A number of Japanese businesses have either launched or announced they will be coming to Toronto over the last little while. The most recent are Uncle Tetsu and Muji, which have been very successful during their short time in the city.
What Japanese companies should come to Toronto next? We’ve got some ideas. Photo courtesy: WMC. Story by: Ai Nagaoka and Jun Kobayashi
This got us thinking, what other Japanese companies could make it here in the big T.O. and Canada in general? There’s a whole host of innovative organizations in Japan and there seems to be an interest in opening shop in Toronto if we look at recent trends.
Here’s a quick list of some businesses that could make it big here.
Ootoya is a Japanese restaurant where you can eat an authentic Japanese homemade meals such as a sho-gayaki teisyoku, oyakodon and katsudon. Ootoya exemplifies what Japanese food should be.
Ootoya started as a small restaurant in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district almost 57 years ago. Now there are about 400 franchises all over the world. The restaurants in New York first opened in 2012 and has been received quite well by restaurant-goers with their modest prices and big taste. We’re sure if Ootoya comes to Toronto it would be a very popular chain. And New York is just a hop, skip, and jump away, so it’s not too much of a leap to think it could be here one day soon.
Everyone in Japan has eaten a 17 Teen Ice Cream at least once. The variety of single-portion ice cream are conveniently dispensed from vending machines. With Japan’s vending machine culture they’re available everywhere from bowling alleys, swimming pools, parks, and train station. It’s still quite popular in Japan too where it has a strong share in the surprisingly competitive ice cream vending machine market. The product is produced by Glico, the creators of Pockey, since 1985 when ice cream was trendy snack among young women.
Here in Toronto, we bet you would see many people eating ice cream even in the extremely cold winter. With ice cream dispensaries like Laura Secord disappearing there aren’t really any other options out there, so a vending machine like this would be fantastic at any time of the year.
Gyu-kaku is a chain of Japanese yakiniku (BBQ) restaurants. About 800 Gyu-kaku’s are located in Japan and has spread to North America and Asia, but not yet to Toronto.
Each table in the restaurant has a barbecue grill that let’s you enjoy easy cooking. They have a number of meats available to order and three types of Gyu-kaku sauces. One is spicy, the other is soy sauce based and last one is tare based, which is sweet. They serve a wide range of meals with appetizer, noodles, rice bowl dishes, seafood, soups, salad, and desserts.
Gyu-kaku is fashionable too compared with conventional chain of Japanese yakiniku. It’s good place for family, friends, and also couple on a date. Korean BBQ‘s have also seen a lot of success in Toronto, so it makes sense that a Japanese chain would do well. And once you go to Gyu-kaku, you can’t help going back.
Village Vanguard is Japan’s “Exciting Book Store” but it’s not quite what you imagine. They sell not only books, but stationery, food, accessories, gadgets, clothing and hardware.
These products make for the perfect gifts for the not-so-serous with crazy and novel designs. Compared to the few Western holidays in Japan, Canadians would have a lot of opportunities to give presents to each other on various occasions. Village Vanguard is a huge help in helping you choose the perfect gift for the joker in your life.
Zoff’s glasses are revolutionary in that they produce glasses that are low cost and high quality. Zoff ‘s philosophy is that people should be able to wear glasses as casually as they would wear a t-shirt or jeans. With that in mind, the store has a variety of fashionable glasses. Zoff’s PC line is also one of its most popular brands. It works by using a slight yellow tinge on the lens to reduce glare on your computer screen.
The time it takes to make your glasses is also quite short at only 30 minutes; moreover, the prices are pretty competitive as well at 5,000¥, 7,000¥ and 9,000¥ for the various lines and your needs.