December 13, 2023

Miya Table & Home, Featuring Japanese Tableware, Offers Array of Perfect Holiday Shopping Specialties

SETTING THE TABLE: “We are a third generation family-owned small business and the premier importer of Japanese tableware and gifts to the U.S. We bring the best of Japan home, so you can too!” Husband and wife team Bob Matsukawa and Heidi Moon are co-owners of Miya Table & Home on Palmer Square.

By Jean Stratton

When it’s time to set the table, and you want it to have extra special appeal, head over to Miya Table & Home at 27 Palmer Square West.

Opened in its current location in 2021, this charming shop is filled with an engaging selection of tableware predominantly from Japan, as well as an eclectic and wide-ranging mix of other items.

The family business dates back to 1947, when current owner Bob Matsukawa’s great-uncle Chosuke Miyahira (also known as “Mr. Miya”) opened a flower shop in Manhattan. In time, Matsukawa’s father joined the business, and they began importing goods from Japan. As American interest grew, the focus on Japanese and Asian products, in particular tableware, became a priority. Miya was one of the only companies importing housewares from Japan.

Eventually, Matsukawa’s father took over the business, and it moved to Somerville. Bob Matsukawa joined the company in 1992, and became president in 2008. His sister June Matsukawa now handles the firm’s finances and accounting, and co-owner and Matsukawa’s wife, Heidi Moon, is director of marketing, sales, and retail. Over the years, Matsukawa’s mother, uncle, and aunt have all been part of the family business.

New Chapter

In 2016, Matsukawa and Moon moved to Princeton, and this began a new chapter in the Miya adventure.

“We loved the town, and we thought it would be an excellent match for our business,” says Moon. “Princeton has an international focus, with people visiting from all over. It is a community that embraces learning, traveling, creativity, culture, and world views.

“We have many regular clients from Princeton and the area, including Princeton University students. Our customers are all ages.”

That includes the very youngest, she adds. “We even have kids coming in who want to get something for their mothers. They often say ‘This is my mom’s favorite store!’ Also, Palmer Square is a great location. There is so much foot traffic, and it is wonderful during the holidays.”

Eye Appeal

Customers love the tableware, all the displays, and the ease with which they can move about while browsing. The store is filled with eye appeal, with many colorful items surrounding the shopper. However, there is no sense of crowding, and this adds to a feeling of calm and relaxation — very welcome during holiday shopping!

Beautiful porcelain tableware, much of which is offered in blue and white patterns, features special designs, explains Moon. “It is based on Japanese textile designs and patterns, and the blue and white is especially popular with customers. Most people prefer to make their own collection, and sometimes that means mixing and matching patterns to their liking. It is less formal and can be more interesting. Things are more eclectic today. Also, the dishes are very durable, and dishwasher and microwave-safe.”

The blue and white theme is prevalent, and shown in various patterns, including graceful waves as well as more geometric designs. Bowls of many sizes, including for rice, noodles, and pasta; plates for sushi; sauce dish sets; and tea sets are all available. Cast iron tea pots in assorted colors are also on display.

In addition to the tableware, there is a wide and fun selection of many other items. Vases, candles, soap, stationery, colorful pencils, trinket dishes, extremely absorbent and soft Japanese tea towels, tote bags, and many animal figurines, especially miniature cats, are all showcased. In fact, cat designs are seen in various products and in many formats.

Good Luck

An intriguing display of novelties includes various colorful Dharma Dolls, which, according to Japanese tradition, are believed to bring good luck.

Many other items are visually appealing and spark the imagination. The store has received rave reviews, and continues to attract its regular customers as well as newcomers.

“We started with tableware exclusively from Japan and now we have included items from Asian American and Pacific Rim companies,” reports Moon. “We have branched out and have something for everyone, including ceramics and also T-shirts, stickers, textiles, books, and prints. Customers are pleased by our variety.”

They are also pleased by the wide price range, featuring something appropriate for every budget. Sample prices include items at $4.50, $13, and $20, $30, and $45 for a place setting (which could include two different sized plates, a bowl, and mug). Again, as Moon points out, customers enjoy making a varied selection.

Moon is very proud of Miya’s success, and looks forward to continuing to bring customers the best of Japanese tableware and home goods.

“We are so pleased about the reception we have been given,” she says. “I enjoy meeting all our customers. There has been wonderful word-of-mouth, and others are finding us through our website.

15,000 Paper Cranes

“We were also very proud to be part of the Arts Council Community Memorial Project during COVID, and together, with others, we created 15,000 paper cranes as a memorial for people who had died during the pandemic. (Moon and her three daughters actually created 6,000 themselves!)

“Being part of the community is very important,” she continues. “As business owners, we are close with the other merchants, and we support each other.”

As the holidays approach, food is a major part of the celebration. Serving it in the most attractive way is Miya’s mission.

As Moon reflects, “More than ever, we value the importance of gathering around good food, sharing laughs, and creating memories with family and friends. Whether it is a home-cooked meal, takeout from your local restaurant, or even a quick bowl of cereal, food is the ultimate expression of love, so why not use tableware that you love too?”

Miya Home & Table is open seven days. Holiday hours are Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 10 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. For further information, call (609) 212-0282 or visit