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Celebrating 86 Years!  Your Favorite Memories Shared.

October 15, 2014

Thank you for sharing your favorite memories of Uwajimaya with us!  We are delighted that we have been a part of your lives - helping you to celebrate with friends and family, keeping traditions alive and starting new ones.  We look forward to celebrating many more years with you!  Here are some of the memories that you shared: 

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"My favorite Uwajimaya memory:  As a young 25 year old engaged woman back in 1982, selecting daily ware dishes for our wedding registry was not proving fruitful, until my then fiancé & I discovered Otagiri's "Horizon" handcrafted stoneware at Uwajimaya. It was exactly what we had been searching for! Extremely well made, beautiful unique, & reflecting the Japanese influences (my heritage) throughout our décor. Fast-forward to 2014 and these timeless dishes have stood up admirably to 32 years of daily use & are now filled with decades of wonderful mealtime memories with family and friends. Thank you, Uwajimaya for selling not only yummy foods, but my precious stoneware set that is just as beautiful today as the day we received them as wedding gifts back in 1982."
- Thelma

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"In the 1970s, when I was growing up in the suburbs north of Seattle, a trip downtown to Uwajimaya was always a treat. I especially remember one day when my mom took us not just to the grocery section, but also to the gift section where she picked out a large, beautiful paneled Japanese screen to decorate our dining room. All these decades later, it still hangs in my parents' dining room in Shoreline. Now, I live not far from the Beaverton, Oregon Uwajimaya, and my children frequently shop with me. My daughter likes to visit the live fish tanks."
- Diane

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"My favorite memory of Uwajimaya is as follows: my wife and I took my mom to your Hawaiian Festival a few years ago. We enjoyed the day at the store in Beaverton, OR. We hooped it up as she enjoyed visiting Hawaii as this she said was 2nd best. I lost my mom shortly thereafter.  What a blessed memory."
- Mark

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"In 1982, I was an International student attending U of Washington in Seattle. I saw this Japanese looking roof building in the International District and decided to check it out one day; best decision. I was "AWE!" inside the store: Asian groceries, big white daikon, fish, honey tangerine imported from Japan and cutest gift shop in town. Back then, honey tangerine was really pricey at $.99 per lb but I decided to give it a try and here it is the sweetest tangerine in my life...  I visited the store once every 2 weeks and ... Today, I live in Portland and am thrilled to see a Uwajimaya store here in town...  Thank you for being there during my lonely college years!"
- Katalina

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"My mom used to shop at Uwajimaya every Thursday with her caregiver, Lena. She would come home and talk about people who work, there like Apple and Jeff, and how nice they were to her. She knew several of the Uwajimaya workers by their first name and looked forward to her weekly shopping visits. Her caregiver enjoyed eating fish and she, too, began shopping there with my Mom. My mom loves your produce dept. and would often bring home a mango for me (her daughter)... Hope to see you at your 100th year!!  Thank you."
- Pam and Helen (my mom)

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"My Nisei (second-generation)  Japanese grandmother grew up in Seattle's International District; she loves to tell stories about family traditions from her childhood, like stocking up on special good-luck foods for Japanese New Year. When I visited her as a child, I always begged to go to "the Japanese grocery store" so I could pick out Asian candies and poke at the exotic-looking sashimi (sorry about that!). I have special memories of walking down the aisles with her, asking what everything was and learning about my Japanese heritage through food. Now, I'm an adult living in Seattle and my 91-year-old grandmother doesn't drive anymore, so it's my turn to take her to Uwajimaya to shop for our favorite sushi and sweets. Uwajimaya brings our family together and connects me with our cultural traditions."
- Stephanie

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"My favorite Uwajimaya memory is when I walked into the store for the first time.  I had relocated from Tokyo to Bellevue and was feeling nostalgic for all the food that I had left behind.  I was so happy to see shelf after shelf of items that I remembered."
- Cleve

