10 ways to go Japanese with your flatmates
At first sight, going Japanese could appear as a nonsense brainwave that flashed your mind during a Saturday night out with your flatmates. Going deeper into the matter, you’ll see that the reasons to go Japanese with your roommates can be numerous and valuable.
If you have more than one roommate, it’s statistically proven that at least one out of them is a sushi-addicted. In that case it would be nice to plunge into the oriental culture a bit more instead of simply stuffing yourself with rice and raw fish.
Another interesting cause for reflection includes the fact that you’ve been living in Brussels for a while now and you know all the mainstream places and activities. You’re starting to spend Sundays lying on the bed and watching your favourite TV shows for the third time. Maybe it’s time to do something original.
Consider also the option that going on a Japanese date can indeed positively impress your potential partner (if so, we expect a wedding invitation from you).
Last but not least, you may be seized by a wanderlust that overcomes you, since your small budget barely allows you to take public transport in Brussels while you’re dreaming of far unknown places.
Well, now that you’re committed, take a look at our 10 ways to go Japanese with your roommates.
Visit the Japanese Tower in Laken
You probably didn’t know, but Brussels hides just outside its heart a piece of Japan. Indeed in Laken a Japanese Tower stands out, commissioned by King Leopold II to the Paris architect Alexandre Marcel and opened in 1905.
The building arises as a red spot in the middle of the Museums of the Far East complex. You can visit it to learn more about Japanese art or admire the fine collection of Chinese porcelain (but don’t let your messy flatmate touch them though).
If you’d like to move a bit more toward the west, visit the nearby Chinese Pavilion.
Address: Avenue Van Praet 44, 1020 Laken (Brussels)
Go to a Samurai restaurant
You know, food is the best way to get to know a new culture. Thankfully Japan offers us plenty of choice: sushi, sashimi, noodles, ramen and so on. Let’s see the best places in Brussels to have an authentic Japanese meal with your roomies.
Address: Rue fossé-aux-loups 28, 1000 Brussels
Phone: +32 2 2188688
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 12h00 – 14h30 and 18h30 – 21h30, Saturday 12h00 – 15h00 and 18h30 – 21h30
Specialized in the typical tasty Japanese soup, this restaurant offers you a good choice of ramen, prepared with fresh and high quality ingredients.
Address: Chaussée de Waterloo 550a, 1050 Brussels
Phone: +32 2 648 78 48
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 12h00 – 14h00 and 19h00 – 21h00
This contemporary Japanese restaurant promises to bring Umami to Brussels and after tasting its sophisticated and artistic courses we can no longer doubt it.
Address 1: Rue du Bailli 5, 1000 Bruxelles
Phone: +32 2 640 45 50
Address 2: Rue de Flandre 6, 1000 Bruxelles
Phone: +32 2 513 81 31
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 12h00 – 22h00, Friday and Saturday 12h00 – 22h30, Sunday 16h00 – 22h00
Not the same old sushi, but a contemporary look on the most famous Japanese food. The keyword here is ‘maki’, a type of roll, and you can choose your favorite from the menu or make your own.
Follow a jiu jitsu class
Jiu jitsu is one of the numerous Japanese martial arts and literally means “gentle technique”. Its principle consists in manipulating the opponent’s force against himself rather than confronting it with one’s own force.
We warmly recommend to follow a jiu jitsu class with your flatmates in case of frequent fights about who’s turn it is to do the dishes or take out the garbage.
If this sounds useful to you, take a look at the following addresses:
Malicia Team – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: www.malicia.be
Gracie Jiu Jutsy Academy: www.gracieacademy.com
Become a Bonsai master
This Japanese art, which aims at growing and taking care of miniature trees in pots, can convey that sense of peace and quiet that is sometimes missing in your flat.
This natural beauty that needs care and attention from all the flatmates, will create a tight bond between you.
Go on a photo shooting spree on Grand Place
If you’re following our instructions, at this point you’ve already gone to an oriental museum, eaten some sushi and done some sport activities. Now it’s time for a useless pure moment of fun.
Take your cameras, your selfie sticks and go to Grand Place to enjoy it like you’ve never done before: the Japanese way!
Go back to the time when you were nothing but a tourist in Brussels and try to discover everything like it’s the first time you see it. Don’t forget to photobomb your roommate’s best pictures.
Buy your flatmates a Tamagotchi
Back to Japanese 90’s! Do you remember the handheld digital pet that was so worldwide popular two decades ago? Tamagotchi was released by a Japanese company and represents the leading role of the country in the videogame market very well.
Buy your flatmates a Tamagotchi and they will learn not only what’s needed to take care of a small defenseless creature, but also how to deal with it.
Fold some origami cranes
Picture: ‘Origami Cranes.’ by ailia on www.japanstyle.info
Japanese culture is well-known to be a meditative and peaceful culture. Origami perfectly fits in this definition. The ancient art of paper folding teaches you patience, perseverance, attention to details and precision. These are all virtues that can be extremely useful in a flatshare.
And if you and your roommates already get along well, you can use your manufactures to decorate your flat.
Grab the nearest piece of paper, follow these links and start folding!
Origami instructions: www.origami-instructions.com
Origami club: http://en.origami-club.com
Origami resource center: www.origami-resource-center.com
Attend a Japanese class
You’re getting deeper into the Japanese culture and you’re starting to recognize the need to communicate in the local language.
The complexity and difficulty of the alphabet might make you want to give up. That’s why you should definitely attend a Japanese class, but not alone. We’re sure your flatmates would be happy to spend their Saturday evening trying to draw ideograms.
Here’s three Brussels institutions that provide Japanese classes:
Brussels Language Activities: www.blact.be
Lumière Asbl: www.lumiere-asbl.org
Institut libre Marie Haps: www.vinci.be
Set up a tea ceremony
After all this jumping around the city you definitely need some rest and refreshment, but of course always Japanese-wise. The traditional Japanese tea ceremony is much more than drinking a hot beverage. It’s a ritual and a real spiritual practice aiming at finding your zen balance.
You can surprise your flatmates welcoming them home after a bad day with a cup of tea and a cozy atmosphere to help them gain back their inner peace.
Wear a kimono
The last step to complete your Japanese transformation is to look like a local. No, we’re not talking about eye cosmetic surgery, but something more reasonable like wearing a kimono.
This classy traditional Japanese garment will make you look at yourself in the mirror for hours wondering why you wear such ordinary clothes like t-shirts and jeans everyday.
You can pick your favourite fabric, colour and design and compete with your flatmates to be the most stylish. We helped you in your choice selecting the best online shops to purchase your kimono.
Japan Shop: www.japan-shop.com
Shop Kimono: www.shop-kimono.com