Paris has a large population of Japanese residents and so it’s only fitting that there is an area dedicated to the country…or at least the street which tourists and locals alike have dubbed as ‘Japan Town‘.
Rue St Anne is relatively easy to find. Take Line 14 (purple line) to Pyramides and go out of the exit on the right hand side. You’ll see the store 「ニャンニャン＆ワンワン」(pet store) in front of you – turn right and walk to the end of the street – don’t cross the road. Take a sharp left and you will see the Rue St Anne sign on the building and K-Mart to your right. This is the beginning of ‘Japan Town’.
Since I mentioned K-Mart it seems only fitting to tell you a little about it.
As the name would suggest it is a Korean market. However it does also stock Japanese products and is in my opinion one of the best places to go to for Japanese food items, in the area.
Of course, with the products being imported they can be a little pricey, however it’s a price most are willing to pay when you can’t get them elsewhere.
There is also a Japanese market (expensive) and a few other Korean/Japanese/Chinese markets in the area. One of which is at the end of Rue St Anne and is called Ace Mart where you can buy…
From Sushi to Okonomiyaki there are plenty of places to choose from. Ramen and Sushi are in abundance in ‘Japan Town’ with a couple of Okonomiyaki and Udon restaurants littered in-between. There is also a bakery that sells some Japanese baked goods (I’ve been told they have melon pan and matcha eclairs), but I have yet to purchase anything from it.
The best restaurants usually have crowds outside them in the evenings and at weekends. This is one of those times where it’s best to move with the crowd – sometimes its worth waiting, otherwise you can always make a reservation and come back at a later date/time.
I visited HIGUMA ひぐま, which is one of the many ramen stores on the street.
On a Saturday night this place is packed full of people, which is surprising as the majority of the chefs are Chinese. Even so they do have some Japanese staff and the menu is full of genuine Japanese recipes.
I did also try out another ‘Japanese’ restaurant on the street. I won’t mention the name but it was at the end of the road and it certainly wasn’t Japanese. The menu and food were blatantly Cantonese which was a big let down as the prices were reasonable (that should have been an indicator).
That is my only warning about the restaurants on the street, otherwise take your time browsing the many places to eat and enjoy yourself~
‘Japan Town’ Part 2. will include where to buy Japanese magazines, movies, music and more!