Local Locals Yuichi Munehiro, HIGHTIDE STORE DTLA

Local Locals Yuichi Munehiro, HIGHTIDE STORE DTLA

Local Locals:
Yuichi Munehiro

Welcome to our Q & A with owner and creative curator Yuichi Munehiro of Hightide DTLA.  


Nestled in the heart of Downtown LA, Yuichi curates a unique mix of high-quality products that makes his shop a must-visit destination for locals and tourists alike. Store pieces are carefully selected with a keen eye toward design.

Hightide store's unique stock represents a commitment to showcasing both established and emerging brands. This combined with his personalized approach to customer service, sets Hightide Store apart. Through his refined approach to reetail, Yuichi and his staff cultivate a shopping experience that resonates with style-conscious individuals seeking something beyond the ordinary.

Read on for more insight into his exquisite taste and life experiences.

When you hear the word Malibu, what do you think of first?

Blue skies, expanses of tranquil seas, surfing and Malibu Sandals!

Can you tell us what your first concert was? Who was the artist, year, tour and venue?

Sergio Mendes and Brasil 99. 1994 at Osaka Sankei Hall

Which Malibu Sandals style are you wearing right now?

Matador Chukka Beige/Tan

Your amazing shop Hightide DTLA, located at The Row, has recently expanded. Can you share a little bit about the concept and  new brands you’re carrying?

When I think about HIGHTIDE STORE, what always comes to mind is the familiar little stationery shop in front of the elementary school in Japan. 

There, not only were school supplies available, but also the school-designated gym uniforms, along with small toys and snacks. 

It was the only place where elementary school students were allowed to make a detour on their way home. 

Additionally, it was not just a place to shop; the cramped space with various items on display felt like a treasure hunt, where we would spend time after school meeting friends or just hanging out, like a small salon for elementary school kids. 

At HIGHTIDE STORE, we not only offer HIGHTIDE  products but also try to reflect in our product selection the sense of unease or difference that I, having grown up in Japan, feel while living in America. 

Last December, we expanded the store area. In operating the store for five years since its opening, we found that the products we wanted people to see increased, and we ran out of space. 

We also wanted to express through the store the overall lifestyle derived from Japanese stationery. 

In expanding, we've included brands like TEMBEA and BAILER, both Japanese bag brands, apparel brands like YAMMA, which uses traditional Japanese Aizu cotton material, Battenwear, led by Japanese designer now based in Topanga Canyon, eleven.eleven, a brand founded by a Japanese-American woman and her Indian partner, Moonstar, a Japanese shoe brand, and last but not least, Malibu Sandals! 

Tell us one thing about living in LA that most people cannot relate to?

I love the smell when I land at LAX airport. It's the same smell I encounter when I go to Costco in Japan.

We are fascinated by your brand Penco and the variety of writing and organizing supplies you market. Could you share one of your personal favorites?

My personal favorites are the Storage Container, which comes in four boxes of different sizes that fit together like Matryoshka dolls, the Pencono stainless steel scissors, and the foldable Tarp Bag Round that can be folded and filled with water.

Presuming your vintage t-shirt collection is  massive, how do you go about locating such prized possessions?

I prefer used items over new ones, especially those with vintage value, although I don't own many of them. However, I do have a lot of vintage clothing. These are items I've found while browsing thrift stores and flea markets. I enjoy imagining the previous owners while me wearing these items.

On what level is your podcast consumption and could you share any particular one we should know about??

I listen to podcasts almost exclusively while driving, such as radio programs about Japanese politics or English conversation lessons. Embarrassingly enough, despite being in the United States for over five years, my English is still not fluent. Actually, I would like recommendations for podcasts.

What is your favorite local eatery we might not know about and why?

I enjoy local, family-owned restaurants with a deep sense of authenticity. I'm not fond of trendy places. I like OTOMISAN RESTAURANT and Jade Wok in LA's Chinatown. Otomisan Restaurant offers simple, traditional Japanese home-cooked meals that I love, along with the atmosphere and appearance of the restaurant. Jade Wok serves delicious Cantonese cuisine without MSG, and their homemade tofu is particularly tasty.