Dedicated to the crafts and local foods of Niigata Prefecture, Niigata Ichi-Maru-Maru feels like a cross between an upscale design shop and a prefectural antenna shop. The shelves are filled with beautifully crafted glassware and pottery, cookingware and metal kitchen utensils, specialized chef's knives and cutlery, with detailed information about the local Niigata craftsmen behind the products.
Over on the antenna-shop side of the store you can explore an intriguing selection of local delicacies like Sasa Dango (sweet bean-paste and mugwort dumplings wrapped in bamboo grass), and nori seaweed and Le Lectier pear jam from Sado Island. There are numerous salmon products, sausages made from heirloom-breed Tsunan Pork, and local pickles and miso paste.
Since this is a Niigata shop of course there's sake, with some fifty varieties to choose from. The small standing bar (open 12:30-8:30pm) is a good place to try them out - six or seven different sake are served individually in 90ml glasses or as part of a few different tasting flights. There are also four different beers from Niigata craft breweries like Swan Lake, and a small food menu of pickles, dried shrimp and other sake-friendly snacks.
This book will introduce you to more than twenty of Japan's favorite specialty foods that are less well known abroad, along with a guide to the best places in Tokyo to try them and expert tips on what to order. From our sister site Bento.com.