Whether you’re Japanese and in Paris, a fan of Japanese culture or you fancy doing something different in Paris, did you know there’s a piece of Japan in the heart of the City of Light?
With the Japanese neighborhood and the Awa Odori celebrations, come and discover all things Japanese in the very heart of Paris.
Although French-Japanese relations were initially “chaotic”, from the last half of the 19th century France and Japan were exchanging views on military, economic and cultural matters. With a heavy Japanese influence, the 9th arrondissement is today considered the Japanese neighborhood with the Awa Odori, a Japanese festival, being held in Paris for the very first time in 2015.
A Japanese neighborhood in Paris
The Japanese neighborhood is located in the 9th arrondissement in Paris, near the chic Opéra neighborhood on Rue Sainte Anne. You can feel the Japanese influence there, as there are plenty of restaurants with windows full of yakitori, ramen or tofu.
The original Japanese businesses were established in this neighborhood in the 1960s. As the Japanese community grew larger, bookstores, grocery stores, travel agencies and hairdressers were then opened.
How do you get there? By metro, to Pyramides (Lines 7 and 14) and just walk up the Rue Sainte-Anne.
If it’s the first time you’re using the metro, take a look at our article: Tips and tricks for using the Paris Metro.
To find out more metro lines 7 and 14, check out the following article: Paris’ best metro lines for sightseeing.
The Awa Odori Event
The Awa Odori is a Japanese festival that originates from Tokushima and is celebrated from 12th to 15th August. It comprises Buddhist celebrations and rituals passed in honor of ancestral spirits. It’s the most popular traditional festival in Japan.
The Awa Odori Festival will take place this year on 24th May. Traditional Japanese musicians and dancers will gather near the Hôtel de Ville. The show will be held in the 4th arrondissement in Notre Dame, the Pompidou center, Hôtel de Ville, Place des Vosges and the Ile Saint Louis.
Before the show begins, there will be a big Japanese Food Festival with restaurants serving delicious street food!