A Visit To Marukai Market San Diego

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I had spotted Marukai Market the first time I went into Mitsuwa Marketplace. I remember asking my brother what was Marukai as I was curious what kind of store is it, or say what products that might be in there that is interesting for me. And he said, "it was another Japanese store like Mitsuwa." I thought so, but I was looking for a confirmation.

Hearing that it was indeed another Japanese market, that made me want to visit Marukai and see what goodies are in there. And I know one day I am going to visit that building. And guessed what? That day came and I was happy I went in there with my dad, mom has to work that day so it's just the two of us. And surprisingly we had spent about 3 hours or a little more on the Marukai buildings. Yes, buildings, as there are three buildings on one location. One building for Marukai Value Plus, Marukai Living and then the market.

So, here's the photos I got from our first visit to Marukai of San Diego.

Our first stop, Marukai Value Plus. And as I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed the Big Sanrio sign which made me more excited to get inside the store. I could imagine all this cute stuff inside, and hopefully I could find something I like. And it says "value plus," means I could go on every aisle, find interesting cute items that won't cost a lot. I was even thinking a Japanese 99 Cents Store?

And guess what? This is where we had spent most of our time.

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Hello Kitty items from bags, to erasers, pens, slippers, pillows, and even car air freshener fills the right side space of the Value Plus store as we went in.

And straight ahead, in an aisle near the entrance, I spotted this cute fans. I couldn't resist taking some photos of these fans. And why I hadn't thought of trying some for decorations? They would make a beautiful decoration. I had worked with a patient for about a month and fans are used to decorate her beautiful restroom.

Oh! This beautiful, cute letter sets, made me travel back in time on my high school days. I had received letters written in beautiful, scented ones.  I love cute letter sets and used to collect them back then.
Oh! This beautiful, cute letter sets, made me travel back in time on my high school days. I had received letters written in beautiful, scented ones. I love cute letter sets and used to collect them back then. | Source
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And aren't these pads cute? They are one of the items I hoped and expected to see when I walk down the stationery aisles. Back in teen years, these are ones of the cute items you can find on my collection along with letter sets.Colorful! The beautiful colors attracted me to come and take a closer look, and take a photo.Another cute item spotted!
And aren't these pads cute? They are one of the items I hoped and expected to see when I walk down the stationery aisles. Back in teen years, these are ones of the cute items you can find on my collection along with letter sets.
And aren't these pads cute? They are one of the items I hoped and expected to see when I walk down the stationery aisles. Back in teen years, these are ones of the cute items you can find on my collection along with letter sets. | Source
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Colorful! The beautiful colors attracted me to come and take a closer look, and take a photo.
Colorful! The beautiful colors attracted me to come and take a closer look, and take a photo. | Source
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Another cute item spotted!
Another cute item spotted! | Source
And saw these as I stroll the aisles. Maybe about 2 aisles are for all for these characters. I wonder where Trunks is? I didn't saw him, maybe he's been so busy being Saiyan.
And saw these as I stroll the aisles. Maybe about 2 aisles are for all for these characters. I wonder where Trunks is? I didn't saw him, maybe he's been so busy being Saiyan. | Source
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Not too far from the cute memo pads and letter set, is aisles filled with other toys and robots, probably two aisles with all sizes of robots. I even saw Goku in there from Dragon Ball Z but he ignored me, he was busy practicing.

It also surprised me to see the price for this Gundam RX-78-2, cost $300. It could just be me as I'm not a gamer. Or maybe because I didn't expect to see something that cost $300 on a Value Plus store.

On the same aisle, when dad and I was just about ready to go, I happened to see wind bells. It's like finding another treasure that made me stay there longer.
On the same aisle, when dad and I was just about ready to go, I happened to see wind bells. It's like finding another treasure that made me stay there longer. | Source
Metallic glass wind bells and I got one of these, now hanging on our front door.
Metallic glass wind bells and I got one of these, now hanging on our front door. | Source
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I also decided to get one of these lucky fortune bells. And oh boy, I could hear the dangling bells even if my phone is on my pocket. Hearing the dangling bells brightens my day, considering it was a lucky bell.

