Hi, this is Yuka and I have worked at Tulip for more than half a year, but I hadn’t introduced myself yet. This blog is about me, my home country the Netherlands and my experience in Tokyo.
I was born and raised in Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands. My parents decided to live in the Netherlands a long time ago, because they really fell in love for this country when they were in their twenties. Even though they like to live there, I decided to move to Japan. In 2010 I had the opportunity to do an exchange program in Tokyo and since then I have liked Japan a lot. I haven’t always lived in the Netherlands since I had started my bachelor study, I was going somewhere else to get more experience in architecture. Because of my nomadic lifestyle, I have started to see how great the Netherlands is. I didn’t understand why people like to visit the Netherlands, but now I do understand!
Windmills and tulips in the country side of the Netherlands (Photo Credit)
The Netherlands is a very small country in Europe, close to Germany and Belgium. The size is about the size of the island Kyushu in Japan. Probably, people know this country as the country of tulips, and windmills. We indeed have windmills and tulips, but generally speaking you won’t see them in the main cities of the Netherlands. So, what is the Netherlands beside of the suburban iconic elements? You might know, it is the country of the tallest people on earth, the LGBT rights are the most progressive in the world, a flat landscape which is 70% below the sea level and the country of legalized soft drug law.
Amsterdam canals, Amsterdam houses and house boats (Photo Credit)
The Netherlands is well known of the brick Canal houses along the canals. Normally, they are about six-stories high, have quite big windows and steep stairs, and lean a bit to the front. The relationship between the buildings and the canals are potential urban elements what I miss a lot. A lot of Dutch cities have chill public spots between the buildings, for example big plazas with terraces around (good places to have a cold orange juice or beer in the sun) and canals to sit on the side and stare to the boats. There are even cafes and restaurants along the canals; Beautiful, cozy and enjoyable. The country of water!
Terraces along the canals (Photo Credit)
Since a big part of the country is below sea level, water is the weakest and the strongest element in this country. Since ages ago, Dutch people have fought against water; high dunes, dikes and other water systems were created. Even the wind mills are water systems, you will notice that the most of wind wills are next to the water. They also appreciate water by creating a lot of canals, lakes and water leisure parks. Also, the Dutch team during Olympic Games is strong at water related sports, for example Swimming, Ice skating, Beach volleyball and Sailing. But probably the Dutch people are mostly proud of their high-skilled water technology and innovative water ideas. Dutch companies are often been asked by other countries for tsunami disasters, rising water level and drink water.
There are so many other Dutch characteristics, cheese, cows and milk, the direct and open communication, an orange colored festival, famous painters etc.
Beside of explaining about the Netherlands, I would like to tell a bit about my experience in Tokyo. In Tokyo, I like Aoyama, Yanaka and Kagurazaka. Since, we have two houses around Kagurazaka, which are Happy House Kagurazaka and Chilli Pepper & Cream, I will tell a bit more about Kagurazaka.
Kanda river in Kagurazaka during cherry blossom period (Photo Credit)
When I am planning to visit this area, it is mostly because I am going to meet someone to eat in one of its restaurants or cafes, to visit the Akagi shrine or to visit my friend’s contemporary art gallery when there is a new exhibition. The restaurants are very nice, I enjoy eating Japanese food and French food in this area. I recommend Rito Kitchen, a beach house restaurant where they serve meals cooked with products of the small islands of Japan. For French, I really enjoyed the food in the very popular restaurant Maison de la Bourgogne. If you go to the canal side, there is Canal café, maybe because I come from a canal country、I like to sit there with a cup of tea staring to the big canal. During spring sakura time, along the canal it is a popular spot to enjoy Hanami (picnic under the cherry blossom trees). Along the canal you have big cherry blossom trees.
Rito Kitchen in Kaguraka (Photo Credit)
I like architecture and Akagi Shrine in Kagurazaka is renovated by a current famous Japanese architect, therefore I like to go there for my prayers. The same architect also renovated an old book warehouse in Kagurazaka. It called La Kagu and it is currently an event space with shops and a restaurant.
La Kagu, an old book warehouse to an event space with shops, exhibitions and restaurant (Photo Credit)
Still many things to explore in this area and other places in Tokyo. Even though I have come to Tokyo so many times and have lived here for 2 years now. For more information about our two houses in Kagurazaka area, check our website.
Happy House Kagurazaka: https://tulip-e.com/en/estateinfo/27/
Chilli Pepper & Cream: https://tulip-e.com/en/estateinfo/30/