Posts Tagged ‘Japanese’

Asahiya Bookstore closing.. T_T

September 11, 2009 11 comments

What a dreadful soggy day. Weather and reality aside.

Okay I found out tonight as my friends and I made a round of bookstore hopping like always, and a sign was posted on Asahiya’s entrance, and it was saying that the store, due to circumstances was closing permanently. Their last day is on October 31, 2009. My friends and I were pretty crushed. One of my friends actually asked if it was a bad dream or not.

I also recently wrote an entry about them as well..

This feels like when they closed their location at Vanderbilt all over again.. no wonder there were having mad sales like mad. Now it would be more final.

They’re not using their point card system or not, rather – they’re not stamping any new marks. They’ll honor the stamps, if you have a full card, and then incomplete cards.. they’ll be counting each stamp as though it was $0.25 a mark.

I am wondering if Asahiya is closing for these reasons – Recession. No Sales. Competition from Kinokuniya nearby. I’ll try and see if I can take any more pictures to place up as a memory situation.

They would be having sales on DVDs/CDs toward the time of when the store is nearly closing. They cleared out a good portion of their anime sections already. My friends have been purchasing Nico dolls, Haruhi Suzumiya, and Lucky Star little figurines. There are some CLAMP in 3-D Wonderland figures available. I see trading cards, jigsaw puzzles at pretty insane prices. Some Evangelion, Bleach, Gurren Laggen accessories are still there… (sighs)

So another Japanese bookstore bites the dust. A long time ago there was four, and now with Asahiya closing, there would only be Bookoff and Kinokuniya left.

Categories: Features Tags:

Asahiya – Tucked out of the way Japanese bookstore..

August 30, 2009 3 comments

Okay this bookstore is tucked away on a side street, so most people would go over to Kino or BookOff, here is Asahiya. It is located on E45th street between 5th and Madison. It use to be located on Vanderbilt and as other people would often say that the selections here wouldn’t be as much as Kino nearby. This place is a complete contrast to Kino, in only selling Japanese mangas, and no English graphic novels. Most of the products are also shrink wrapped, so it protects the products.

The bookstore is only one floor, as you walk into the store, there is a large row of magazines that get updated on a near weekly basics. You can also browse the magazines here, whereas it is shrink wrapped at Kino. The magazines are also more updated than Kino’s. So if you like to browse before you purchase then Asahiya is a place to go.

The cash register as I would place as a point of origin, is in the center of the room, with CDs/DVDs on the right of the room if you look dead straight into the room. The Japanese animation/mangas are in the back of the room to the right end, with a cart of discounted CDs/DVDs nearby. There are stationary products behind the cash register section. Also a Japanese learning section with the store’s few English titles on the left of the register. Toward the back of the room on the left side, before you go into the right end of the room, there is a small set of stairs with a television set.

What makes this place stand out is the point card that this store uses for customer loyalty and points aspect. BookOff did away with the system a while back, so only Asahiya of the three NYC bookstores would keep this style. If you fill up a card, it would be about -$10 discount. Each stamp is worth about $5.

Recently though, there have been a great deal of Japanese anime/stationary sales at this location. I picked up several plushes that were marked down really cheaply. Stationary, CDs, DVDs were also heavily discounted toward the back. A friend of mine picked up so many figures.

This is a bookstore to at least sample on a visit to New York City, it may be considered to be small, but quaint. On Fridays the bookstore cloes at 9pm, so my friends and I usually are at Asahiya until they close, and I have never noticed a PA system, rather their way of signaling closing is to to turn off the lights. Still this is a blog entry on featuring Asahiya, if you want more opinions or reviews, I would point out that there are more opinions of this location at

Categories: Features Tags:

Book Off – Japan’s Used Bookstore Giant in New York City

July 16, 2009 5 comments


I have been going to this location since I was in High school. Book Off is located in a tucked away block on East 41th street between 5th Avenue and Madison Street is Book Off, Japan’s largest chain of used Bookstores. This is a place to pick up used books, manga, cds, DVDs and video games. Anything that is sold in a book store is usually sold here, and for a reasonable price as well. The bookstore is also always looking for any of the above that a person has to sell. Dependent on the condition though, the seller of these items to the store will most likely not see as good as a return, unless they go sell it themselves or anyone wants to purchase it from them.

Inside the bookstore there are three levels. No elevators, and is usually a tight squeeze. The basement has Japanese language used books, while the first floor has CDs, DVDs, Video Games, English used books and stationary items. In between the first and second floor is a section on the English books of Japanese culture, novels, or learning tools. The second floor is an small alcove where there is the manga, artbooks, magazines, toys and a small Children section.

Seating is sparse throughout the store, so many people just stand. There are step ladders around the first floor and the basement, so that people can occasionally stand to on it to look for high reaching items, or perhaps sit on it? A popular sitting spot in the bookstore is the stairway that leads to the second floor.

Outside, E41th Street is known to bibilo-lovers as as Library Way, with plaques of literary expressions that commemorate NYPL and Grand Central’s partnership.

