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11 tips for Japan fans in Berlin

Japan in Berlin: Anime, Manga and Cherry Blossoms

Anime Fair
Anime Fair © Carsten Siegel

Japanese cuisine and garden culture, tea ceremonies and festive kimonos, mangas and anime characters... many inspirations from Japan enrich the German capital and give you completely new perspectives. And two of the many museums in Berlin are dedicated to fine Japanese art. We have compiled the best tips for a trip into Japanese culture!

Tip 1:  Discover the Samurai Museum Berlin

Samurai Museum Berlin, The 7 Virtues
Samurai Museum Berlin, The 7 Virtues © Sylwia Makris

In Auguststraße in the heart of Berlin, in a very special museum, the barrier-free Samurai Museum Berlin, you can admire a whole 4,000 artefacts from the art of weaponry and blacksmithing of the Japanese samurai culture. It is the largest collection in Europe. In addition, there are interactive game rooms: follow Kitsune on a journey of discovery through the life and heritage of the legendary Japanese warrior elite. Discover more than 1,000 years of samurai culture and history.

Where: Auguststraße 68, Mitte
When: Monday - Sunday 11am - 7pm

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Tip 2:  Enjoy the Cherry blossoms in Berlin

Cherry blossoms in Berlin
Cherry blossoms in Berlin © visitberlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien

When we think of Japan, we immediately think of cherry blossoms, also called sakura in Japanese. These beautiful, finely branched trees can be found in large numbers in Mauerpark. In early summer, their overflowing pink blossoms, with their romantic touch, delight all walkers, especially couples. These trees have an overwhelming charm when they are in blossom and you don't see them too often. 
Let's go there, for example for a perfect first date!

Where: Gleimstraße 55, Prenzlauer Berg
When: End of April

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Tip 3: Buy a festive Kimono

Tsukushiya Restaurant
© R.Knobloch/Tsukushiya

If you are familiar with Japanese culture, you should be familiar with the kimono. Kimonos are elaborate festive garments that are often worn at celebrations - by both men and women. Of course, there are differences in design. If these chic garments appeal to you, go to Aura Berlin: they have a large selection of kimonos for all ages.

Aura Berlin
Where: Sanderstraße 13, Neukölln
When: Monday - Friday, 1 - 8 p.m., Saturday Noon - 7p.m.

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Tip 4:  See outstanding Exhibits in the Museum of Asian Art

Humboldt Forum Berlin: Asian Museum
Humboldt Forum Berlin: Asian Museum © © Stiftung Berliner Schloss – Humboldt Forum, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz

Outstanding Objects of Art: Museum of Asian Art. After learning about the culture of the Japanese warrior caste in the Samurai Museum, you can marvel at first-class art objects from all over the Asian world in the Humboldt Forum: 
Take part in the multilingual guided tours and enjoy the beauty of all of Asia in sculptures, paintings, porcelain and carpets from Japan, China, India and Korea. You'll also find a Japanese Tea Room, where tea ceremonies are demonstrated, and stunning Japanese paintings and lacquer art.

Where: Schloßplatz, Mitte
When: Wednesday - Monday 10.30a.m .- 6.30p.m.

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Tip 5:  Listen to the murmur of water in the Japanese Garden

Gärten der Welt
Japanischer Garten in den Gärten der Welt © Grün Berlin GmbH

Now it's getting a bit philosophical: the three mysterious interconnected areas of the Japanese garden in the Gardens of the World embody past, present and future. 
Here, in the warm season, you can not only stroll along beautiful paths through ornate plantings, but also explore the symbolism of the 300 stones and the numerous converging bodies of water. In the middle of the three gardens, a special architecture awaits you: the Chaya, the Japanese pavilion.