But when I want a total quietness, I would hold the bells inside my pocket so they won't make noises, specially when I'm up to something and I don't want anybody to notice my presence.

Marukai Living, next to Marukai Value Plus.
Marukai Living, next to Marukai Value Plus. | Source

Next stop, Marukai Living:

So after what seems to be forever inside Marukai Value Plus, and after we had ventured every aisle, we decided to pay the items we got. There's two more Marukai building for us to visit!

Closer to Value Plus was the Marukai Living, and that's next.

First aisle on the left is all about bath and skin care products. This black soaps had stopped me for a minute as it made me wonder if they are made just like the black soap I had tried before.

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Past the beauty aisle is this beautiful Japanese bed. Oh me! I forgot what they call it. I wanted to try it, just sit in there. But then, with all the cctv cameras all around, that made it uncomfortable, maybe they wouldn't even allow someone to sit in there, so I just went past it, looking. And on the end of the aisle against the wall, was Totoro!

I was so happy to see Totoro (below.) They are so soft so I picked one and gave it a hug! Now I know where to find Totoro and I'd keep him in mind. So if ever I need to find a gift to a friend who loves Totoro, I know where to get one.

Totoro, is a character to one of Hayao Miyazaki's film, My Neighbor Totoro where two young daughters of a professor had became friends with a wood spirit (Totoro) who lives under the camphor tree.

I had watched this animated film and enjoyed it.

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Owlet with her pleading eyes as she wants to go home with me.Shhhh..... the cat is sleeping.
Owlet with her pleading eyes as she wants to go home with me.
Owlet with her pleading eyes as she wants to go home with me. | Source
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Shhhh..... the cat is sleeping.
Shhhh..... the cat is sleeping. | Source

This is Owlet. Can we name her Owlet?

It was Owlet's wiggling head that got my attention. I was walking around each aisle, and yes, I was hoping to see solar toys on one of these Marukai buildings. Owlet made me smile when I saw her, so cute! For some reason, there maybe some sunlight from the roof top or some other light source that's making Owlet wiggle her head gently, side to side.

And then, there they are on where Owlet is, all other kinds of cute solar toys!

I want Owlet, yes. But I'm not ready, and doesn't want to spend $26. So I just spent some time looking at her and took a photo so I could remember how she looks like. Now others could see her too.

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Lanterns and wind chimes! Glad I had successfully restrained myself from buying more lanterns when I saw all this.Incenses! There are different brands of incenses as I find my way on every aisle. Love the color on this brand, so I took a photo.Something that put a smile on my face. Kids would love to have one of these, they are so cute!
Lanterns and wind chimes! Glad I had successfully restrained myself from buying more lanterns when I saw all this.
Lanterns and wind chimes! Glad I had successfully restrained myself from buying more lanterns when I saw all this. | Source
Incenses! There are different brands of incenses as I find my way on every aisle. Love the color on this brand, so I took a photo.
Incenses! There are different brands of incenses as I find my way on every aisle. Love the color on this brand, so I took a photo. | Source
Something that put a smile on my face. Kids would love to have one of these, they are so cute!
Something that put a smile on my face. Kids would love to have one of these, they are so cute! | Source
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I would like to have this on my room or the lantern night light, but for now, I could just use my computer for a night light. Steamers made from bamboo.More night lights to choose from and they cost less than the one's sold on Mitsuwa MarketPlace.When I saw this wool candies, I thought, "Are these really candies? Or these are yarns named wool candies?"Note pads.And of course there would be an aisle full of rice cooker. I told the rice cookers sorry but we already have two rice cookers at home, so no one's going home with me.A beautiful fountain I found as I walked straight ahead from Totoro's aisle. There's also other table fountains in there and they are all beautiful.
I would like to have this on my room or the lantern night light, but for now, I could just use my computer for a night light.
I would like to have this on my room or the lantern night light, but for now, I could just use my computer for a night light. | Source
Steamers made from bamboo.
Steamers made from bamboo. | Source
More night lights to choose from and they cost less than the one's sold on Mitsuwa MarketPlace.
More night lights to choose from and they cost less than the one's sold on Mitsuwa MarketPlace. | Source
When I saw this wool candies, I thought, "Are these really candies? Or these are yarns named wool candies?"
When I saw this wool candies, I thought, "Are these really candies? Or these are yarns named wool candies?" | Source
Note pads.
Note pads. | Source
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And of course there would be an aisle full of rice cooker. I told the rice cookers sorry but we already have two rice cookers at home, so no one's going home with me.
And of course there would be an aisle full of rice cooker. I told the rice cookers sorry but we already have two rice cookers at home, so no one's going home with me. | Source
A beautiful fountain I found as I walked straight ahead from Totoro's aisle. There's also other table fountains in there and they are all beautiful.
A beautiful fountain I found as I walked straight ahead from Totoro's aisle. There's also other table fountains in there and they are all beautiful. | Source

