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Heading to Mitsuwa, what should I buy?

#1 User is offline   Iris 

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:48 AM

Hey guys! Despite this being like my.. 10th or so Acen I'll be visiting the Mitsuwa market for the 1st time this year. I'm pretty excited to see and try some new stuff but I'm a little afraid I'm going to walk in there and be totally overwhelmed. I'm also not sure how the food is labeled so I don't want to accidentally grab something that I'm going to end up hating because I can't read or tell whats in it.

So I figured I'd just ask you more experienced folks for some suggestions (and/or keywords to avoid). I've already had some of the super basics like pocky, ramune, koalas, star candy, and such.


One VERY important note: I cannot stand fish/shrimp/crab. Seaweed is alright, but pretty much anything else from the ocean makes me sick. I'm aware this cuts out a lot of options, but please keep this in mind when making suggestions.


I'm most excited about bakery or sweet items (how freaking cool is it that they're having a special premium sweets event Acen weekend :D ), but please suggest anything that you think is delicious. Thanks guys!

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:04 AM

Buy some Yan Yans instead of Pocky. Pocky is overrated.
Also some mochi at the ice cream shot.
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Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:06 AM

Kiwi gummi snacks. I have yet found one person who wasn't hopelessly addicted lol
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Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:14 AM

I definitely suggest the bakery and the candy. If you're eating in the food court, it's pretty easy to see what is what. WARNING: For all those going to Mitsuwa and eating at the food court, THEY DO NOT ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS! It's cash only. So make sure you hit an ATM before going to Mitsuwa, there is an ATM there but considering the mass influx of people that weekend. It would probably be best to get the money before
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Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:16 AM

Oh man it has been forever since I've been there! I need to go back soon.

I highly recommend browsing the sweets aisles! They are located at the far end kinda by the bakery area. If you read the backs of the products they all have an English ingredients label, so you can figure out what exactly is in them.

If you're not buying actual groceries then the produce section and half of the groceries part has not much to offer as far as pre-made food goes. There is some frozen foods you might like though.

If you have a problem with textures then you might not like Mochi(I love it). It is very chewy and gummy on the outside. It is made from rice flour. You can find them filled with ice cream in the frozen area(back wall), or filled with red bean paste and those can be found in the normal sweets aisle. They can come in a variety of flavors.

Luckily as far as candies goes they usually have a picture of the type of fruit or ingredient right on the package.

Traditional Japanese sweets don't have bold flavors, or are really sour, or are really sweet. They have pretty mild, but very tasty flavors!

About Red bean/Azuki: You might find quite a few items with Red bean aka Azuki filling. I know it sounds weird, but it is actually really good. If you are unsure if you will like it or not go to the ice cream stand and try a sample of their red bean ice cream! I'm sure you'll like it. :3
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Also, did you know they have a food court? I mentioned the ice cream shop, but they have about 6 different stands in the food court area, so I recommend bringing your appetite and grabbing a bite to eat before you shop! Most ONLY accept cash, but there is an ATM machine if you don't mind paying the fees.
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#6 User is offline   Iris 

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:51 AM

Ohhh thanks for letting me know about the cash only thing! That's always a crappy thing to find out once you're there, now I can be prepared.

I do intend on hitting up the food court and maybe grabbing snacks and other things. We're still figuring out if we'll be going Thursday, Sunday, or both days. But if we do go Thursday, we're staying at the Embassy so I will have the luxury of a fridge and microwave. And of course if we go Sunday I'll have everything at home.

I have have a little red bean and green tea shaved ice at the Japanese festival in St Louis before. I thought they were a little boring at the time, but I think mixed with other food (as opposed to just ice) I might find it more tastey.

Thanks for all the suggestions so far, you've been very informative. Does anyone know if they have melon bread (in the bakery or prepackaged). I see it in anime all the time and I'd love to try it. XD

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 10:09 AM

View PostXenoBlade, on 18 April 2012 - 09:06 AM, said:

Kiwi gummi snacks. I have yet found one person who wasn't hopelessly addicted lol

ANY of the gummi snacks are extremely yummy xD I'm addicted to the Peach ones.
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Posted 18 April 2012 - 10:48 AM

View PostIris, on 18 April 2012 - 09:51 AM, said:

Does anyone know if they have melon bread (in the bakery or prepackaged). I see it in anime all the time and I'd love to try it. XD



Yes. They have it in the bakery and prepackaged. It is the most delicious thing ever! It's awesome. If you do go Thursday, you'll see me and my friends there late (probably 5 or 6)

One other thing to keep in mind if you go late around then. The food court closes at 7 so makes sure you come early enough to get something
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Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:09 AM

Enough candy talk. Candy there is pretty much like candy anywhere else. Go to Kayaba in the food court and eat katsudon. The combos are pretty solid but you kind of get gypped on the meat portion. If you do rice on your own, get some bonito furikake (seasoning). There are a couple different kinds but that's the best in my opinion. There's always a bottle or two on my kitchen shelf. Good stuff.
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Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:02 PM

Food! All the food! :)
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Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:35 PM

In the food court I always buy a green bubble tea, of course if you don't like tapioca you can have it without. They also have so many different flavors besides green tea.
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#12 User is offline   Voxx 

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:41 PM

View PostWashu Takahashi, on 18 April 2012 - 10:09 AM, said:

ANY of the gummi snacks are extremely yummy xD I'm addicted to the Peach ones.

