Just how popular are anime and manga where you're located? Also, how many restaurants/markets selling Japanese food/ items are there around your area?
I would say anime/manga is a little popular here. Back in high school, there were a small number of anime fans, and a few in my local college as well. I'm sure they made clubs that I never joined since I was never that social outside my small group of vocational shop friends. According to an acquaintance and anime/manga/Japanese culture fan I went to high school with, there are conventions in town, but I never bother reading up on. So perhaps anime is a bit more popular as I thought around here, I just don't get out much. When it comes to the food culture of Japan, two sushi restaurants opened up here within the last 2 years. The first one, right down the street from where I live. The second one replaced a Chinese restaurant (I'm pretty sure the staff at this one isn't Japanese, from what my mother tells me). A more fancy, well known restaurant has also been here a while, catering to Asian style cooking, which includes Japanese food. This place is literally a stones throw away from my apartment, but costs too much (which explains why I never go). At my mall, there is a Japanese restaurant at the food court, but it sells a lot of Chinese food, and the staff is Chinese as well. We also have a Chinese buffet here, and next to the sodas and dessert area is a sushi stand with a Chinese man in Japanese clothing that makes the sushi. In our Price Chopper market, there is a sushi section (also run by Chinese people). And lastly, there is an Asian market run by a really nice Filipina lady right under my apartment selling some Japanese stuff as well (I love Ramune lol).