Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Temporarily Closed?: Shiro in Berlin

Photo courtesy of Yuka Y.

Update 2/27/17: I just noticed that Shiro's Facebook page is gone and both Yelp and Google have them marked as closed.  I never heard anything about what happened.

Oh no, I just heard that another Japanese restaurant has closed. According to their Facebook, "We will be closed for renovations until further notice." Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for restaurants to say they're closing for renovations and then never reopen, as happened recently with Yakitori Zai. It's too bad, I had been thinking about going out there but the reviews were so mixed I hesitated to go that far. I see that since then they've gotten some stellar reviews from people who seem like they know what they're talking about. I hope they'll actually reopen!

Update 1/11/14: After months with no word they posted something on their Facebook page on December 24th. "Hello everyone! We are working on some renovations and the cooks have been on vacation. Not sure when everything will be in order but all of us from Shiro wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!"

Friday, September 13, 2013

Upcoming Events: Films, lectures, and a festival

A2-B-C @ Newburyport Documentary Film Festival
Running time: 70 minutes
Followed by Q&A with filmmaker, Ian Ash

"Synopsis: Eighteen months after the nuclear meltdown, children in Fukushima are suffering from severe nose bleeds and are developing skin rashes and thyroid cysts and nodules. Citing a lack of transparency in the official medical testing of their children and the ineffectiveness of the decontamination of their homes and schools, the childrens mothers take radiation monitoring into their own hands."

Date & Time
Sunday, September 22, 2013
11:30am - 1pm

$8 at the door. No advance sales.

Much to my surprise I found out from the New England JACL newsletter that there's a Japanese festival near Rhode Island that's been running for over a decade. I'd never heard of the Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship Society which promotes ties with its sister city of Tosashimizu in Kōchi Prefecture. They have a little museum in Fairhaven, Massachusetts and run the John Manjiro Festival, in honor of Nakahama Manjirō, one of the first Japanese people to visit the United States.

14th Annual John Manjiro Festival 

Japanese & American music & food
Martial arts demonstrations
Arts and crafts
Day-long entertainment featuring Odaiko New England
Tours of the Manjiro Trail

Date & Time
Saturday, October 5, 2013
10am - 5pm

Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship Society, 11 Cherry St., Fairhaven, MA


Harvard University Program on U.S.-Japan Relations Fall 2013 Seminars

I just discovered that Harvard's Program on U.S.-Japan Relations has a seminar series that is free and open to the public. It started a couple of days ago and runs through December 3rd. I'd like to highlight two of the seminars that are related to 3.11.

Professor Brendan Meade, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University

Date & Time
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
12:30pm - 2pm

Kenji Tateiwa, Manager, Nuclear Power Programs, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)

Date & Time
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
12:30pm - 2pm

Bowie-Vernon Room (K262), 2nd Floor, CGIS Knafel


Kokoyakyu @ MISTI Foreign Film Night

If you missed Kokoyakyu at the Brattle, you can see it for free at MIT's MISTI Foreign Film Night. The film will be followed by a discussion with Thomas Blackwood, PhD, MIT-Japan's Program Manager.

Date & Time
Wednesday, November 14, 2013



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Closed: Sushi Island in Wakefield

Wow, this has not been a good year for local Japanese businesses. I just found out that Sushi Island in Wakefield closed last month after over 15 years in business. I think I might have been there once many years ago when a friend worked in that area, but since Wakefield is far to go for a meal, I hadn't been back.

The owners put up a note on their website promising to relocate and open a new restaurant. I hope that will actually happen. Best of luck to the Aokis.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Closed Japanese Businesses

This post is a work in progress. Am I missing something? Let me know at keiko dot in dot boston [at] gmail dot com!
Last updated: 5/15/18

Former home of Miso Market

Well, it's pretty sad that I have to write this post but with the closings of two Japanese grocery stores, one restaurant, and one cafe in the past 6 months, I decided I should list them separately in case people wonder what happened to them. I've also listed a few businesses that closed years ago that I still hear people talk about. I will update this post as needed.

Grocery Stores | Restaurants | Other Japanese Food Businesses

Books | Hair Stylists

Grocery Stores

Closed spring 2013.

Closed in May 2009. Former employees of Kotobukiya now run Ebisuya, the only exclusively Japanese grocery store in New England that I'm aware of. 

Closed May 2007.


Closed January 2011. Interesting rumor on Eater that a new somewhat related Ken's Ramen is coming to Providence. It seems they already put up a website.

Pikaichi1 Brighton Ave., Boston, MA - Allston/Packard's Corner | Yelp
Closed December 2017. In 2011 Pikaichi bought Ken's Ramen House and moved into the space they occupied at the grocery store formerly known as the Super 88. Due to the landlord wanting to drastically raise their rent in 2017, they decided to close their Allston location and relocate. They reopened at 123 Boston Ave. in Medford, MA in April 2018.

Shiro Japanese Restaurant 3 Gates Pond Rd., Berlin, MA 01503 | Yelp
Closed September 2013. They posted to Facebook post on 9/19/13 saying they were closed until further notice for renovations. On 12/24/13 they posted to Facebook saying they were still working on their renovations, but as far as I saw, they never reopened.

Snappy Sushi / Snappy Ramen |  | Yelp
Closed 11/19/17. Technically this isn't a total closing but a relocation, however since they're in a new location under a new name I thought I would list it here. The restaurant formerly known as Snappy Sushi and renamed in August 2013 to Snappy Ramen has moved to the other side of Davis Square and reopened with a new menu as Snappy Kitchen at 234 Elm Street. There is also a Snappy Sushi location on Newbury St. in Boston that remains open.

Sushi Island | 397 Main St., ‎Wakefield, MA | Yelp
According to a note on their website, Sushi Island closed on 8/25/13. The Aokis hope to open a new restaurant in a new location.
Update 1/11/14: The Aoki's are hoping to working on opening their new restaurant, Junji Fine Japanese Cuisine in Marblehead.

Yakitori Zai | 315 Shawmut Ave., Boston, MA - South End | Yelp
Closed summer 2013.

Other Japanese Food Businesses

Closed summer 2013.
1815 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02140 - Porter Exchange | Yelp
Closed 3/17/15. Unclear if closure is temporary. Summer 2015 - Confirmed closure is permanent.
The Brookline, MA location is still open.

Mochi Kitchen
Somerville, MA | Yelp
Closed March 2015.
The Boston Globe: Mochi made-to-order!


Sasuga Japanese Bookstore7 Upland Rd., Cambridge, MA - Porter Square
Brick and mortar store closed 2004, online store closed 2010.

Hair Stylists

Kanoko Hair for Women @ Fernanda's Beauty Salon | 75 Bow St., Somerville, MA 02143 - Union Square
Closed 10/27/14.

See my Directory of Greater Boston Japanese Businesses & Organizations for a partial list of businesses and organizations that are still open.