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Posted on Feb 7, 2008 in SF Bay Area Local, Shopping | 16 comments

Japanese discount store update

Japanese discount store update


1. Ichiban Kan online store set to open April 1, 2008

Clickety Click onigiri box Ichiban Kan, a Japanese-style dollar store in the San Francisco Bay Area with cheap bento gear and household stuff, has announced that they will open their online store on April 1, 2008. After all of the delays, fingers crossed that they can meet this deadline. The last I heard is that they don’t plan to ship internationally, but keep up with their latest at Ichiban Kan’s new blog and leave them comments with your feedback. Thanks to reader Sara for passing this along!

2. New Daiso store in Newark, CA

Daiso, a Japanese dollar store with branches internationally, has a new store in Newark (southern East Bay in the San Francisco Bay Area, by Fremont). See the updated SF Bay Area shopping guide to bento gear for a full list of local stores. Thanks to reader Jessica for the heads up!

Multi-grilling on stovetop grillDaiso Newark
2125 New Park Mall (in the New Park Mall by I-880)
Newark, CA 94560 (510) 742-2410
7,545 sq. ft., opened Dec. 22, 2007

Mon-Sat: 10am - 9pm, Sun: 11am - 7pm

Daiso has a selection of cheap bento boxes, accessories, antibacterial bento sheets and food cups, decorative aluminum foil, freezer containers, cooking equipment, metal bento boxes, mini microwave steamers, stovetop fish/veggie grills, home products, dishes, hobby gear, children’s toys and books in Japanese, etc.



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  1. I’m living in Newark right now (although I’m moving next month and hope to move back to Fremont), but I always go to the Daiso in Union City. I wonder if they have the same merchandise, or if one would have stuff the other one doesn’t? I’ll have to check it out!

  2. @1 from june: Definitely leave a comment with your feedback on the Newark store either here or on the main shopping guide, june. We’d love to hear your impressions!

  3. If this turns out to be an April Fool’s trick, I’ll be so sad… haha. Thanks for the update, Biggie! I CAN’T WAIT!!! My wallet is cringing but I am excited =D

  4. Online stores rock! Especially when you live on the other side of the country! ^_^;

  5. Thank you so much for keeping us all updated! I’m so excited about being able to get bento ware in TN, although my husband isn’t so much excited about the spending I’ll do.

    We love your blog, thanks for the great entries and look into your life.

  6. Now if Daiso would have an online store, that would be great! I’m quite excited about the Ichiban online store. I would love to get some of these cute things.

    I have a question for you. The other day, i made some onigiri (rice balls) for hubby to take to work. It was basically my first time doing it with nori wrapping. Usually, i do them plain or sprinkle with furikake. So I ask hubby how they were and he kinda of made a face and said “eh, it was edible, but very fishy smelling and tasting”. He also said the nori got rather “icky”. Now, I made them while the rice was warm, but then I set them aside and let them cool for a good 15 or so minutes before I put the nori on it. What else can I do to help with the fishy smell and taste? Or could I use Korean gim (seasoned laver)?

    Also, my rice balls stuck like crazy to my hands even though I used salted water. I don’t know if maybe I wasn’t squeezing hard enough.


  7. @3 from Yvo: Yeah, I did a double take on that April 1 date myself. I hope they come through on the date this time!

  8. @4 from Poemi: I hear you on online stores — so convenient when your local stores come up dry!

  9. @5 from Stephanie: Thanks for the kind comment, Stephanie! I do wonder what kind of selection Ichiban Kan will be able to offer online, given that their retail stores tend to rotate their bento inventory. Big selection or a revolving small selection? Same low price or a markup? Looking forward to having my questions answered once they launch.

  10. @6 from Kim: On your onigiri question, you could replicate the Japanese convenience store onigiri by packing the nori separately, and having your husband wrap them just before he’s ready to eat. That way the nori is fresh and crisp instead of soft. With the rice sticking to your hands, be sure to re-wet your hands as necessary during the molding process, and work quickly — gently tossing the rice ball back and forth between your hands to give it shape rather than just pressing it.

  11. @ Sile…..OH!!…LOL…I’m obviously a newbie :D

  12. @7 from Sakura: I’ve carved out kitchen cabinet space for my boxes, but my onigiri molds need reorganization. The rest of my bento accessories are pretty well under control with Ikea organizers, as per this post.

  13. GA! I wish there were some stores on the east coast….closer to me that is. They’re all up in NY which is a 2-3 hour drive from PA :T

  14. The opening page for Ichiban Kan’s eCommerce website is up, but none of the links go anywhere yet.

  15. @18 from Yvo: Ichiban Kan today told me that they expect to have the shopping cart up and running at the end of this week if all goes well. You know I’ll be posting when all’s ready!

  16. @18 from Yvo: Oh, and I don’t think this is the end of the eBay market for bento gear in the U.S., but I think we can safely assume that the days of the US$9 single egg mold are finally OVER!!!! Hooray!!!