Little Tokyo in Düsseldorf

It’s been two weeks since I visited Düsseldorf, but it already feels so long ago! Uni has started and after just one week I got sick with a really bad cold. So today seemed like the perfect day to write about my impressions of Düsseldorf and to show you some images! Let’s be honest, if it wasn’t for the Japanese stores and restaurants I probably wouldn’t have visited a city that’s all across Germany, but it still is a crazy thing to do I guess… It took us about 6 hours for one way!

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Lunch set at the Kushi-tei of Tokyo – my favourite in Düsseldorf!

The first evening we had dinner at a place called Soba-an (そば庵). Since the customers and service were mainly Japanese, we decided to order in Japanese and I got Yamakake soba (buckwheat noodles topped with grated Japanese mountain yam). I love the funny texture of tororo and the pumpkin tempura and pickles were good too. The noodles were hand made and you could see the cook making them!

Chawan (tea bowls) at the Sphere Bay bubble tea shop

kyotoporz kyotovit kyotoporzellanddorftanukiddorf
Since Düsseldorf has a relatively large Japanese community and hosts many Japanese companies I expected to find more Japanese influence, but most of the stores and restaurants are only found near the Immermannstrasse. We checked out two book stores, many Asian supermarkets and even found a decent Ramen restaurant. The hyped Takagi, which turned out to be an overpriced disappointment with nasty owners, is a “book store” but crammed with the most different things ranging from bento boxes, pens, magazines, shirts and even wigs. There’s also another book store called Nippon, which has a clearer choice and a very polite owner. We didn’t get any books but two Taketombo, which we later tried out in the Japanese garden. Many of the supermarkets of the Immermannstrasseare are managed by Koreans and carry a mix of Japanese but also Korean things.

One of the supermarkets was growing Shiso plants and I couldn’t resist and brought one home with me. It survived and is happily growing in front of the window in my room. Besides some Japanese kitchen basics we also found two really stunning ramen bowls from a store called Kyoto Porzellan, which I’ll feature in a future entry.

japanesebakery naniwaddorf
The Chashu Ramen we had at a place called Naniwa were decent, but the pork meat was way too dry for my taste and you had to wait outside for quite some time, because there were so many people standing in line. In contary to the Soba-an, there were mostly non-Japanese and non slurping customers, what made it difficult to keep the illusion of being in Japan alive.

Onigiri – one with salmon flakes and Tsukudani and one with Yakiniku

We only stayed two days and didn’t really get to see a lot of Düsseldorf but I managed to finally visit a PRIMARK store! I was shocked and amused at the same time by the low quality and poor taste and totally can’t understand why so many girls are spending their money in there! And I’m not even mentioning the whole unethical concept of this company… But to each his own.
On the second day we went to see the Eko house and the Japanese garden which were unexpectedly beautiful. Stay tuned for the second part of this short trip!

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