A mere 190 kilometers from where I live lies the city of Düsseldorf in Germany. It has one of the largest Japanese communities in Europe ( because of the large amount of Japanese firms there ) and a Japanese garden.
The last week of my summer holiday on a sunny Wednesday in September, I drove over there for a day-visit. By motorbike it's a little over 2 hours , if you keep to the motorway.
Düsseldorf is built right on the borders of the Rhine, one of the main rivers in Europe with lots of shipping.
When I arrived the weather was quite sunny and right under the bridge , a large herd of sheep and goat were grazing on the river bank.
Across the bridge I arrived in the old town centre and was able to park right there near the Rhine on the Burgplatz, where there is a large FREE parking space just for motorbikes. Great !
Walking towards the Immermannstrasse takes about fifteen minutes.
The town is crossed by several pretty canals.
It's interesting to see how older buildings are sitting among the modern ones , like this church
on the Martin Luther Square.
and this house.
In the Japanese "quarter" , most shops are located on and around the Immermannstrasse. This is a book, music and other goods shop.
The Dae Yang group has several outlets in Germany like this very well stocked one at Immermannstrasse 21. Another grocery and goods shop is the Shochiku at nr 15.
The Dae Yang has a large collection of ceramics. I didn't want to take pictures inside the shop, so I shot this from outside the front window.
There are more shops on the same street , but since I wanted to take lots of pictures of the garden , I didn't go to all of them.
A "must visit" if you are in Düsseldorf , is the bakery "Bakery My Heart" on Marienstrasse 26, where you can buy really good Japanese baked goods and which has a pleasant coffee and tea corner. With all the local Japanese coming in to buy bread, it almost feels like you're in a bakery in Japan. I didn't take any pictures inside or outside, just click the link.
Another place I visited was the "Takagi Books & more" on the same street, Marienstrasse 41 where I bought a few nice books and a Japanese calendar.
After the ride and the walk I wanted something to eat, so I looked around for a nice place to eat.
Tucked away in a corner of the central place of the Nikko hotel on the Immermannstrasse ( walk in past the Nikko entrance ) is
the very fancy Benkay restaurant.
The menu at the Benkay looks impressive, but I didn't go in. Perhaps next time when I arrive more early and don't want to visit the Japanese garden as well.
The first two courses look real nice,
and the Tukimi course seems to go on forever ! At 80 Euros I would of course expect lots of delicious food :)
Instead I hurried myself over to wait at the Takumi on Immermannstrasse 28 ,across from the Nikko, to open at noon.
At noon you'll find yourself sitting there among Japanese businessmen waiting for the place to open.
The staff are nice and try their best to speak German, but are just as happy when you address them in English :).
This picture was taken in the evening when I went back for another meal and already people are lining up outside, it's that popular.
Apparently on Wednesday you get two servings of gyoza for the price of one ( small steamed wrapped buns that look like half moons ).
My pork ramen ! Yes it was as tasty as it looks :)
In the next post I've posted my pictures of the Japanese garden in Düsseldorf . So keep visiting my blog :)