Japanese cuteness at Roppongi

Japanese cuteness at Roppongi

May 12, 2012 |  by  |  Food, Spots
About the author
The vodka in my Bloody Mary. My appetizer, main course and dessert. My safe haven, the sunshine at my festivals and the home in homesick. The city that I know so well but love to get lost in.

Japan is hot. Japansese trends emerge on every streetcorner and sushi is the new hot dog. Roppongi, named after the famous entertainment district in Tokyo, sells every bit of Japan you can imagine, and more. From simple sushi gear (both to make and to eat) to Bento boxes, Furoshikis (a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth), Hello Kitty cutlery and toe-separating Jikitabi boots. Worn by construction workers in Japan, by local hipsters in Amsterdam.

Owners Jet and Ingrid both studied Japanese and got fascinated by the Japanese lifestyle. They began their business in IJburg but their shop did not survive because of a bad choice of location. Still, they felt like they needed to try again so they grabbed their last hope and money together and re-opened their shop at the Rozengracht. To stock their shop they make regular visits to Japan, stroll along the internet and make use of their great network. One friend gets them the most exquisite sake, the other works at the award winning tea plantations in Kakegawa, Shizuoka (in between Tokyo and Osaka) and stocks them with all sorts of Japanese sencha. Their main goal? Make everyone as crazy about Japan as they are.

Shooting marbles

When I enter the shop Jet is working on 150 origami birds for a wedding. They don’t usually sell these, but whatever Japanese item you’re looking for, they’ll fix it for you. She gets me a traditional Japanese drink, Ramune. The bottle is opened by pushing a glass marble into the bottleneck, where it falls into a specially crafted bowl inside the bottle and rattles around with each sip. The fizzy lemonade makes me immediately understand their fascination for Japanese products: its the eye for detail. Whether it’s a teabag, sake bottle or the wrapping of a Temaki sushi roll, every part of it is specially designed.

At Roppongi all Japanese holidays and seasons are celebrated. In May the shop is decorated with fishes to celebrate ‘Kodomo No Hi’, boy’s or children’s day (stands for power and perseverance), during spring, or sakura, an origami sakura tree grows inside the shop and in summer, furin, Japansese bells give you the illusion of a cool eastern breeze. And as every celebration comes with food, Roppongi hosts workshops in Dun Yong’s kitchen on the Zeedijk to teach you how make the most delicious Japanese snacks to fill up your recently purchased Bento box.

Where: Rozengracht 15
Website: Roppongi

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