Archive for June, 2009

Hatoya Japanese Market

I was delightfully surprised to find that even Charlotte has its own true Japanese market.  My hometown back in Virginia had many Chinese, Korean  and Vietnamese markets that carried some of the most common Japanese shelf supplies, but never a Japanese market that carried the less common Japanese foods.

Hatoya, located just off I-485 and 51, is a decently sized market located inside a typical North American strip mall.  (There is also an Indian and Mexican grocer in the same center) While I’m sure it cannot compete with Japanese markets on the West Coast, it had plenty of Japanese products, including “sato imo”, “naga imo”, “natto” (blech!), mugi-cha tea bags, green tea leaves,  as well as all sorts of common frozen and shelf products one would find in a typical super market in Japan.  They even stock Cook-Do easy Chinese kits!  They do not stock rice grown in Japan, but they have a decent selection of Japanese-style rices grown in California.  For the same size bag of rice, the cost here in the US is one-third to one-half the price in Japan–that was surprising.

Besides food products, they also have a video rental service, Mild Seven tabacco, a small selection of sake, and Japanese personal care items.  The personal care items surprised my wife and I quite a bit.  When I was in Japan I found that Japanese hair care products dried out my hair and scalp too much, and I had to import American shampoos.  I imagine that American hair care products are probably not suitable for treating and take care of Japanese hair, so it was certainly a relief to see “Asience” and other hair care products.

While we’re here in Charlotte until I can find a job, it looks like Hatoya carries all of the items we need.  If only they sold oolong tea bags–I guess we’ll have to go to the Chinese market for that.

For reference:

605 N. Polk St.
Pineville, NC
(704) 889-6600


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