Planned food village to evoke old Kyoto

Shirokiya Holdings Inc. will more than triple the size of its food court and beer garden when it opens a $35 million Japanese food village next year on the ground floor of the new expanded Ewa wing at Ala Moana Center.
The 55,241-square-foot project, scheduled to open June 1, will be modeled after a traditional Japanese town reminiscent of “old Kyoto,” the former imperial capital of Japan, with about 60 different shops, restaurants and new entertainment areas.

“It’s a fabulous idea because it gives an entertainment component to that dead area and will draw people to an area that they would not normally go,” said Honolulu real estate analyst Stephany Sofos. “That particular (area) will do fine because it’s comfortability for Asians and it’s a novelty for non-Asians. It’s something to go to and try and it will also (help) all the people around it. They will piggyback on it because there will be additional traffic, so it’s brilliant for that location.”
The longtime Ala Moana department store has about 40 potential vendors from Japan that are waiting to sign lease agreements, said Daisuke Mori, project coordinator.