Today I posted a video of Kigu Time where I take you on a tour of the Japanese mall/store thing that I always went to as a child! Check it out:
So I decided to share some of my other favorite Japanese malls and stores around Southern California! So if you live in Los Angeles/Southern California this will be a handy guide for you! Maybe? Sure.
❀ ✿Marukai✿ ❀
These are pictures from the large one in Gardena, CA but there are a ton of locations! I chose the pictures of Gardena because it has a beautiful mosaic look to it and it is two stories! It is definitely my favorite Marukai! The bottom floor consists of a food court and insanely large market (which includes food, electronics, dish-ware, cosmetics, body care, vitamins and so on. You get the picture. They have everything.) They also have a clothing store (which is OK but kind of old ladyish. If you're an old lady it's AWESOME!) and a Sanrio/Anime/Kawaii cute store! On the top floor it is mostly insanely cool furniture but they also have Kimono and lots of fun trinkets.
There are a lot of Marukai locations spanning from San Diego to Los Angeles some of them are like small malls and others are just grocery stores. Want to see if you have a local Marukai? Click here!
❀ ✿Little Tokyo Galleria✿ ❀
Little Tokyo Galleria is located a few blocks away from the main part of Little Tokyo Los Angeles. They have an awesome two story Korean market inside (that used to be a Mitsuwa) that sells a large variety Japanese and Korean products! The top floor of the market is mainly household items but they also have a clothing section and a Sanrio section. The Little Tokyo Galleria also has Tom N Toms which is kind of like Starbucks but they are all natural and have lots of yummy snacks! They also have some drinks that are more on the wild side like a red bean frappe! There are a few restaurants, a bowling alley, Beard Papas, a juice bar, a yogurt/boba joint (the best one in Little Tokyo IMHO,) a ceramics store, a florist, a Japanese style arcade, karaoke, this odds and ends type store and random clothing shops. (Also if you go to Tom n Toms parking is free for two hours instead of one which is what most places offer!) Click here for their Yelp Profile
❀ ✿DAISO Japan✿ ❀
Daiso Japan is essentially a $1.50 store where you never know what you are going to get! One thing is for sure though... these stores are always packed to the brim with the cutest stuff ever!!! Unlike our 99¢ store which sells things that didn't sell well in the store or are surplus, Daiso offers a large variety of things that are made by them and for their store and also Japanese things that aren't expensive to begin with. This is my go-to place for so many things for around the house, awesome Japanese candy, some skin care stuff, and stationary! You should definitely check out Daiso if you are near one and you love cute things! (or even useful cheap things!) They have over 3,500 stores and more than 700 of them are outside of Japan! Click here for a store locator!
*Right now the only stores in the US are located in California and Washington but hopefully there will be more soon!
❀ ✿Weller Court✿ ❀
Nestled in the high-rises of Los Angeles is Weller Court. Here you will find the famous Japanese book store Kinokuniya, Marukai, Orochon Ramen (as seen on the Food Network for their SUPER spicy ramen!) Curry House, Q Pop art gallery/shop, Demitasse the hipster siphon coffee shop, and other random shops and restaurants! They also often have really great live music and a lot of cosplayers meet up here so that's always fun! Click here for their Yelp page!
❀ ✿Japanese Village Plaza & Little Tokyo Mall✿ ❀
Located across the street from Weller Court is the Little Tokyo Mall and the Japanese Plaza Village. There is not much to the Little Tokyo Mall but there are three really cool stores inside it! Anime Jungle is a store dedicated to your inner otaku! They are so much anime stuff that it might overwhelm you! They have everything from manga to figures to blu-rays to anime girl body pillows! It's definitely worth checking out. Also if you are no longer interested in your huge anime collection they buy stuff there! They also own another store down the hall which is mostly Purikura and claw machines. In the corner of it they have a small cosplay clothing store which has some fun stuff. The other store I like is the Fairytale Boutique. While it is quite over priced (at least for their Lolita Magazines which you can find in Japanese bookstores for half the price) it is very cute!
Outside of the Little Tokyo Mall is the Japanese Village Plaza which is home to a lot of amazing stores! They have a Nijiya market which has a HUGE selection of Japanese candy! This is probably my favorite place to go to for candy and it's usually priced better than other markets. They also have a Sanrio store but it's usually marked up compared to Sanrio stores in regular malls. Next to the Sanrio store is the best cosmetics store ever! But... I can't find the name of it. It's the best place to go for Japanese lashes and NYX cosmetics. Hands down the cheapest place I've been to. Across from there is the Tokyo Lifestyle shop! It is a lot cheaper than the one in my mall here and has a larger selection! I highly recommend it for fun Japanese products! There are a lot more great little stores in this area and a lot of insanely good restaurants. I feel like I could make a whole blog post on just this area. I might.
(See You Later!)