Taste of Tokyo: Markets in US offer fresh Japanese items

Japan 2020

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. For more than two decades, Tensuke Market in Elk Grove Village has offered an authentic Japanese experience to shoppers in the Chicago area.

The market was founded around 25 years ago, aiming to bring some of the freshest market items from Japan into the Chicago area.

“We were trying to make our store be the kind of experience of Japan in America,” general manager Jason Choe said.

The market, currently in the process of expanding, offers a wide variety of items from beverages and home goods to fresh breads.

Choe said 95 percent of what the market carries is imported from Japan.

Matsuyo Yee said he has been preparing handmade foods at Tensuke for more than a decade.

“Onigiri, which is like Japanese rice ball and sandwiches. I make all different smaller stuff,” Yee said.

Fresh fish is flown into the market daily as well, comprising the market’s sushi and sashimi selection.

For all these reasons, people across the area continue to come back and come often.

“This is a specialty for Japanese, it’s the very best place to find. There’s another bigger place around here, but my husband likes this place because of the freshness of the fish,” shopper Nida Moriya said.

Moriya said it isn’t just Chicago area residents that go to Tensuke, noting that some customers take a two or three hour drive to Tensuke Market for their large and fresh selection.

“If someone wants to experience Japanese culture and Japanese style, then if they come to Tensuke Market it will be the best choice, I think,” Moriya said.

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