Japanese Influence in Tualatin Valley
Tualatin Valley (Washington County) is the most ethnically diverse county in the state of Oregon. The cultural richness of this area is best explored by the Tualatin Valley’s culinary offerings. Japanese influence can be found from in many of the culinary institutions the destination offers.
Food & Drink
Fun and tasty Japanese creations are on the menu at Oyatsupan Bakers, where traditional Japanese and Western baking collide. Owner and executive baker Hiro Horie dreamed of bringing traditional Japanese baking to the region, and in 2016, he opened Oyatsupan in Beaverton, which has attracted people from all around to try his sweet and savory pastries and pans.
For 25 years, SakéOne has made it its mission to educate Americans–and American palates–about saké (pronounced “sock-ay”). Today SakéOne, which reigns as the first American owned-and-operated, large-scale saké brewery, produces saké, ranging from cask-strength to flavor-infused, and raw to organic.
When Japanese restaurant concept Kukai Ramen & Izakaya (also known as Kizuki Ramen) decided to expand its chain of noodle shops into Oregon, it chose Beaverton for its first location. This ramen shop serves a variety of ramen dishes, each prepared with traditional Japanese ingredients. Another Japanese ramen chain recently expanded into Tualatin Valley. Afuri Izakaya (opened in Beaverton March 2020), which offers Yuzu-style ramen, opened its first American location in Portland back in 2016, and in 2020 opened its newest location in Beaverton’s “Restaurant Row.”
Syun Izakaya is one of the Portland region’s most acclaimed sushi restaurants. This “old school” sushi restaurant that offers solid and fresh sushi and sashimi, paired with an extensive saké list.
Stores and Gifts
The Pacific Northwest chain grocery store, Uwajimaya, is a one-stop shop for all things Asian. For locals, this means fresh fish, meats and produce. For visitors (and locals, too), this is a perfect place to buy health and beauty items, and gifts for the home. Kinokuniya Bookstore, Japan’s largest bookstore chain, is housed here and the outlet boasts the largest collection of anime books in the region.
For visitors looking for household and gifts imported from Japan, Amazing Japan features useful items, including teacups and kitchenware, knives and cookware, children’s toys and candy, and more. The small retail store, located in Aloha, Oregon, is chock-full of unique items made in Japan.