If you’re Japanese and passing through Paris, a fan of Japan or you fancy doing something different 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 exchanged views on military, economic and cultural matters. With heavy Japanese influence, the 9th arrondissement today is considered to be THE Japanese neighborhood with the Awa Odori, a Japanese festival, being held in Paris for the very first time this year (2015)
A Japanese neighborhood in Paris
The Japanese neighborhood is located in the 9th arrondissement in Paris, just around the chic Opéra neighborhood on Rue Sainte Anne. You can feel the Japanese influence there: All around you you’ll see Yakitori and Soja-based ramen in the restaurants’ windows.
The original Japanese companies were established in this neighborhood in the 1960’s. As the Japanese community grew larger, bookstores, grocery stores, travel agencies and hairdressers were then opened.
How do you get there? By Metro, Station: Pyramides (Lines 7 and 14) and just walk up the Rue Sainte Anne.
If it’s the first time you’re using the Metro, I’d advise you to take a look at the article: Tips and tricks… All about the Paris Metro.
To find out more about the Metro lines 7 and 14, check out the following article: Paris metro: metro lines ranked by number of tourist attractions served.
The Awa Odori Event
The Awa Odori is a Japanese festival that originates from Tokushima and is celebrated from August 12th to 15th. 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 May 24th. Traditional Japanese musicians and dancers will gather near the Hôtel de Ville. The show will be held in the 4th arrondissement in the following locations: Notre Dame, Centre Pompidou, Hôtel de Ville, Place des Vosges and the Ile Saint Louis.
Before the show begins, there will be a big Japanese Food Festival with participating restaurant serving delicious street food: takoyaki, yakitori…It will all be there!