality Meat Available From Japan (market price)” to take home and savor for a family supper.
Fresh fish also is available from Japan (market price) daily, showcasing an exotic array of eel, red sea bream, horse mackerel, tilefish, yellowtail and more.
“If someone comes in and blanches at our prices, I am confident that one taste will tell them all they need to know,” says Takasawa of his products. “The price matches the excellence in taste and quality.”
Japan-sourced assorted fresh vegetables and soy products cater to the vegetarian clientele, where one can find such imported goodies as soy milk, tofu and more.
“To know where your meat, fish and produce come from … to have your hands on every detail straight from the land or the sea to the table — that’s what we are offering,” says Takasawa.
WHERE: 1513 Young St., Suite 101, Honolulu
HOURS: Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; closed Sunday