Japan in NYC

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!!

Matcha Frappuccino & the Empire State Building

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:

St Paul's Chapel

Hello Kitty was everyone, just as she is in the UK (is she some kind of global phenomenon now?!).

Hello Kitty

I bought this cute charity Kitty:

Hello Kitty Red Cross nurse

Found a whole Hello Kitty shop:

Hello Kitty Store

(Although I’m not sure how official it was.)

I even met Kitty-chan herself outside Radio City:

Me & Hello Kitty at Radio City

And spotted this… unusual “Hello Titty” T-shirt:

Hello Titty

Mario was around too:

Super Mario

I spotted this fantastic sumo cushion in a shop window in Soho:

Sumo cushion

And was delighted to find a shop which sold lychee flavoured Ramune (ラムネ), as well as original flavour.

Lychee ラムネ (Lychee Ramune)

On my birthday, I got some lovely Kimono Collection chocolates from Dean & Deluca:

Kimono chocolates

The flavours were amazing: sesame-shichimi, persimmon-peach, shiso-lime, adzuki and green tea.

Kimono chocolates

I was excited to find a 7-Eleven:

7 Eleven

One of my happiest finds was the Strand bookstore (on the corner of 12th St and Broadway).

Strand Bookstore

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.

7 thoughts on “Japan in NYC

  1. In Singapore they have a whole store that sells nothing but cool Japanese candy & snacks in the basement of The Central mall. We always stock up on Crunkies & Meiji BlackBlack when we’re there.


  2. Hello Kitty has been a global phenomenon for a while now.
    I don’t think there is such a thing as an “official Hello Kitty store”.
    Hello Kitty built its brand, fame and fortune in licensing anything and everything made by anyone. Quite the opposite from the hipsterish “official store” mentality.


    • I guess I was thinking of the Sanrio stores, which seem to be “official” in Japan. The store I came across in NY had the feeling of being a small, perhaps family-run place.


  3. I take it the Green tea frappucinos are not in UK Starbucks? We have those and the lattes in any Starbucks I’ve been to in the US! In fact, I remember them first coming out in the summer in 2008 (I think) and going to try them with my friend Shannon. At the time, I think they had some sort of mint-y addition to them and commenting to my friend that they tasted like liquefied toothpaste. So glad they moved away from that into a nicer, grass-y green tea taste!


    • Yeah, for some unknown reason Starbucks in the UK doesn’t sell Green Tea Frappuccino! We do have another cafe called “Eat” which has one (and a latte), but it’s not the same.


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