Umami Mart updates old notions of Japan with its young, personal, and diasporic take on the culture. It's hard to pin down all its international influences: The space is Danish-designed, its blog is as likely to discuss Korean noodles in Brazil as they are powdered dashi, and storeowners Yoko Kumano and Kayoko Akabori have lived everywhere from Tokyo to Italy. Accordingly, you won't find too many cherry-blossom-printed silks here. You will find Yarai barware, Hasami ceramic mugs, and an extensive stock of Beehouse kitchenware. Kewpie mayonnaise and Japanese magazines are in the upstairs konbini, or convenience store. It's a unique place to find elegant, hard-to-find things for moms and dads, significant others, and yourself.
© 2018 East Bay Express