Japan in Düsseldorf: sushi and ramen, tea and buddhism, pop culture & Japanese sports etc. are waiting for curious visitors in “Little Tokyo”.
Since the 1970s, the Japanese community in Düsseldorf with its various restaurants, book stores, supermarkets, culture and sports clubs etc. never stopped growing. The Japan town belongs to the city just as the rhine tower and the famous shopping street “Königsallee”.
Japanese Food in Düsseldorf
Not far from the main station in Düsseldorf, you find the Immermann street, which is the heart of the Japantown. Here you can get almost everything that Japan-Lovers are looking for. Especially the authentic Japanese restaurants draw in visitors (and locals alike) like the moth flies for the light. This is why, there are building big queues in front of the famous Ramen shops (Takumi and Naniwa) during the “Ramen-rush hour”. Here you find even more great Ramen shops in Düsseldorf. Those who are preferring Japanese home cooking should head for the Kagaya. For eating Soba (buck wheat noodles) everyone goes to Soba-An, for Japanese-style bread to the Backery My Heart, for Matcha Latte to the Café Tenten and for Onigiri (rice balls) to Waraku. On top of that there are several sushi restaurants like the Nagomi, Kikaku, Hyuga and Nagaya. It’s a dream for all Foodies!
The history of Little Tokyo
The first Japanese companies settled in Düsseldorf after the second world war in order to export steel products and technical know-how from the “Ruhrgebiet” area. Düsseldorf turned into the “office of the Ruhrgebiet area”. In the following decades more and more Japanese came to the city to also sell Japanese products on the European markets. Together with the growing Japanese community in Düsseldorf, the “Japanese infrastructure” grew significantly. But only after the oping of the Japanese school for employees children, Düsseldorf truly turned into the economic headquarter for Japanese companies in Europe.
Japan Day in Düsseldorf
If you talk about Japan in Düsseldorf, there is one topic that has to be mentioned in any case: The Japan Day! It is one of the city’s biggest yearly events. For this weekend Düsseldorf welcomes over 600.000 visitors every year, which is almost as many people that live in the city. The frame for the Japan Day is the rich cultural program (incl. performances with traditional Japanese Dance, singing, taiko, martial arts and a karaoke contest) and the grand Japanese fireworks that are the highlight of the festivities.
But especially for cosplayers (people that passionately creat and dress up as their favorite anime / manga character) and lovers of Japanese pop culture, the Japan Day is the highlight of the year. Along the river side there are shops that sell Japanese food and fan articles, as well as promoting travels to Japan. From the early morning until late at night the city is filled with crowds, that turn the otherwise rather calm Düsseldorf into wie Akihabara in Tokyo for one day.
Japan Cornar in Düsseldorf
Besides the already mentioned establishments in the Japantown there is also the Japanese Hotel Nikko, which has about 600 beds, a sky spa and pool and a bookable karaoke box. In the area around the Immerman street there are all sorts of proof for German-Japanese cultural exchange and co-existance. In the north park you can enjoy a Japanese garden with a size of about 5000 m². It was planned and build by a well-known Japanese landscape architect.
The garden was donated to the city of Düsseldorf by the organization “Japanischer Garten in Düsseldorf”. It was founded by several Japanese companies and members of the Japanese community. It was meant as a present for the inhabitants of Düsseldorf. On the other river side, in Düsseldorf-Niederkassel, you can visit the Eko House (a Japanese buddhist temple and culture house) and learn more about the fascinating country, its people and the century old history.
Japanese Culture, Sports and Art?
The Japanese culture flourishs in Düsseldorf and is enjoyed by all inhabitants of the city (not only the Japanese). Therefore, you can experience presentations, public readings and workshops about Japanese culture and society on a regular basis in the Haus der Universität and the Eko Haus. The small tea shop ANMO regularly organizes tea workshops, in which you can enter into the fascinating world of east asian teas. Every year the FFT hosts the „Nippon Performance Night“, in which Japanese performing artists present their plays. And also sports fans find a good number of different Japanese sports clubs: Karate, Aikido, Judo, Kendo or maybe rather baseball?
Twice a year you can see the Japanese Softball-tournament in Düsseldorf with more that 70 Japanese teams. Everyone who prefers to watch sports over, doing it is very welcome on join in on the spectator terraces. For those, who are more interested in learning the Japanese language, practicing it with Japanese native speakers and enjoy some beers on the side, we recommend to go to the monthly meetup. The German-Japanese Meetup takes place on every first Thursday of the month in the bar called “Tigges” and Düsseldorf-Bilk.