Kinokuniya Book and Gallery is a pleasant find for anyone learning to do business with the Japanese or planning a vacation in the Orient. It's a bookstore and art gallery specializing in Asian subjects and artifacts.
The shelves are full of Japanese-language tapes and books on Japanese business culture. The selection includes some titles on Korea, China and Southeast Asia, but the emphasis is on Japan.
"We're here mostly for the English-speaking person who wants to learn more about Asia. So most of our books are in English," said store manager John Fuller. "But our Japanese-language magazines and comic books are becoming one of our most popular items. People buy them to keep up on what's going on in Japan," he explained.
The store also has a selection of maps, and books on Asian architecture, religion, art, cooking and floral design.
There are origami materials, toys, mobiles, shoji screens, kimonos, tea sets and a selection of handmade rice papers.
On display in the gallery are Fukagawa porcelains, hakata dolls, netsuke figurines and antique woodblock prints.
The store, tucked away on the third floor of Fashion Island's Atrium Court, provides the customer with an overview of Asian artistry and culture. And the range of prices can accommodate even those on a budget. A bronze wind chime sells for $22 and a tiny, hand-etched netsuke gourd is only $25. It's a great place to look for a special gift or read up on the Orient.
Hours: Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Address: 401 Newport Center Drive, Suite 315, Newport Beach
Telephone: (714) 640-1505