Also nearby Book Off, there is also the several more Japanese points of interest. There is the main Cafe Zaiya location, a Japanese small grocery, and a sushi restaurant. I love going to the grocery store, because of the Japanese food items, they also often have the television on showing Japanese food programing that I would never see otherwise. There is a small food location at the grocery store itself, only cash though. Zaiya offers set lunches on Monday to Fridays, and does take cash/credit. I have rarely stepped into the sushi restaurant, so not that much thoughts on it.

Of the four locations, I noticed Zaiya, the grocery store, and Book Off also having free Japanese periodicals available. Included in the Japanese periodicals is the monthly Chopsticks that is the English version highlighting all of the Japanese places of interests, and articles. Oh and Book Off seems to be the only place that has a bulletin board ad space for sale. So for those interested in looking at bulletins, or placing an ad Japanese relevent.. ^_^

Categories: Features Tags:

Learning how to write Japanese…

January 31, 2009 2 comments

– Enomoto Kurumi: Mirai Kinenbi

Struggles to learn Japanese… well how to read and write is always a desire of mine… so for the countless time… I am once again trying to learn Japanese, this time with the usage of tangocyou or 単語帳. Prior to this attempt, I have attempted with laminating flash cards.. that attempt got stifle…so I am trying once again.. to learn. Let’s just say it is difficult without the structure of an actual class, but I don’t know when am I able to go take the the time to learn a class… I lost my chance in my undergrad, there was speaking involved..but I got overwhelmed that semester and stopped the course…

I have gotten the flash card set from Asahiya for $1.50 so I am trying to pick up my pace with leaning.


Other solutions I have tried is to use an exercise book, that I have used in the past to study Chinese. I am actually lucky I can still find these books. It cost $0.40 from a bookstore I go to in Chinatown at Elizabeth Street.


Armed also with a pencil board… of the hirigana system…I hope to be more proficient in my Japanese language studies.

This is actually a good blog entry, for examples on tips how to make it more useful to study Japanese.  Another blog entry is this one, with mentioning how to structure, the learning of Japanese in a schedule.

If you don’t live near a Japanese bookstore like I do…Jlist or Jbox is a great place to get Japanese studying items.

Categories: Other Tags:

Gira Gira General Impressions 1-8

December 27, 2008 Leave a comment


Recently I finished watching this drama, and while I wasn’t really satisfied with the plot. It was a quick watch though. Compare with my friend Aya, I tend to watch dramas, that are not with JE people as much. Still if you want to read impressions of this drama with more focus on the actresses, you can check out Akiramike’s 2 review posts. I enjoy reading his blog posts, since they focus on dramas I would probably miss watching.

This drama is supposedly similar to Yaoh, but other than that one host that would heal the woman’s heart, make them happy and not care about money aside…. this drama was as different as it could get.  Kohei had lost his job, and hid from his family the secret that he was a successful host in the past before. So without a job, he went back to becoming a host.

Many of the host in the club Rink didn’t like him at all, saying that he was too old. But soon he became the appointed leader of the club from the former leader.  This opens up a lot of worms, and Kohei has to deal with various internal and outside factors that would bring the conclusion in episode 8.

What I liked about this series, was the part where they had the cheering chants, and the theme song. This is also the first time I got to see Sasaki Kuranosuke as a lead in a drama. I see him a lot in supporting roles. I had an easier time watching this drama than I did with Ashita no Kita Yoshio, which had another supporting actor as the male lead.

What I didn’t like was rushed and how bogged down the plot dragged for some parts. I was surprised to see that it was only schedule for 8 episodes, similar to Koshonin. There were parts, though where I wondered if they recycled the same point, and then to see how the ending came about. That was so corny.

Still there are other dramas I would be looking forward to, so this is a brief look back to this series.

Categories: Television Tags: ,

Day 2 of 12 Days….Takoyaki!

December 15, 2008 1 comment

February 2008

Takoyaki.. takoyaki… I was thinking about this as went to Astor Place several times…but mostly because a real life acquaintance spoke about it..


I cropped this cute wallpaper from Deviant Art. This artwork is courtesy of Soullz. Now how relevant is this to anime?



That’s my memory of February this year.

Categories: 12 Days Tags: ,

Takoyaki… Takoyaki..

February 15, 2008 Leave a comment

As I try to now go over my many unfinished drafts in this wordpress.. I came across this one.. the making of Takoyaki. I know it’s really unlike the entries of this blog, but this is a random blog entry

Takoyaki is also known as octopus balls – well they’re pretty much flour dough with octopus pieces inside it. It is quite delicious and the way they make it is quite interesting to look at, with a sharp needle stick they poke at the cooking balls to flip the ball over and over. At the end there’s some sauce that is put onto it with some other Japanese spices and it makes for a pretty tasty snack during the winter time.

I first learned about Takoyaki when I watched and old episode of Dr. Slump. I see Arale-chan going to go buy some so I am quite happy with that.

In New York City, there’s this really small place at St. Martin’s/Astor Place that sells this, with Yakisoba and Okonomiyaki.

Categories: Food Tags:
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