As you might recall, Ms Hiroko Shimbo asked me (over HERE, scroll down for the comments) to research the Japanese community in Amsterdam. She mentioned that years ago when she visited Amsterdam, she used to buy ingredients to prepare Japanese food in Chinatown. Nowadays there’s a modest but very good offer of Japanese stores. Japanese people in the Netherlands include expatriates from Japan and their Japanese citizen children, as well as Dutch citizens of Japanese ancestry. There were 7,524 persons of Japanese origin living in the Netherlands as of 2009, according to the figures of the Statistics Netherlands office.In general, they are transient foreign residents employed by Japanese companies. According to a 1996 survey, 80% of Japanese in The Netherlands consist of Japanese company employees and their families. Another 10% are Japanese civil servants on overseas postings, researchers, and students. The remainder were long-term residents, largely Japanese women married to Dutch men. Most live in Amsterdam. However, there are also about 150 living in Maastricht, mostly employees of Mitsubishi and their spouses and children.
The best places I know to buy Japanese ingredients are the following two;
- MEIDI-YA AMS
Beethovenstraat 18-20 in Amsterdam South, Meidi Ya amsterdam; http://www.meidi-ya-store.com/english
- Toko Shilla (Korean and Japanese delicasies)
Gelderlandplein 32 – 34 in Amsterdam Buitenveldert, http://www.shilla-amsterdam.nl
- As of 1 March 2010, Japanese expatriates coming to the Amstelland Hospital in Amstelveen (part of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area) can make use of a new Japanese medical service desk;
- The Japan Women’s Club, JWC, is a nonprofit organization established in 1989 in Amstelveen. Its founding members were women of the Japanese business community in The Netherlands.
- More information (In Dutch) about Japan, Japanese in The Netherlands, and their events;
- Japanese (non food) store and travelagency aswell as events calendar in the centre of Amsterdam;
- Japanese cultural centre Stichting Shofukan;
- And there’s even a Japanese school in Amsterdam;
And of course most famous Japanese restaurants in Amsterdam are Yamazato; http://www.yamazato.nl/en/ and Sazanka; http://www.sazanka.nl/en/Home.html in the Okura Hotel. Unfortunately I have not visited these yet. Yamazato is ran by chef Akira Oshima, who became the first Japanese chef in the Netherlands to be awarded a Michelin star – and the restaurant has snapped one up every year since. Oshima’s achievements were recognized in 2006, when he received a Dutch royal decoration.
The Okura Hotel also has a culinary studio and offers Japanese workshops and cooking classes. http://www.tasteofokura.nl/en
Do you know more Japanese places in The Netherlands that are worth checking out?
And 1 more question; does anyone know if it’s possible for me to have lessons in Taiko drumming in The Netherlands?