The second Japanese street in Saigon

VietNamNet Bridge - Founded just over three years ago, the Japanese street hidden in the alleys of Binh Thanh District has contributed to the cultural diversity of Saigon.



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When mentioning the Japanese street in Saigon, many people think of the area covering the streets of Le Thanh Ton - Thai Van Lung - Ngo Van Nam in District 1, which is also known as "Little Tokyo", where there is a dense system of Japanese restaurants, cafes, and hotels. 




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Recently, a street in Binh Thanh District has also attracted a large number of Japanese, creating a new community for Japanese.

Ho Chi Minh City's second Japanese street is about 3 km from the center of District 1, located on Pham Viet Chanh Street (Ward 19, Binh Thanh District). The entrance is just a little road that is hidden behind apartment buildings. However, those who have visited here will be surprised by a series of colorful Japanese restaurant signboards interspersed with Vietnamese shops.





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There are also laundry service shops, rental apartments, supermarkets ... all have nameboards in Japanese and English. This is a new "Little Tokyo" of Saigon.





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Mr. Kiyoshi, a local resident, said this area has attracted Japanesefor about two years, and most of them moved from District 1. Kiyoshi has been living here for almost a year. “Living here is good because rents are cheaper than that in District 1. Rooms are more spacious and the living space is also more comfortable. It is more convenient for me to go to my office in District 1,” he said.




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Within a radius of 1 square kilometer, this place is home to nearly 10 shops serving Japanese. Among them are shops selling Tkoyaki octopus cake, a popular street food of Japan. 




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Takoyaki cake here is sold at a very affordable price, so the shops attract not only Japanese but also Vietnamese.




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At the Takoyaki Bakery opened by a Japanese man, students Pham Khanh Linh and Pham Thi Thuy Hang bake pies. Both of them are studying Japanese at the Ho Chi Minh City Pedagogy University. This is their extra work, with a salary of VND20,000 per hour. 




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Along Pham Viet Chanh Street there are many restaurants decorated in Japanese style, called Izakaya (where people enjoy wine and food).





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The common feature of the izakaya is that all restaurants use signboards made of thin cloth or glass doors, so that visitors can see inside from the outside. They are also decorated with red paper lanterns.




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Kogi Inoue, the owner of an izakaya-style restaurant, said he opened this restaurant three months ago. This is his second restaurant, following the first on Le Thanh Ton Street. Kogi came to Vietnam two years ago to work as an engineer, but only three months later he quit his job to open a restaurant.




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At his restaurant, Japanese songs and dances are performed by staff every evening.




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In the traditional Japanese costumes of Miko, Vietnamese staff create a Japanese culture in the heart of Saigon. 




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Having worked at the restaurant for two months, Bui Bich Ngoc, a second-year student of tourism at Hutech University, said that she loves Japanese culture and the work here gave her the opportunity to practice Japanese and English.




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The rent in this area is cheaper than District 1 while the number of Japanese customers is stable.




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The dishes at the restaurant are VND8,000 to VND60,000. 




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With the great Japanese community here, this Japanese Quarter is expected to further develop. 



Pha Le

Photo: Zing

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