New York City, New York

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With immigrants from every nation in New York City, this is the ideal place to find shops catering to Japanese natives.  Recommendations: Asahiya for wide spectrum, Kinokuniya in New Jersey if you don't want to go into the city itself.

Store name: Anime Crash  (appears to have closed)
Date visited: Jun 2002
Rating: 3
Physical address: 13 East 4th Street
Anime Crash is located in Greenwich Village. Facing north (towards midtown) at the corner of Broadway and Houston, walk up a few blocks to 4th Street. At 4th, turn right and go about halfway down the block. Anime Crash will be on your left - there should be a large red and black banner with the store's name hanging above the door. Hint: there's a Tower Records stretching the entire length of the block on the opposite side of the street.
Phone number:
Electronic address: (gone)
Shelf count:
Yen premium:
General comments: Anime Crash appears to be no more.

Store name: Asahiya Bookstore  (reportedly closing, heard Mar 2003)
Date visited: Jun 2000
Rating: 4
Physical address: 52 Vanderbilt Avenue
Asahiya is located across from Grand Central Station. It is on the corner of Vanderbilt (on the west side of the station) and West 45th Street.
Phone number: 212-883-0011
Hours: daily 10-8
Electronic address: (website up)
Shelf count: 69
Yen premium: 1.58 ($1.50=100) [1.65]
Special: CD
General comments: Without traveling to the west coast, I'm guessing this is as good as it gets. Asahiya devotes a good percentage of it's shelving to manga and artbooks - just head towards the rear of the store. Be certain to check out the magazine stands for a nice selection of shonen and shojo phonebooks. They carry a small number of Japanese CD imports, as well. Go there - nothing more to say.

If this store truly is closing, it will be missed.

Store name: Game Express
Date visited: May 1998
Rating: 2
Physical address: 126 West 32nd Street
Phone number: 212-290-0426
Electronic address: n/a
Shelf count: 5
Yen premium: n/a
Special: CD, GAME, MERC
General comments: No manga, but several shelves worth of anime, some import CDs, and a large number of new and used Japanese games for all systems. Some paraphenalia and posters, too. This store is probably a must see for Sega/Nintendo players. There are at least six other Game Express locations in the New York City area.

Store name: JBC Books [Edgewater]
Date visited: Aug 2000
Rating: 3
Physical address: 725 River Road, Edgewater NJ
See the entry for Kinokuniya Edgewater below.  This is located in a small plaza about two blocks north of the Mitsuwa Plaza - it comes just before that store if you are traveling as described below.  There's a movie theater sign on the entry to JBC's Plaza.  Look here for a map.
Phone number: 201-941-4417
Hours: 11-7:00 every day
Electronic address: n/a
Shelf count: 70
Yen premium: n/a
Special: CD, USED
General comments: I'm guessing this is the "outlet" store for the Kinokuniya a few blocks south of here.  As one might expect it stocks a large number of the typical Japanese books; better, still, is that a third of the store's stock is manga.  It will all be outdated - the newest book I recognized was over two years old - but this is a positive thing (e.g. both volumes of Hojo's Dappled Shade, dated 1994, were actually available).  Plus the prices are set to clear out excess material - expect to pay 75-100 per 100 , with even better discounts on selected items, like the August buy 4 get 1 free deal they had when I last visited.  You can find import music CDs and mini-discs, too. Be sure to bring cash - no credit cards accepted.  Consider it a used book store in Tokyo and enjoy the trip back in time.

Store name: Kinokuniya Japanese Bookstore
Date visited: Jun 2002
Rating: 4
Physical address: 10 West 49th Street
Kinokuniya is located at Rockefeller Center. Find the large arena where they put the ice skating rink, then look at the NBC Today Show studio (along the southwest corner). Now look at the building to the left (east) of that, and Kinokuniya should be right in front of you. (There's another entrance on the opposite side of the building, also.)
Phone number: 212-765-7766
Hours: 10-7:30 every day
Electronic address:
Shelf count: 52
Yen premium: 1.76 ($1.30=100) [2.06]
Special: CD, PAPER
General comments: While larger physically than Asahiya, it still comes in second in the NY area - a close second, mind you. I think it resembles a mini-Japanese-Border's, with a small cafe in the middle. The manga is upstairs, and the phonebooks are set off in the magazine section up front and the children's section (at the "rear" / south of the store). They should have just about anything you'd want. A table holds clearance items (50% off), and they have a stand for artbooks and the like. Japanese CDs line a wall in the middle of the store, including a fair amount of anime-based material.

Store name: Kinokuniya Japanese Bookstore [Edgewater]
Date visited: Aug 2000
Rating: 3
Physical address: 595 River Road #B-101, Edgewater NJ
Heading north from Newark on I-95, get off just before the George Washington Bridge, should be exit 78. I've traveled this way only a couple of times, so there probably is a more efficient way to get from the freeway to River Road - on the plus side, this route will get you there. It's kind of confusing off the ramp, since it looks like you can't really go to the right: there's a do not enter sign on Fletcher, the major arterial, that way.  What to do, instead, is to go sharp right onto the side street - you'll only go a block or two before you T into another street.  This is Main Street - turn left here.  Once on Main, traveling east, you'll pass Fletcher (doesn't look to be a one way street from this side - hmmm...), then Linwood, Center, and through Schlosser, a major intersection.  Just a few blocks further, past some small streets, and you start to go down a hill as the road curves sharply right.  You're now on River Road. Travel down River Road (south) for about three miles, winding through forested curves, then new condo/plaza developments, and you will find Kinokuniya in a Mitsuwa plaza on your left. There's a Mitsuwa Japanese supermarket (love that Pocky!) in one building and a number of Japanese-import shops in the other - this second building is where the books are. It's confusing finding an exit from the parking lot - head for the intersection with the light.  Look here for a map.
Phone number: 201-941-7580
Hours: 10-8:00 every day
Electronic address:
Shelf count: 48
Yen premium: 1.58 ($1.50=100) [1.65]
Special: CD, PAPER
General comments: If you're reluctant to travel into the Big Apple, you can get your fix across the river in the Garden State. This Kinokuniya is almost as large as the NYC location - no coffee shop though. They have the popular phonebooks in the magazine section, a good variety of manga at the rear, and a separate stand for the larger albums. They do appear to have a larger selection of CDs than the NYC store, and stock English anime releases (there is also a video store in the market building).

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Copyright 1998-2003 Edward Sindelar. All rights reserved.
Page last updated: April 26, 2003.