Isn't this a beautiful night light? I think so. But I really like one of the lantern style. But I think no matter how much I like or want such night light, I would still choose my computer. Yes, my computer, I know, that wasn't really smart. But then, I like how much it covers my entire room. I am scared of the dark and it gives me comfort. I even sleep with a kerosene lamp hanging on the ceiling or sitting on top of the table when I was a kid.

And this bamboo made steamers are a treasure for those who could hardly find one on the grocery stores. There's really a lot of ways of using bamboo. I could just imagine steamed buns (siopao) when I spotted this steamer.




Mini shopping carts.
Mini shopping carts. | Source

Finding our way back to first aisles where we went through, I noticed this cute, mini shopping carts. They are priced for $6.98, plus tax. They are fun to look at, a miniature version of the shopping carts we often see and use on groceries and other stores.

A good display on the kitchen I think. Unless there's other use for it.

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Our last building to explore, the Marukai Market. It was past noon but we're not in a hurry.

As we stepped inside the market, I feel like in an instance, I was no longer in San Diego. Produce section is on the left side as we entered and straight ahead is the deli and meat products. But it was that feeling of being in Japan inside the market, with the Japanese products and goodies written in their language. Even the Japanese lady speaking in her native tongue trying to get the customers to try her samples contributes to the experience of being somewhere else.

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I like this Mochi ice cream, I didn't know about this ice cream before but when a friend insisted I should try it, I did and I liked it.

On the snack aisle, I was curious what kind of Japanese snack product I could find, something to try or just something interesting. Then I spotted this one, looks like the unleavened bread to me which made me stop and take a good look at it.

I wonder how it taste like? Well, I'm not going to know unless I tasted it. And I'm not gonna be able to taste it unless I buy it. And I didn't bought it. So let's just all wonder how it taste like because I'm not gonna be able to tell you.

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Comments 4 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

What an interesting place. Thanks for the tour; I would definitely go there is I were in the city.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

Marukai Market looks like a very interesting place to shop, precy. Thanks for this amazing guided tour of this Japanese food and merchandise. I mean, 'domo arigato.'


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

Sounds like a good day, precy anza. Wish we had something like this here where I live.


precy anza profile image

precy anza 3 years ago from San Diego Author

Hi Billybuc :) It is an interesting place, and the second time I went in there, now with both my parents, I saw other interesting stuff I hadn't spotted the first visit. Maybe there's one close to your city :) Of all three buildings, my favorite would be the Value Plus.

Drbj:

It is. I could spend time checking on stuffs in there that to me is unusual :) And many other cute items. Last time I found an air freshener I don't even know how it works, lol ^-^' But it caught my attention.

@ Avian: I enjoyed my day there Avian :) Lots of interesting items I don't usually see, and some I am tempted to buy but don't know how to use since I can't understand Japanese, prices are cheap thou but it's no return no exchange so I better behave myself ^-^' Maybe there's some Marukai close to your area, I know there's one in LA, San Francisco, Hawaii and somewhere else. :) Would be fun if there's one there.

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