Me too! Those are my favorite. They are so delicious! ^.^
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Posted 18 April 2012 - 01:00 PM

You should buy nothing Kamen Rider related. Because I want to buy it when I'm there...
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#14 User is offline   rwarsauce 

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 01:32 PM

Chiracha peas, and get some jpork curry

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:37 PM

The sushi has alot of options. even if you hate seafood they have maki rolls and the like. the "deluxe" ramen cups are awesome.. the grand style where it's nice ol beef or chicken stock with heavy noodles..mmmmmm
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#16 User is offline   obakasan 

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:24 PM

The bakery (Hippo) is wonderful. All sorts of stuff. Grab a tray and some tongs, take to counter. They ring it up there. And check out the cakes in the display case... Sometimes they will have nikuman (steamed meat filled buns -yum).

If you have a problem with seafood (so do I), I'd avoid bonito flakes. It's essentially tuna, and very fishy IMO. Many dishes are also made with a fish (again, bonito) sauce (dashi), soups with a fish base, etc.

I think one place offers the "Japanese pancake" AKA okonomiyaki. (and yes, they put dashi in this too - it's a "basic" ingredient)

The bakery and other food vendors, as well as some other stalls are not really part of Mitsuwa but are sub-leased and independent from what I can tell.

The sushi display case will often have other non-fish items so check there. If I recall you pay for those items at the regular checkout lanes. I got a kick out of the spaghetti made with sliced hot dog... Haven't tried it yet. I guess they aren't into meatballs.

You can buy drinks (or other items) in the grocery and bring them into the food court. Some vendors also have drinks.

One other thing. Lots of the meals I've bought there have enough to serve two people. Try sharing.
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#17 User is offline   dorkatlarge 

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 05:21 PM

If you like untranslated magazines and trade paperbacks, check out the bookstore at Mitsuwa. The store also carries some TPBs in English, but the selection is limited. There's also a small selection of audio CDs, but I strongly recommend checking prices well before you go!

Haven't had a full, fresh bowl of ramen? Then don't miss the ramen restaurant in the food court.

View Postobakasan, on 18 April 2012 - 03:24 PM, said:

I think one place offers the "Japanese pancake" AKA okonomiyaki.


It closed some time ago, and unfortunately I'm not sure where else in Chicagoland a person could have fresh okonomiyaki.

The restaurant which served it has been replaced by Gabutto Burger. It offers some decent fast food, such as burgers with teriyaki and/or demi-glace sauce, and unique seasoned fries. I like their "no guilt" shakes quite a bit, and they also offer little pancakes with various sweet fillings. (Similar to taiyaki, but without the fish shape. I think they're technically called imagawayaki.)

#18 User is offline   Kickastina 

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 05:43 PM

Well everyone basically covered what I would suggest. =P
If no one has mentioned it yet, there is a restaurant there that has parfaits.
I tried one once and it was delicious!~ ^^

I don't know what else to really put here....
So have a nice day. ^^

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:13 PM

Definitely hit the bakery kind of hidden in the far left corner of the grocery store. Also where the bast snacks are. Plus if you fallow the wall in the last of the cools or right across is the Ramune soda witch is pricy but tasty. My favorite is the blueberry one. Also the ice cream shop is right next to that corner of the grocery store. The book store is nice to check out as well.
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#20 User is offline   Iris 

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:59 PM

Ohhh that Katsudon looks neat. So many things look and sound good actually. XD

*looking up everything suggested and making a list* :heart:

It looks like I need to try and convince my group to go both days.

#21 User is offline   Kii 

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 10:10 PM

First stop at the food court and get spicy miso ramen.Then go to the grocery store and get some pastries. I recommend the chocolate filled turtle/crab and the red bean pastries.As for salty snacks, try the spicy rice snacks. Or dried squid.Oh and drinks! Lichee Calpico is great and they sell it in liter bottles. If you like canned coffee (I do...very much) they have a wide selection. As well as delicious tiramisu milk tea and a really great jasmine tea.And mochi is always good.!!!!Also!!!! In the little cooler area right in the food court, they usually sell different types of onigiri and sometimes prepared takoyaki. If they have it, get on it. Stuff is great.Don't be tempted by Ultraman or Kamen Rider soda...it tastes like carbonated spit.
Why get Pocky when there are so many other, actually delicious things to get at Mitsuwa? Save Pocky for another time...you can get it at your local Jewel. ;)
Edit: Sorry about suggesting seafood. I forgot you don't like it.But for everyone else heading there....takoyaki, onigiri with salmon or tuna salad, and dried squid. Yum.

This post has been edited by Kii: 18 April 2012 - 10:13 PM


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#22 User is offline   The Commodore 

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:20 PM

Get some ramen in the food court! I had some red bean filled pastries recently that were shaped like fish and those were really tasty too.

I always pick up a bottle of apple natchan as well. Super tasty and it really hits the spot if it's hot outside.

If you like J-Pop or J-Rock, check out the bookstore, they've got lots of magazines and CDs.

Some of the candies I like to pick up are cola/soda fizzy candies, apollo choco and choco baby. Also blackblack gum...if you can handle it. ;)
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#23 User is offline   TheStrongJaeger 

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:24 PM

View PostThe Commodore, on 23 April 2012 - 12:20 PM, said:

Also blackblack gum...if you can handle it. ;)


Chew it while drinking the Black brand canned coffee and it will blow your mind.
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Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:41 PM

Mochi ice cream! Unless you bring your own mini freezer or something it will melt if you don't eat it right away, though. I recommend the strawberry over the other flavors, personally.
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