With approximately 6,500 inhabitants of Japanese origin, Düsseldorf has Europe’s largest “Japanese community”. With the result that you don’t have to travel half way around the world in order to experience the attractions of Japanese culture and way of life.
It was over 65 years ago that the first Japanese businesspeople settled in Düsseldorf. However, the link between the State capital of North Rhine-Westphalia and the chain of islands at the eastern fringes of Asia goes back significantly farther than that. In the 19th century, the Düsseldorf-born merchant Louis Kniffler established the first friendly and business relations with Japan and thus lay the cornerstone for a long-lasting association.
When a push was made in the 1950s to boost trade relations with Europe, Düsseldorf’s excellent infrastructure made it the ideal location. More and more Japanese families moved to the German metropolis – and with them, they brought their Far-East lifestyle to the banks of the Rhine. The first Japanese restaurant was opened in 1963. This was followed by the Japanese Consulate General, the Japanese Chamber of Trade and Industry, the first Japanese school and Europe’s first Japanese book store.
Meeting of the cultures
Nowadays, every aspect of Japanese culture can be found in Düsseldorf, from garden concepts through to pop culture. Visitors can simply take a stroll through the Japanese quarter on the Immermannstrasse, which is referred to as Little Tokyo, to discover a wealth of insights into everyday life, culture and cuisine.
However, aspects of Japanese culture are experienced not only as a fixed element of everyday life in Düsseldorf. Frequent events and festivals are held, for example Düsseldorf’s famous Japan Day which attracts 750,000 visitors to this city on the Rhine every year. With a rich and varied program combining music, dance, sport and cuisine and a spectacular fireworks show, this is a vibrant and colorful celebration of the meeting of the different cultures.
Thanks to the location of AMADA GmbH’s headquarters in Haan, close to the entrance to Düsseldorf, the region’s international flavor feeds into the company’s daily work and ensures an open approach to our dealings with our international customers.
The next Japan Day will take place on 25th May 2019.
More information: www.japantag-duesseldorf-nrw.de/en.
Images: Düsseldorf Tourismus GmbH