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Photograph: Brendan Lester

Kawaii Japanese Outlet

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TURNING JAPANESE If Gwen Stefani and her Harajuku girls lived in Chicago, they’d probably be avid shoppers at this new University Village shop packed with all things Japanese. Yes, expect the typical Hello Kitty goods here, but because the owner makes monthly trips to Japan (where he buys merchandise from companies that are going out of business), you’ll also find Japanese-manufactured housewares including cooking utensils and bento boxes. Other items include Japanese candies, wasabi, soba sauce and even Japanese hair-care products. And even though everything here is an import, all merch is marked at outlet prices. 1338 S Halsted St (312-970-0094).

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