On a beautiful Saturday some friends and I organized a fun day out. We planned to go to Amsterdam and Amstelveen to visit some stores that sell Japanese goods and foods. Mostly the stores are owned by Japanese people too. For dinner we wanted a restaurant that served real Japanese dishes. So you could pretty much say that this trip had a Japanese theme to it.
By the way, this wasn't just a randomly organized trip to Amsterdam though. A friend of mine, who goes by the name of Raj ("Hay Raj" if you are sitting on the toilet reading this!), helped my boyfriend and me out with moving and stuff. We wanted to do the favor of taking him out for dinner as a sign of our gratitude.
From the station Amsterdam Amstel we took the metro towards a little shopping area in Amstelveen. Amstelveen is located South from Amsterdam, so not that far away. Once we got out of the metro we overheard a lot of people talking Japanese. Statistically, the city where you can find the most Japanese people in The Netherlands is Amstelveen. It explains all the Japanese stores, restaurants and hairdressers!
The first store we visited was Mom 'n' Kitchen Korean/East Asian grocery and lunch. They have a bunch of Korean and Japanese products there. Next to foods and beverages they also sell Korean skincare products. I was surprised about that. The lady and man who work there, I suspect wife and husband, are very friendly people. The lady explained me about the skincare products, which were useful for me and which for my mother, haha. They were definitely Korean folks, I overheard them talking Korean hehe.
The things I bought there:
Japanese green tea.
Some Korean facial skincare masks.
The next store we entered was ISEYA. This store is smaller than Mom 'n' Kitchen, but they sell more Japanese products. You will find sweets, teas, frozen foods and more. In the back of the store there is a man who makes sushi and behind the counter there is a woman who works as the cashier.
Things I bought there:
The real Japanese mix. Salty.
This was so good! Caramel Corn with matcha.
When we were done strolling around in the tiny mall in Amstelveen, we took the tram from Amstelveen to the South of Amsterdam. The reason why was because there was still another store we wanted to see. It was recommended on the internet and I saw a lot of positive reactions about it.
Just a few steps away from the tram stop on the "beethovenstraat" is a Japanese store called MEIDI-YA TOKYO. This is an actual store out of Japan. See their website HERE. They sell various Japanese foods and beverages and if you are in for a quick lunch, you came to the right place! They sell sushi and other dishes that you can snack on in the store.
It was pretty busy. People kept walking in and out. We took a stroll through the store. I saw a lot of interesting things and so much foods to choose from. Also the staff is very friendly, they gave the whole store a nice feel to it and a character of its own. I will definitely go back again!
A man was promoting different types of sake. He offered us to try some out and we all fell in love with the tastes right away. I choked while drinking though.. Always making a fool out of myself. But yeaaah.. it tasted very good. So good, that we bought some bottles to take home with us.
What Tatsuya bought here:
Yuzu, it is a sake with a fresh citrus taste. Barely taste the alcohol. Perfect!
A Japanese teapot, for our daily green tea :).
Ghibli in the Melkweg
Before I saw this poster Kevin already told me about Ghibli movies being presented in the Melkweg in Amsterdam. Almost every other day you can see a Ghibli movie from the 30th of April until the 4th of June. A lot of them were sold out, so it must be quite popular!
Boekhandel Van Rossum
After visiting Meidi-ya, we came across this nice looking bookstore. I am glad we checked it out, because this bookstore was awesome! It felt so cozy and homey. The thing I liked the most was the range of books they have. So many titles which were pretty interesting! I will make a separate blogpost about this bookstore!
I drink my coffee black.
A cappuccino and a vanilla late.
Kevin said he never drank coffee at Starbucks, so I thought this would be his first time. Then I asked him: "What did you get?", to which he replied: "A vanilla late!".... lol. So until this day he still didn't drink Starbucks coffee! (Not implying Starbucks coffee is so awesome though. It's OK coffee hehe).
The others arrived later.
Walking through Amsterdam South
We headed towards the restaurant were we would eat dinner that night. It was about a 20 minute walk from the Starbucks to the restaurant Orandaya. We talked and walked and talked a bit more :).
Beers and Beers
The guys drank some beers and I took some pictures before dinner.
We found out about this restaurant on the internet. My boyfriend and me were searching for some nice places, preferably with a Japanese owner. Most sushi or Japanese restaurants are owned by Chinese people, those are mainly the "All You Can Eat" types, so we tried to avoid those for this day.
Orandaya was not our first choice. The one we wanted to visit was already booked full, so that was too bad. But fortunately this one came up! Their website, HERE.
The restaurant looked pretty nice and the staff spoke Japanese. It felt as if we were in Japan. We sat around this spinning table, which of course comes in handy if you are with a group of people.
Some Japanese tea, tasted good!
Takoyaki! I really, really like those! I have only eaten them twice in my life. I need moaar O_o!
Our main dish for the night, Sukiyaki.
There was so much taste to it and the beef and tofu were amazing!
Around the table
I put my camera on the table, clicked on record and this is what happened..
With our tummies full of goodness we proceeded to walk towards wherever a nice cafe would be. And damn, we walked so much! It felt good though, after eating, but it was quite cold outside. Nevertheless after finding a spot to chill it made up for it in so many ways. We drank some tea, ate "stroopwafels" and took a quick rest before heading to the Central Station of Amsterdam. It was a really fun day and I hope to do this again some times.
Thank you for reading!