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;

Both stores have messageboards, flyers and posters of Japan-related events in and around Amsterdam. There are a few more Japan related organisations in and around Amsterdam;

And of course most famous Japanese restaurants in Amsterdam are Yamazato; and Sazanka; 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.

More info on Hiroko Shimbo;

Raging Asian Women Tako Drummers at Muhtadi International Drumming Festival photo by Muhtadi at Flickr
Raging Asian Women Tako Drummers at Muhtadi International Drumming Festival photo by Muhtadi at Flickr


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?