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An ode to Japanese cuisine in Kathmandu

Tokyo Matsuri located in Durbar Marg brings not only the taste of Japan but the culture of the country as well.


Nepalnews
2021 Oct 05, 17:12, Kathmandu
Tokyo Matsuri Photo: Prasan Gurung/NepalNews

There are a lot of restaurants in Nepal that serve cuisines from different places of the world.

However, only few are there that gives us the real taste of the culture and tradition of it.

Tokyo Matsuri located in Durbar Marg brings not only the taste of Japan but the culture of the country as well.


Tokyo Matsuri 
Photo: Prasan Gurung/NepalNews
Tokyo Matsuri Photo: Prasan Gurung/NepalNews

Prakash Ghimire, the restaurant owner, started his journey as a businessman.

“I started exporting handicrafts to Japan in 1996. I did not start it as a business but as an opportunity for stay-at-home mothers to have a way of earning and being independent. At the beginning I used to go from shops to shops for marketing, but now we sell our products in up to 180 stores in Japan,” says Ghimire.


Prakash Ghimire, the restaurant owner.
Photo: Prasan Gurung/Nepalnews
Prakash Ghimire, the restaurant owner. Photo: Prasan Gurung/Nepalnews

As he was sharing Nepalese tradition in Japan, a thought struck Ghimire as he decided to open Tokyo Matsuri in hopes to not only share the tradition of the country in Nepal but also show the relationship between the two nations itself.

They serve typical Japanese cuisine from ramen noodles to sushi and most of the ingredients and spices are brought in from Japan.


Worker at Tokyo Matsuri greeting the customers
Photo: Prasan Gurung/NepalNews
Worker at Tokyo Matsuri greeting the customers Photo: Prasan Gurung/NepalNews

The servers and cooks also wear typical Japanese dress, Kimono.

“We also have a karaoke system where one can play any song that they like and sing along. I also brought the karaoke system from Japan itself.” explains Ghimire.


But Matsuri is not the only business he owns in Nepal, as Ghimire runs a pub called, ‘London Pub’.

Explaining the reason why he ended up opening a pub, Ghimire says, “I know it sounds weird when I have a restaurant called Tokyo and a pub named after London. I was not looking for a place to run a pub but when I saw this attic space open for sale, I knew I had to take it. Though I have not been to London yet, there is a very popular pub called ‘British Pub’ in Japan and I wanted to name my place the same. But since there was already a place named after it, I came up with the name ‘London pub’.”


London Pub 
Photo: Prasan Gurung/ NepalNews
London Pub Photo: Prasan Gurung/ NepalNews

The vibes at London Pub makes you feel like you’re in a foreign country. The dim light, big space, no windows and live music playing in the background makes one feel like they are not in Nepal at all.

Ghimire calls Nepal a land of opportunities. He believes that while the developed countries already have what they need, there is always something Nepal is in need of.


“It is sad to see many young adults leaving the country in hopes to do better and earn more. But for a person who has been living abroad and doing business in Japan for a decade now, I believe Nepal has a lot of opportunities. There is always something we can do here.” explains Ghimire.


Customers of Tokyo Matsuri 
Photo: Prasan Gurung/NepalNews
Customers of Tokyo Matsuri Photo: Prasan Gurung/NepalNews

“People nowadays hope for instant money but talking with experience it takes time to earn real money, I did not get a lot of customers the minute I opened my restaurant, but gradually people loved the food and now we have a lot of regular customers,” he adds.

As things are running well for both of the places, Ghimire has also opened a clothing store located at 1 Durbar Mall in Durbar Marg called ‘Transit’ which is in the middle of Matsuri and London Pub.

“The name ‘Transit’ just felt right to me as if it is in the middle of the pub and the restaurant.” says Ghimire.


READ ALSO:

restaurants nepal Cuisines Taste culture Japan Tokyo Matsuri Durbar Marg Japanese cuisine London Pub 1 Durbar Mall Japanese dress Kimono
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