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Travel Tip Tuesday: Find The Exotic In Your Own Home Town (Or My Trip To Mitsuwa)

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Mitsuwa Marketplace is the largest Japanese Supermarket in the USA. Thankfully, a two-lane shut down on the George Washington Bridge after a day trip to my friend Marrah’s house led us to a place that Bill has been dreaming of for AGES. Basically, it’s an entire market dedicated to all things from Japan. Several restaurants, vacation planners, authentic teas and a MASSIVE supermarket filled with exotic finds that will make a FOODIE go nuts (a.k.a BILL). He has been asking me to get out there for at least 2 years, and after today I am SO GLAD we did.

I have a ton of pictures and video – so be sure to click on the continue reading link below to check the full story out.

Like I said – Mitsuwa Marketplace is most certainly an experience. Nothing is in English, everything is authentic and if you are a little reserved with your eating preferences, you will certainly be thrown out of your comfort zone. Japan is one country that I will absolutely visit in my lifetime, so I looked at this afternoon as a stepping stone to the right direction. You know, East. 🙂

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Each restaurant has a wall of plastic food that resembles what they are serving. You check out the visuals and then order at the stand. I REALLY wanted to try a noodle soup, but I chickened out and opted for my staple – chicken teriyaki. The kids enjoyed chicken nuggets and Bill went nuts and tried a rice dish with an egg on top that you break and mix into the meal. After he finished that, he ran up and got black sesame seed ice cream. Once that was finished, he got up again (not kidding) and found a few desserts. And as if that wasn’t enough – my man took a bunch of stuff to go. He was in HEAVEN. But tonight – you know he’s going to be running on that treadmill for like 6 hours!!! LOL!

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Once we ran out of empty stomach, we took a walk through the super market. WHAT A FIND! So many amazing things I was dying to try. The kids were pretty much done at this point because we had a long day with friends, so we didn’t really get to sort through as thoroughly as we wanted.  I will absolutely return.

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In closing – the point I wanted to make with this story is when times are hard, and we find ourselves on a budget, IMPROVISE. This little trip was adventurous and memorable. The kids had fun, Bill was in his glory and we got to see and try a variety of new things. While it’s no substitution for the real deal, it did make a really fun Sunday afternoon.

Do you have an area in your town that specializes in ethnic cuisine? You’d be surprised at all the treasures there are to find. 🙂

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Vera Sweeney, mom, blogger, social media influencer and New York resident, is the founder of LadyAndTheBlog.com. She is considered one of the top female digital influencers in today’s social media space. Her lifestyle and parenting brand helps busy women stay on top of the latest trends in fashion, food, family and travel.


  1. Tristin Fox : May 18, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    I can’t believe how brave your kids are! I have been reading your blog for the past year, and I have seen them eat some things that I would never even try!

    Also, I cannot believe how big Liam is getting! He is almost as tall as Natalie! Too cute 🙂 Good job Vera!

  2. Your kids are great eaters! I am not used to that AT ALL! You must have started them very young? My nephews and kids I used to babysit were all very finicky.

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