Where: Gardens of the World, Blumberger Damm 44, Marzahn
When: daily from 9 a.m

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Tip 6: Browse at J Store Berlin

Manga © Getty Images, Foto: portishead1

At the J Store Berlin, you can find everything related to the Japanese way of life: the assortment offers everything from a large variety of mangas to Japanese clothing, from dinnerware to Japanese sweets and much more. You can also buy anime figurines there, There is a large selection and of course even more to see, but we don't want to take that fun away from you, just have a look for yourself.

Where: Kantstraße 125, 10625 Charlottenburg
When: Monday to Saturday  Noon - 7p.m.

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Tip 7:  Taste exquisite teas

Japanese tea ceremony
Japanese tea ceremony © GettyImages, Foto: Michael H

In Japan, tea is not only drunk, it is celebrated: with traditional ceremonies, fine ceramic tableware, certain gestures. In Japan, this almost sacred ritual is modestly called the tea walk. The Japanese café MAMECHA gives you a feeling for the tea culture in the land of the rising sun with authentic teas. With teapots for one to two people and pretty Japanese tea cups, you can experience your own little tea ceremony. You can then buy the matching utensils for your home in the corresponding shop. In addition to teas and matcha drinks, MAMECHA also sells classic coffee specialities and unusual cold drinks. The café's display tempts with changing cake variations. 

Where: Mulackstraße 33, 10119 Prenzlauer Berg
When: Monday to Saturday 12 to 19 h

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Tip 8:   The Mori-Ōgai Memorial - Encounters between Japan and Europe

Calligraphy © GettyImages, Foto: Eriko Koga

The Japanese man of letters and physician Mori Ōgai (1862-1922) initiated a lively exchange between East Asian and European cultures and sciences in his time. The authentic site of Mori's first stay in Berlin is now home to an exciting educational and exhibition centre: the Mori Ōgai Memorial at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin not only gives you deep insights into Mori's life and work, but also shows you the path of scientific and cultural cooperation with Japan up to the present day.

Where: Luisenstraße 39, Mitte
When: Tuesday to Friday Noon -  4p.m., Thursday Noon - 6p.m.

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Tip 9:  Maintain your own bonsai

Bonsai © GettyImages, Foto: L.Toshio Kishiyama

Do you know the Karate Kid series? Remember the cute little bonsai trees?
Bring Japan home and get your own personal bonsai: the translation of a large, graceful, beautifully grown deciduous or coniferous tree into miniature, so to speak.
At Japan Bonsai Berlin, you will not only receive advice and recommendations, but also a passport service, which you can afford for 0.70 euros a day: So that your bonsai will survive the holiday season.

Where: Kantstraße 124b, Charlottenburg
When: Wednesday to Friday Noon - 7p.m.

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Tip 10: Get a Tatoo at Hanabusa

Tattoo Lotus Flower
Tattoo Lotus Flower © GettyImages, Foto: jjpoole

Whether it's a small wrist tattoo or a sleeve tattoo, this is about the Japanese art of tattooing. This art form has an eternally long tradition in Japan and lasts on your body...for eternity. 
The tattooing at Hanabusa is done by hand using an ancient Japanese technique called tebori: Working with a bamboo cane and needles attached to it makes the tattoo less painful for you and even white colours can be used. What's more, the colours shine brighter and more intensely with this technique.

Where: Graefestraße 10, Kreuzberg
When: Tuesday to Saturday 13-19 h

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Tip 11:   Mido Fuji - innovative, artfully arranged sushi

Sushi © GettyImages, Foto: Ambang Rizky/EyeEm

Whether you know Japan or not, "sushi" means something to all of us, and here you will get to know a particularly delicious restaurant: 
At Mido Sushi, the focus is as much on high-quality fresh ingredients as it is on the right cutting technique. You can spend an evening trying out the latest creations, accompanied by exotic herbal and fruit drinks. The stylish Japanese ambience rounds off the experience.
In addition to Japanese dishes, the restaurant also offers all kinds of specialities from Vietnamese cuisine. 

Where: Pappelallee 22, Prenzlauer Berg
When: open daily from 12- 24 h

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