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Old 06-08-2012, 08:09 AM
 
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Subject says all. I'm relocating to the Seattle-Tacoma area soon (closer to Tacoma) and am looking for a place to live. I am married with one small child. I've read other threads that addressed crime and school systems and whantot, but I'd like to ask about something else.

We would like to live in a neighborhood that has a significant Asian population (particularly Japanese) or one that at least has easy access to many Asian restaurants, Asian grocery stores (again, particularly Japanese ones), or even a Japanese school. Which neighborhood or suburb would you recommend? Since we would be coming from the Southeastern US, we have zero familiarity with the area at all. Thanks for any advice you have to offer.
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:01 AM
 
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I will be interested in others' perceptions, but it seems to me that the Japanese community, which is generally not made up of recent immigrants, is dispersed throughout the area. I'm not aware of any concentrations like the Vietnamese in Renton or Koreans in Federal Way.

There are Uwajimaya stores in Bellevue, Renton, and the International District of Seattle. Founded and managed by Japanese-Americans, this chain has tons of other Asian products, too.

Uwajimaya
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:04 AM
 
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It seems like there was the perception that there were many in the Mill Creek area years ago but I'm not sure that's true anymore, they may just be spread out.
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Nebuchadnezzar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mazerunner View Post
Subject says all. I'm relocating to the Seattle-Tacoma area soon (closer to Tacoma) and am looking for a place to live. I am married with one small child. I've read other threads that addressed crime and school systems and whantot, but I'd like to ask about something else.

We would like to live in a neighborhood that has a significant Asian population (particularly Japanese) or one that at least has easy access to many Asian restaurants, Asian grocery stores (again, particularly Japanese ones), or even a Japanese school. Which neighborhood or suburb would you recommend? Since we would be coming from the Southeastern US, we have zero familiarity with the area at all. Thanks for any advice you have to offer.

Coming from the Southeast, I would suspect that anywhere in Seattle area may have a higher Asian population than there. Over the past generation or so the Japanese American residents have mostly dispersed although there used to be areas of concentration such as South Seattle ie Beacon Hill area, Skyway, Bainbridge, and White River area which is not far from Tacoma.
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Old 06-08-2012, 01:17 PM
 
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As far as I know only Bellevue has a Japanese preschool (and opened a location in Seattle). I remember hearing of another in Kent, but someone told me that it was more of a home type of preschool and that it probably wouldn't last. Uwajimaya is basically the biggest Japanese store... we really don't have that many Japanese only stores. (One other is called "Maruta" in Georgetown.)

There's definitely lots of Japanese in Bellevue (my mom is one of them). Bellevue is a ritzy suburb, but if work is closer to Tacoma-- I wouldn't want to make that commute.

Federal Way has lots and lots of Asians and Japanese as well... but the Japanese are not the predominant group. There is an H-Mart (Korean) there which will serve a lot of your Asians needs.

Lastly, don't be afraid to check out Tacoma itself. It does one of the biggest Japanese culture celebration festivals around. Some of my friends say its better than Seattle's.
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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The ethnic and national Japanese people in Seattle are pretty spread out and have been for some time; there's not really a "Japantown" per se. Uwajimaya, which is on the edge of the International District, is a Japanese grocer/bookstore/shopping center/food court which attracts lots of Japanese and Japanese-Americans, but it's not necessarily the "hub." The Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington is located not too far from Uwajimaya in the Atlantic 'hood, and they offer different classes and events: Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington

The ID is the pan-Asian district and isn't known for being the nicest part of Seattle.

Ferderal Way is basically right between Seattle and Tacoma and is more or less a working-to-middle-class suburb. Not terribly exciting but lots of families, many of whom are Asian. I lived in adjacent Auburn and went to the Federal Way Public Schools for some of elementary and middle school, and had plenty of Asian classmates, most of whom were Filipino, Vietnamese, or Korean. Most of the Japanese kids I knew there were second generation American or greater, or were hapa. There aren't really extreme inter-Asian cultural lines in the Seattle area like you get elsewhere; Seattle in general is pretty open and integrated, and everyone gets along pretty well (I had a coworker who was a Filipina, married to a Japanese guy, and dated a girl who was Vietnamese-Korean-Japanese-white).
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:19 PM
 
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I agree that there doesn't seem to be a real presence of Japanese immigrants. Most of the Japanese here seem to be 2nd or 3rd generation. However, with that said, I have also noticed that in the Bellevue area, there seems to be a lot of Japanese montessori schools.

Concentrations of Koreans can be found in Bellevue, Lynnwood, Tacoma, Federal Way, Edmonds, Mukilteo, and Shoreline.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 415_s2k View Post
The ethnic and national Japanese people in Seattle are pretty spread out and have been for some time; there's not really a "Japantown" per se. Uwajimaya, which is on the edge of the International District, is a Japanese grocer/bookstore/shopping center/food court which attracts lots of Japanese and Japanese-Americans, but it's not necessarily the "hub." The Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington is located not too far from Uwajimaya in the Atlantic 'hood, and they offer different classes and events: Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington

The ID is the pan-Asian district and isn't known for being the nicest part of Seattle.

Ferderal Way is basically right between Seattle and Tacoma and is more or less a working-to-middle-class suburb. Not terribly exciting but lots of families, many of whom are Asian. I lived in adjacent Auburn and went to the Federal Way Public Schools for some of elementary and middle school, and had plenty of Asian classmates, most of whom were Filipino, Vietnamese, or Korean. Most of the Japanese kids I knew there were second generation American or greater, or were hapa. There aren't really extreme inter-Asian cultural lines in the Seattle area like you get elsewhere; Seattle in general is pretty open and integrated, and everyone gets along pretty well (I had a coworker who was a Filipina, married to a Japanese guy, and dated a girl who was Vietnamese-Korean-Japanese-white).

To the untrained eye, it seems that Uwajiyama is "japanese" but in reality, the Uwajiyama in Seattle is more Chinese oriented than Japanese.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Freebird2007 View Post
To the untrained eye, it seems that Uwajiyama is "japanese" but in reality, the Uwajiyama in Seattle is more Chinese oriented than Japanese.
Uhm.... No....
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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Originally Posted by Freebird2007 View Post
To the untrained eye, it seems that Uwajiyama is "japanese" but in reality, the Uwajiyama in Seattle is more Chinese oriented than Japanese.
私が日本語を話す.

Uwajimaya still has a very large focus on Japanese goods; for example, I'd say that 90% of the soy sauces are Japanese, 80-90% of the instant noodles, they have a lot of Japanese-made frozen goods... you can certainly find Chinese and Korean brands there, but they are hardly the focus.

Contrast it to a predominantly-Chinese supermarket like HT Oaktree up in North Seattle, where the vast bulk of the goods are indeed Chinese.

Actually, the night that I found out I was moving back to CA, I went in to the hospital to put in my notice, and then drove down the hill to Uwajimaya to buy stuff to make dinner; they had Choya umeshu (plum liquor, but they imported it as a wine so you could actually get it in the store) on sale for $8/bottle, and I got rip-roaring wasted off it. Only place I saw it in Seattle. Fond memories...
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