When people think of Paris the first images that usually come to their mind are the Eiffel tower, the romantic evening walks near the Seine river and the delicious french food and pastries. In my case my profound love for Asia lets me take another approach to the city of love. What many people don´t know, is that Paris is a great place to get a glimpse of the japanese culture in Europe. Of course it will never replace the experience of travelling to Japan but as an European myself, I see it as a great opportunity to have a completely different cultural experience without travelling to much. Here is a small guide to my favorite japanese places in Paris:
The convenient thing is that most japanese shops are located in the same spot. Roughly around the metro station: Opéra, Pyramide and Quatre-Septembre. It is also rather close to the "musé du Louvre".
Places to shop:
- Uniqlo: A casual japanese wear designer with a very affordable price tag. A little bit like H&M or Zara though Uniqlo also plays the "rigorous japanese quality" card to earn the loyalty of its customers. Personally I´m already hooked. Many of my favorite clothes were bought there. This brand is really famous in Asia but so far they have only opened a few shops in Europe. Another reason to go there during your next visit to Paris!
Address: 17, rue Scribe 75009 Paris FRANCE
- Book.Of: It is a famous second hand bookstore chain from Japan. As far as I know the only shops they have in Euope are in Paris! And one of the shops in Paris offers exclusively japanese books, games, movies and music. A good place for those learning Japanese to obtain reading material in Japanese. Just to give you an idea, most of the Mangas they sell cost merely 2 euros per book!
Address: 29-31, rue Saint-Augustin 75002 Paris FRANCE
Places to eat:
- Kunitoraya: One of the best place to eat Udon noodles (the thick delicious japanese noodles). This restaurant is rather tiny inside and not fancy at all but the dishes they serve are simply marvelous. As you can see on the picture many people have to stand in line to get a seat so try to come early if you can. PS: There are many more delicious japanese restaurants in this streets! So why not give it a try?
Address: 39, rue Sainte-Anne, 75001 Paris FRANCE
- Aki Boulanger: A japanese bakery that offers famous european pastries with a japanese touch. When I was there I had a Matcha green tea tiramisu...hmmm, yummy.
Address: 16 rue Saint-Anne, 75001 Paris FRANCE
Although this was just a small overview of what Paris has to offer in terms of japanese culture, I hope that it´ll be able to awaken your interest and that you´ll go check it out yourself during your next visit to Paris. Constructive comments and suggestions are warmly welcome as always...