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Key to the City

How to Pretend You’re in Japan in NYC

Key to the City BY genevieve ang 04/19/2016

Tats and Ena Otake, both born in Japan, have lived in American cities like Los Angeles and Honolulu, Hawaii, for almost two decades, but their current HQ, NYC, is their all-time favorite. When they’re not making delicately angular bags and earrings, the duo fights off homesickness eating udon and shopping Japanese desk accessories—and with Tats as your guide, you can get in on the fun.  



Eat

MENTOKU

via @mentoku

“This is one of our favorite ramen chains from Japan! I used to go there all the time, and a branch just opened last year in Hell’s Kitchen. What a dream come true! They serve very authentic Hakata-style ramen with a silky and thick broth. If you need more noodles to eat with your broth, you can order kaedama, which is a refill bowl of noodles.”

 

RAKU

via Caviar

“This place is a new favorite restaurant, and they serve fresh, handmade udon noodles. The broth is very flavorful and authentic—not too light, not too heavy. Just the right taste. We recommend the curry udon and the tempura udon!”

 

OOTOYA

via @ootoyanyc

“Ootoya is known for their traditional home-cooking. They serve teishoku, which are set meals, and make them with very fresh ingredients. We recommend the miso tonkatsu here, but every dish is expertly crafted. Prices are very reasonable.”

 

MITSUWA

via Mitsuwa

“We like to go to Mitsuwa market in New Jersey when we have time. They have a great selection of sashimi, sake, and Japanese bread. There’s also a food court next to the market, and we always get ten-don—tempura bowl—from Hannosuke. They’re a Zagat-rated restaurant in Tokyo.”

 

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Do Things

NEPENTHES

via @nepenthesny

“They mainly carry my favorite brand, Engineered Garments, by the Japanese designer Daiki Suzuki. We love their highly functional and classic, American-style sportswear with the Japanese aesthetic and details.”

 

KINOKUNIYA BOOKS

via @kinokinuyausa

“We go here often for art books and magazines, but they also specialize in Japanese stationery of all types. There’s a huge selection of unique and hard-to-find products that aren’t for sale elsewhere in New York. The pen selection is incredible.”

 

SEI TOMOKO

via Sei Tomoko

“My friend Kaori is the stylist at this salon, and she’s very knowledgeable. The service here is exceptional, and the cleanliness level of this salon is off the charts. They also sell their own line of moisturizing shampoos and hair treatments.”

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