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The TJX Crew Invade J-Town

If you live in or near a city of reasonable size, odds are that it has a fairly sizable Japanese-American population, and that it would have some form of Japantown.  Perhaps it’s nothing more than a collection of several Japanese or Asian markets or restaurants along a particular city block, or perhaps it’s a huge section of town completely devoted to Japanese-American businesses. Some of the more famous are San Francisco’s and San Jose’s Japantowns (San Francisco’s being one of my favorites), and Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo (which I still haven’t made it to, despite the frequent protestation of one of my co-hosts).  Whatever your town has, though, it should be your sworn duty as otaku to visit such a place.  Because you will find all manner of things that will interest you there — anime and related goods (Japan Video and Media remains one of my favorite stores to find this kind of thing, and I make it a point to stop in whenever I’m in the area); Jpop, Jrock, and other Japanese music; Japanese household goods; cultural items (decoration, bonsai, etc.); clothing (get your cosplay on!); and, most importantly, FOOD!!!  It’s the next best thing to visiting Japan, and is a hell of a lot cheaper (maybe…)

The TJX crew recently visited Markham, Ontario‘s J-Town (map) and shot this nifty little video in which they sample such delicacies as yakitori (one of my favorites), Mitsuya Cider “ALL ZERO,” onigiri (I have fond memories of these – during our Japan trip in 2004, most nights we’d pick up a pair of these at a konbini and they’d serve as our breakfast the next morning); and “korokke,” or croquettes.

Be warned tho – watching this is gonna make you hungry!  (A trip to your local Japantown should take care of that though!)


2 comments to The TJX Crew Invade J-Town

  • this was something we didn’t plan on doing it just happen. nest week we may do one more video on you tube. cover japanese soda;s like cc lemon and others.

  • Actually there is more than one “J-Town” in the greater Los Angeles area. There is the aforementioned Little Tokyo, our most venerable “J-Town.” There is also the Sawtelle District in West Los Angeles, which is beginning to be called Little Osaka; and the Torrance/Gardena area of the South Bay, which rose to prominence AFTER the internment era was over and Japanese-American families resettled in the LA area. The latter is notable for the fact that there it is an actual RESIDENTIAL area for the Japanese-American community, and therefore you get more of an authentic flavor there than any of the other “J-Towns” here. It’s like the San Gabriel Valley and Chinese settlement: there are few Chinese families left in Downtown LA’s Chinatown, but there has been a huge influx of Chinese, Taiwanese, HK and Sino-American families in places like Alhambra and San Gabriel and Monterey Park.

    One of these days I’m going to have to take my video camera to all three of these places and talk about them, Huell Howser stylee. If only I had better transpo than LA’s public transit system: getting to the South Bay is hell on public transit from my Valley base of operations.

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