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"My favorite memory about Uwajimaya is that you are always here.  I have two children born here.  They never grew up in Japan, so your store was a window to Japan to my children.  Every Saturday after the Japanese language school, I brought my children to your store.  You always had seasonal events and were very generous about giving away small memorable gifts such as pink candy on Girl's Day, origami kabuto on Boy's Day, etc.  Thank you for your 86 years of service!"
- Masako

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"Every time I go in it’s a favorite memory. I lived in Japan for 20 years. I love Japanese food and coming to Uwajimaya is fun for my family and I. We always get surprised by what’s on sale. Just being with my family shopping at the store is great memories for me. Thank you."
- Michael

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"When I moved to Oregon 16 years ago, I was leaving behind San Jose with Nijiya markets and a Kinokuniya. My timing was perfect, arriving in Beaverton in August 1998, just a few months after Uwajimaya opened. Since then I have visited it for so many things on an almost weekly basis. It is such a large part of my life, when my friend from Kenya was visiting, I insisted on taking him there. He was a bit puzzled on why I wanted to bring him to a grocery store and I had to explain it's much more than that to me. Uwajimaya is my homing beacon, the only real place I continue to frequent, a place I always make it back to. Whether it is my weekly pilgrimage for groceries or special ordering books. Using it as a meet up place with friends on Christmas Eve, drinking milk coffee, eating konbu musubi and veggie croquettes..." 
- Jess

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"When my little brother and his fiancé came from California to visit me and my fiancé, we were all feeling hungry and decided to grab some food at Uwajimaya. He had heard that Uwajimaya had fresh live oysters for sale so he brought up his own personal oyster shucker. We bought a few dozen oysters, grabbed a few towels, and just shucked and ate them right then and there in the sitting area at Uwajimaya. I could tell by the approving looks from some of our neighboring lunchers that they wish they had come up with the great idea. Family and fresh food. That was my favorite Uwajimaya memory."
- Danny

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"Uwajimaya is the place where I can always find Chinese sauces and spices to allow me to cook meals that tastes like homeland. When I first came over to the States as an Au pair, I felt lonely, and could not get used to the local cuisine. My nice host family realized my subtle sadness, they tried to cheer me up by cooking authentic American food, took me out to taste healthy Mexican food with guacamole. However, despite their friendliness, my wish for a taste of homeland still would not go away. Then the host dad Daniel came up with a plan—he claimed to take the kids and me out for a walk, but drove us to a popular Chinese restaurant around the neighborhood. The food there was delicious but Americanized. In order to thank Daniel, I told him a white lie, “ Dan, the food here is very authentic. I just love it.” The host family was so happy that they helped realize my wish.
     During my first weekend off, my host mom Holly introduced me to Chinatown. I took the bus downtown, climbed off the tunnel, reached the International District. The pretty building and carved Chinese characters there made me feel warm inside. As I was walking around the district, I went to eat in a dim sum place—the food was delicious, but dim sum is a Cantonese cuisine nothing like the food from my hometown. I kept walking and discovered Uwajimaya, as soon as I walked in found so many grocery that were sold everywhere in China. I was excited—my wish can became true this time. I brought all kinds of sauce and spices home, cooked a nice meal for the family and me. The family loved my cooking, and I was satisfied with the taste of homeland. Now I go to Uwajimaya on a regular basis, not only does Uwajimaya helped me eat real Chinese food, but gives me a chance to improve my cooking skill. I just love Uwajimaya." - Robin

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"The first visit to your store two years ago was wonderful but overwhelming because I didn't know where to start! I walked up to Customer Service and "David" smiled and took me through the store, aisle by aisle, and helped me find the sauces I needed.  It was fun and I've been coming back ever since. David is always there and ready to help! He lights up the store with his personality and smile.  =)"
- Paulette

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"I always take visitors from out of state to see the produce section at Uwajimaya's. One time when I took my friend from Wyoming there I said to him, "isn't it great it's like you are in another country". He said "it's like you are on another planet." I laughed so hard."
- Barbara

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"My favorite Uwajimaya memory is when I went to Uwajimaya 40 years (or so) ago in the old Seattle store for the first time.  I bought my rice cooker, which finally wore out, and my smock apron which I still have."
- Maryl

