Kinokuniya in San Francisco & Go stones
We had lunch in Emeryville and went to Japantown and the SF Ferry Building to walk-off the meal.
The best retail outlet for Go books in San Francisco is Kinokuniya Bookstore. Most of the English books that they carry are from Kiseido and they have one shelf full of them. I bought a copy of Bozulich's exercise book on life-and-death which was priced at $9 instead of the regular $15.
Kinokuniya also carries about two-and-a-half shelves of Go books in Japanese. There was a nice pair of kids books which I captured in the second photo.
I had ordered some stone samples from The Go Gamestore in Canada and they arrived this afternoon in the mail. The Go Gamestore is better know for offering Yunzi stones through the net and they recently began offering marble stones. A set of bi-convex marble stones costs $79 versus $51 for Yunzi. I wanted to see the difference first-hand.
As you can see from the photo, the Yunzi stones have a non-glossy surface and tend to absorb, rather than reflect, light. As some other folks had described, they are somewhat translucent when held up to the light - with the black stone having a jade-colored cast.
The marble stones have a smooth semi-gloss surface and are slightly larger than the Yunzi stones. I liked the feel of marble better; especially against my nails when holding the stones properly. The white marble reflects more light and looks brighter.
Both stones weigh in at about 0.3 grams each. The marble stones have a faintly lower tone when smacked against wood. If you're in the market for a set, my recommendation would be to pay the premium and buy the marble stones.