The 20,000-square-foot market at 934 Third Ave. delves into Japan’s food culture with several stalls that sell everything from soba and udon noodles made daily to Japanese street food like takoyaki. A liquor store has Japanese sake and whiskey on its shelves, and the izakaya restaurant and bar dishes out options like grilled chicken skewers and sashimi. And at Sunrise Mart — the same grocery store run by Japan Village owners Tony Yoshida and Takuya Yoshida — shoppers will have a varied selection of Japanese products, plus it comes with its own butcher shop and tofu market.
Nearly all the vendors have opened, and already over the weekend, diners swarmed the space. The izakaya restaurant and bar and the liquor store are slated to open some time in December.
“We want it to feel like you’re in a market in Japan, not like a Japanese grocery store in Manhattan,” Takuya tells Eater, adding that Japanese music plays throughout the space. “All of our food is food you would typically find in Japan. It’s not Asian fusion or anything like that.”
Japan Village’s food vendors span from bakeries making Japanese breads, cakes, and teas to a tonkotsu ramen stall. A Japanese juice and salad bar focuses on vegetables like shiso and komatsuna, while another sells soba and udon noodles. See a full list here.
The duo had originally planned to open a small outpost of their Sunrise Mart inside Industry City, the sprawling commercial complex in Sunset Park, but plans evolved into this larger venture. Industry City director of development Jim Somoza says he’s encouraging other restaurateurs and market owners to bring their own specialty grocery stores to the complex — but for now, Japan Village and its Sunrise Mart will anchor it.
The Yoshida team is already planning an expansion, signing for an extra 20,000 square feet of space inside the complex. That extra space, on the second floor of the building, will turn into a Japanese retail center where shoppers can get artisanal products like pottery, and cosmetics, Takuya says.
Japan Village opened Saturday, November 24. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.