To those who may be interested (Kei, Commenter Petey), the moment finally came: I drove to Mitsuwa! And back! While I get that driving from Central NJ to Northern NJ doesn't sound especially momentous, this was my first time on the NJ Turnpike, or any toll road for that matter. It was also my first experience of steep-hill driving, in either Edgewater or Fort Lee, whatever town it was between the road and the store.
I'd been slightly worried that this would be like my last Japanese-supermarket excursion, to one in the Philadelphia suburbs, which turned out to be nice enough but a glorified convenience store, and which was only worth it in the end because of some good French bakeries nearby. Not so this time around! Mitsuwa is basically a suburban-NJ-sized Japanese supermarket/food hall, combined with a drug store, a few housewares sections, and a food court. A really cheap one, I should add - bowls of excellent noodle soup (kitsune udon) for about $5. It was a bit of sensory overload - I could have spent five hours in the soap-and-shampoo section alone! - but sort of manageable.
UPDATE: Ducklings (not goslings - thanks Caryatis!) and Manhattan right outside the store.
The drive back. Near the Secaucus train station. So far north!
It was kind of incredible, I suppose, because it felt like being back in the very stores where I so wanted to buy stuff in Japan, except everything was identified in a script I could read (not necessarily explained or translated, but transliterated), and, more importantly, we were there with a trunk-having car. Lots was even on sale. And yes, a predictably enormous bag of sushi rice, a comically huge bottle of cooking sake, and other such items are now in our apartment.