Between Paris and Japan, it's a story that lasts… Rue Sainte-Anne, between the Opera Garnier and the Louvre, a historic haunt of lovers of sushi and other mangakas, is no longer to be proven. In recent times, however, this Japanese style has been exported to the east. We are only talking about a few streets apart, of course, but don't the izakayas on rue Richelieu come to tickle the gardens of the Royal Palace?
The Haut Marais is not left behind. From the rue de Bretagne, pushing as far as the Saint-Paul metro, quality Japanese addresses bloom faster than a cherry tree at the end of April in the land of the rising sun. So, before the Paris-Tokyo connections resume in early July, as announced by the company Japan Airlines, here is a little taste…
Suisen, a Ryokan in the heart of Paris
When entering the interior, crossing this small burnt wooden facade, you have never been so close to being so far. In an eyelash flicker, you are no longer in the heart of the Haut Marais, but transported to the heights of Hakone, a small spa town west of Tokyo. At Suisen, "yellow narcissus" in Japanese (symbol of spring), the change of scenery is guaranteed and the promise "of a parenthesis in our lives which sometimes leave us too little time to breathe", well kept.
Inside, nothing is missing in one of the only ryokans in Europe: bamboo floor, cedar olfactory power and walls lined with washi paper (made from long fibers mainly from kozo, mulberry). You quickly put on your jinbei (a traditional indoor garment in Japan) to be guided towards one of the five varieties of shiatsu massage offered (the traditional "wa", "jaku" with aromatic oils, "sei" centered on the face, "kei" concentrated on the firming of the silhouette or "fuku" for the belly). Allow 115 € for one hour (210 € for two hours) of massage. Suisen also offers a wide range of organic teas from a producer located in Kakegawa, at the foot of Mount Fuji. A lovely address, launched by Sandra, a lover of the land of the rising sun, which transports us wonderfully into the culture ofomotenashi, Japanese hospitality.
Suisen, 7, Rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris, https://suisen.fr/
Ogata, an initiation to Japan
The latest to date in this Haut Marais, which never ceases to compete with the historic rue Sainte-Anne (2nd arrondissement) as Parisian Little Tokyo, Ogata. We were talking about it, this huge building (former Lafayette foundation) could serve as a Japanese consulate. All the minimalism and the preciousness of Japan are spread over the four levels and some 800 square meters available.
Read also Ogata Paris, the other Japanese Embassy
We like to find similarities with the museums created by architect Tadao Ando on the island of Naoshima. Tea room, mezzanine art gallery, restaurant and bar, which closes at midnight. Just in time to touch on the taboos and imagine, for a moment, enjoying a sake struck while pretending to be a Bill Murray in Lost in translation.
Ogata, 16, rue Debelleyme, 75003 Paris, https://ogata.com/
Duren crumples fashion with taste
Japanese innovation in fashion is no longer to prove (Yohji Yamamoto, Sacai or Comme des Garçons). Additional proof with the leather worker Duren, who created an amazing new material, crumpled leather, which you can discover in his shop installed less than a year ago on rue Dubelleyme, close to the trendy bars of rue de Brittany.
The many formats (from backpack to shopping bag for prices ranging from 200 to 800 euros) are produced in very small quantities in their workshops in Kyoto, do not hang around! It was by observing a piece of crumpled up paper thrown on the ground that the former model Masaki Matsukawa had the idea to decline it with this material formed of leather (from cattle slaughtered for the food industry) and animal fibers . The result is stunning. In addition, during containment, the brand tested its community of followers to give free rein to creation and invent the model of tomorrow. The winner will have their idea produced by Duren, and 10% of the profits will be donated to the Foundation for Medical Research.
Duren, 37, rue Debelleyme, 75003 Paris, http://duren.fr/
Jhin and Kimonoya, play it like real san
Who has never heard of the kimono, the traditional Japanese clothing. But beware, it has nothing to do with the combat sport outfits of judokas and karatekas. In Japan, the kimono is “the thing you wear”, most often indoors. There are several variations, such as yukata, the haori or the jinbei. Each has its specific use. In Paris, two shops will guide you: Kimonoya and Jhin.
Kimonoya will also offer you everything to accomplish your ikebana, "the art of making flowers live", elements of crockery, decoration and the essentials to get started in calligraphy. Jhin, he specializes in fabrics and offers hundreds of fabrics and patterns to make your custom kimono, to your taste. You are ready to transform yourself into real san (the honorary suffix for "madam" or "sir" in Japanese) from a hundred euros.