I met them at bootcamp via our friend Tiny. A great Japanese couple who lives in Holland since 5 months. It’s awesome to meet people from other cultures. That’s one of the big advantages of Amsterdam where people from different parts of the world blend in and enjoy life together. Another advantage is that they have their own yearly celebrations: islamic people have Eid Al-Fitr, for example. The Japanese people celebrate the bloom of the cherry blossoms to welcome spring and to make a fresh start together with friends and family. In October 2000, the Japan Women’s club in Amstelveen (village near Amsterdam) offered 400 cherry blossom trees to the people of Holland, because of the 400 year relationship between Japan and The Netherlands. Since then, every year around March there is a Hanami Matsuri (Cherry blossom festival) at the ‘kersentuin’ in Amstelveen (Amsterdamse Bos).
Missed the free sushi
Tiny and Mariko asked us to check out the festival with them. In the late afternoon, we decided to take our bikes. After 1,5 hour of cycling, we arrived at the beautiful park. Unfortunately, the festival was already over, but the place is beautiful. We had no clue that this park existed. The blossom just started to come out, so we have to go back again to see it in full glory. We join our friends on the picknick blanket and we talked about various matters. And then the idea was born: “Kaiko!” We had missed the free sushi and sake at the festival. This was a good reason to try sushi in one of the best Japanese restaurants of Amsterdam.
Kaiko is a very small restaurant. The interior is simple and a little crappy. The service is very kind and the waitresses and cook are truly Japanese! When we tried the first dishes, we knew it. This is not a cheap (fake) fastfood sushi place like Sumo. This is a fresh and quality treat. Also, the Japanese beers are very tasty. We had a great night eating out. I think this is the second best Japanese food in Amsterdam, right after lunch at Yamazato.