Düsseldorf is not only a major art and fashion metropolis; it also boasts one of the largest Japanese communities in Europe. The first Japanese citizen was registered in Düsseldorf in 1905, and since then a small community has gradually developed in the city. Today, more than one-quarter of the Japanese in Germany live in Düsseldorf.
The Japanese are a part of Düsseldorf life
"Klein-Nippon" is located in the triangle between Oststraße, Immermann- and Klosterstraße, only two minutes from Düsseldorf's main railway station. It is here you will find Düsseldorf's best sushi stores, asia markets, and manga shops.
Visitors to the area should start their day in the bakery “Bakery my Heart”, where rolls filled with chestnuts or matchatea, or melon flavored pastries provide a special breakfast experience.
It quickly becomes very clear that the Japanese in Düsseldorf (and elsewhere) eat much more than only sushi. The supermarket “Dae-Yang” on the Immermannstraße offers a free crash course in Japanese food and culture. From exotic fish and Sake, to super-sharp knives, bento boxes, calligraphy accessories and exquisite chopsticks, you can experience the necessities of a Japanese household first hand. The staff are also happy to help decipher the Japanese packaging. Another shopping paradise is a few yards away: Bookstore Nippon imports all its Japanese goods by airmail. And not just books. In addition to mangas and Japanese textbooks, you will also find everything about origami, calligraphy and, of course, the famous waving cat Maneki-Neko.
Itadakimasu – Enjoy your food!
After browsing in the shops, it is now time for lunch. Visitors are spoiled for choice: the best noodle soup is available at Naniwa on Oststraße. This restaurant is very popular, with the queue often stretching outside and into the street. If you are in a hurry, try your luck at the “Takumi” on Immermannstraße, where you will find some of the best “Ramen noodles” (wheat noodles) in Europe. Sushi is of course also available at every corner. Take a look around and visit one of the many restaurants found nearby.
Definitely worth a visit is the “Tokyo”, a wild mixture of museum, art shop and café. In between Mao busts with Micky Mouse ears, manga characters, art-toys and XXL plush bunnies, you can easily feel like you are in the middle of Shibuya. Owner Selim Varol was born in Turkey, but his heart beats for Japan. According to him, his collection consists of approximately 15,000 toys and 1,500 prints and unique pieces. There are also delicious bagels, banana bread and macarons available.
Japan Day Düsseldorf
Started in 2002, a day to celebrate the Japanese culture is celebrated once a year. It aims to present Japanese culture, and is designed to bring everybody closer together. The next Japan Day will be on May 20th 2017 and both of the Radisson Blu Hotels in Düsseldorf are ideally located. After a long day of experiencing Japanese culture, guests can take a refreshing swim in the pool at the Radisson Blu Scandinavia, or look back on their day’s experience whilst enjoying something to eat at the Radisson Blu Media Harbour Hotel’s restaurant, “Amano Verde”.