I love the little Japanese grocery situated under the Mt. Fuji Sushi Restaurant in Little Rock. It’s very much like walking into a corner store, shelves packed with all kinds of supplies and goodies. It helps if you can read some Japanese but the people there are more than happy to tell you what something is if you’re not sure. There are bath & beauty supplies, sushi making gear & ingredients, gifts, a small selection of popular manga books, decorations for the home, plates & dishes, tea sets, sake’ sets and the best price on 7″ Daruma dolls I’ve found so far.
The store is only open when the restaurant is open. In other words, you can’t get in when the restaurant is shut down between lunch and dinner. Access is either from the store level sidewalk or from a stairway inside the restaurant.
Since I moved to Little Rock in 2000 the Mt. Fuji Restaurant has remained my favorite place for a truly Japanese experience. It is owned and operated by a lovely Japanese family, the sushi is always great with (what I think) is the freshest fish supply in town, a very large menu and good selection of sake’ types and brands.
The proof that this Japanese restaurant and shop has a comfortable and welcoming environment is that I see parents coming in with their kids : well behaved, respectful, inquisitive & quiet kids. This is a great way for the youth to learn about other cultures, to widen their food experiences and to teach them how to behave in a quiet, cultured atmosphere. My choice of restaurants must be based not only on the food but also on the peacefulness of the environment, low volume/relaxing music and no noise or crowding.
Mt. Fuji fulfills all of these needs and, after a lovely dinner, I can stop in the shop downstairs and pick up more wasabi, sushi rice and Japanese toys.