Japan is famous for its mountains, volcanoes, amazing food, ski resorts, cherry blossoms, and deep history. The Japanese culture is unique, rich and diverse, and its presence in Australia extends from its mouth-watering cuisine, to clothing and household items. So while you’re daydreaming of your next trip to stunning Japan, be sure to check out these very Japanese things right here in Sydney.
Head to Wharf Teppanyaki for a truly unique and memorable foodie experience in Sydney city. Featuring 12 cooking stations, a contemporary ambiance, and a team of highly skilled chefs, you’re surely in for a treat. Wharf Teppanyaki is open for lunch Monday to Friday, and for dinner every night.
The Rocks Teppanyaki
Located in the heart of The Rocks, The Rocks Teppanyaki combines traditional Japanese cuisine with fresh, prime Australian produce. Enjoy the venue’s intimate cocktail bar paired with tantalising food. Open for lunch Monday to Friday, and for dinner every night — including for groups.
Kobe Jones Sydney
Kobe Jones Sydney is the perfect location for a Japanese meal. Think waterfront dining on King St Wharf in Darling Harbour, where you can enjoy a delicious Green Tea Salmon or Alaskan Crab Gyoza. Kobe Jones Sydney is a stylish venue with sweeping harbour views, and is also open for lunch Monday to Friday, and for dinner every night.
General and household shopping
MUJI is a Japanese brand that offers a wide range of household and consumer goods, including furniture, homewares, skincare products, stationery, bedding, travel goods, and more. All MUJI designs have a minimalist look, being simple and practical, and have eco-friendly packaging. MUJI’s ideology is based on the traditionally-Japanese aesthetic of “su” (meaning plain or unadorned), focussing on the idea that simplicity is not merely modest or frugal, but could possibly be more appealing than luxury. You can find MUJI at The Galeries in Sydney city.
MINISO is the shop you visit to find solutions to problems you didn’t even know you had. A Japanese-based designer brand, MINISO stocks global intelligent consumer household products at affordable prices. Like MUJI, MINISO’s philosophy also focuses on simplicity and quality in its operations and products. MINISO can be found in over 50 countries around the world, and in several shopping centres in Sydney.
Daiso was founded in 1972 in Japan as a street vending shop. It arrived in Australia in 2009, and currently there are over 34 Daiso shops around the country. In Daiso, you’ll find a range of Japanese products, including food, beauty products, stationery, kitchenware, cleaning products, and more. The best bit? 95% of their products are priced at only $2.80.
UNIQLO is a giant Japanese clothes retailer with a focus on simple, comfy, everyday clothing. UNIQLO’s name comes from the merging of the words ‘unique’ and ‘clothing’, and it’s pronounced exactly like that: ‘uni-clo’. Clothing items in UNIQLO come in a variety of colours, and their garments are innovative, simple, and clever. Find UNIQLO shops in MidCity in the Sydney CBD, and in several Westfields across greater Sydney.
Books and comics
One of the most well-known bookstores in Sydney city, Kinokuniya, is Japanese. Located in a premium spot in The Galeries, Kinokuniya offers a wide array of books — the largest in Sydney, with over 300,000 titles in English, Japanese, Chinese, French and German. Kinokuniya stocks an extensive collection of Manga, graphic novels, art and design books, cookbooks, travel books, children’s literature, and Japanese magazines subscription services. Lastly, Kinokuniya also features a cafe and patisserie if you’re looking for some food while reading.
While there’s no specific Japanese grocery shop in Sydney, there are several Asian groceries stores that feature Japanese food products. Head to Thai Kee IGA X-Press Supermarket in Haymarket if you’re after fresh Asian fruit and veggies such as lemongrass, Japanese bento boxes, miso bowls and dashi.
If you’d like a taste of Japan right in Sydney, the you ought to visit the Japanese Gardens and Teahouse in Campbelltown. These beautiful, Japanese-landscaped gardens are a special gift from Koshigaya, Campbelltown’s sister city in Japan, and are located in the grounds of the Campbelltown Arts Centre.
The Campbelltown Japanese Gardens feature a traditional Japanese waterfall, koi pond with coloured fish, a timber bridge, stonework pathways, stunning plantings, and a 16th-century designed teahouse that was hand-crafted by Japanese craftsmen. The garden represents the Japanese values of simplicity, contemplation and tranquility. Here you’ll also find a nice spot to enjoy a cup of coffee within the gardens.
Experience Japan in Sydney
With lots of Japanese food, shops, bookstores and gardens on offer in the city, there’s no reason not to engage with this amazing culture right here in Australia. So what are you waiting for? Go out there and discover the Japanese way of doing things — whether in the form of food, arts and culture, reading or clothing.
To try a taste of Japan, make a reservation at a Kobe Jones restaurant in Sydney today.