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"My favorite memory of Uwajimaya is taking my nieces there to buy Pockys!"
- Nancy

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"Before every road trip when my children were little, we would stock up on sweets, cookies, chips and snacks from Uwajimaya.  To this day, my kids love this place and there's nothing more special than the fantastic treats we get here.  My kids would treasure the mushroom shaped cookies or shrimp flavored chips."
- Elaine

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"I made a surprise birthday party for my wife and of course she loves "sushi" so I decided to surprised her with my Japanese cooking so that she will experience the Real Japanese foods not just sushi. Surprisingly- everyone loved it!  I now call my kitchen "My Little Kitchen House of International Cooking."  I made Oden "Hot pot" - Talk about great flavoring - Comfort food- Good timing cuz I made it during the Winter season.  Inari sushi- Easy and very inexpensive way to make sushi not only Quick!!  Takoyaki !! smile which is now my wife's favorite wink"
- Mylene

  

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"I have been going to Uwajimaya for what seems like forever now, since the old store on South King Street. I have been making Uwajimaya a regular stop weather I am just passing through the area or on my way to a Mariners, or Seahawks game. I love the food court and book store. Several years ago people in my Seahawks forum (seahawks.net) were asking where a good place to stop at before the game was, I posted many times about Uwajimaya and the directions and now it seems that the place is more packed then ever on game day! My dream is to someday live above in one of the apartments and make Uwajimaya my home for good. Thank you to everyone at Uwajimaya! smile"
- Matt

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"I'd like to preface my story with the fact that going to Uwajimaya is always a fun trip; no other supermarket can transport me to another part of the world like Uwajimaya. My favorite memory is when I took my Japanese-American Tate to Uwajimaya when he visited me from the SF Bay Area. As you may know, the Bay Area has a large asian population and many supermarkets that caters to them. As someone who loves Asian food -- particularly Japanese cuisine, Tate has gone to more than his fair share of supermarkets. So, I was so pleased (or rather thrilled) to witness his first experience visiting the Seattle Uwajimaya store. He loved it and was really impressed; this says a lot given his extensive exposure to similar supermarkets! In fact, when he was left on his own for dinner the next day, he opted to return to Uwajimaya for dinner. It was truly a joy to be able to share my favorite store with my friend who appreciated it just as much."
- Quyen

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"My husband and I always look forward to visiting and shopping at our local Renton Uwajimaya store. I make Miso soup on a daily basis and Uwajimaya have a wide selection of Miso pastes available which we love to experiment with. But our fondest memory (one of so many) was one time, whilst shopping in the store, we noticed these huge Asian apples we had never seen before, and, as we love apples, but didn't want to risk buying some and not liking them, we asked for a sample taster of which the staff obliged quite happily and ended up with keeping half of the apple for free! We loved the taste of the apples and promptly purchased a few pounds to enjoy back at home."
- Janet

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"Shopping with friends and finding all of our favorite Japanese foods from our childhood!  smile"
- Arwen

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"My favorite memory: When one of the store managers kindly taught me how to use wasabi root and even gave me a piece to try out at home."
- Jan Marie

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"Coming to the Japan Days with my sons - just as we entered the store, giant lion dancers greeted us at the door!  Bells ringing!  People clapping! What a party!  Then we watched the tofu eating contest.  Since he was a baby my son loves tofu - Ota Family tofu is his favorite!  We were so happy and laughing to see a tofu eating contest.  Also, sampling the many foods in the store and parking lot booths."
- Katherine

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"This past year I attended the Uwajimaya Cosplay meetup at your Beaverton Store.  It was a great experience and I had the pleasure of making several new friends.  Even though it was hot, it was so much fun!"
- Rachel

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"My favorite Uwajimaya memory is when the cashiers give my two year old son a complimentary fortune cookie while we check out. It puts a smile on me and my son's face and makes Uwajimaya one of our favorite stores to shop at!"
- Elise

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