Konnichiwa! Celebrating Japanese culture in Brisbane

Do you want to feel like you're in the back streets of Tokyo or walking through one of Kyoto's beautiful gardens? Well, leave your passport at home because we've put together a list of Brisbane's best Japanese spots to explore for your next day or night out. From traditional Japanese cuisine to picturesque gardens, we've got you covered!

Mountain River Patisserie, Runcorn

Located just a short drive from the hustle and bustle of the Brisbane CBD, Mountain River Patisserie in Runcorn is the perfect place to pick up a sweet treat. Operated by a husband-and-wife team since 2017, their new location and dog-friendly cafe has something for everyone, from Hokkaido cheesecakes to 'so fresh they're still warm' onigiri (Japanese rice balls).

Sushi Kotobuki, East Brisbane

In the riverfront suburb of East Brisbane, you'll find your new go to sushi spot at Sushi Kotobuki. Just across the road from Mowbray Park, they boast an expansive menu of authentic Japanese cuisine. From their mouth-watering, spicy karaage don rice bowl (deep-fried chicken and salad with a spicy sauce and mayo) to their hand-rolled, cone-shaped temaki rolls, you're sure to find a new favourite!

Yoko Dining, Brisbane City

Itadakimasu! If you've ever spent an evening in Tokyo's music bars, you'll feel right at home at Yoko Dining at Howard Smith Wharves, Brisbane City. This split-level restaurant delivers a modern take on izakaya dining which is best enjoyed with a group of friends. Start your night in the upstairs area enjoying specialty cocktails or yuzu slushies, before making your way downstairs to sample menu favourites including grilled prawns and kombu butter, market fish on the hibachi grill, or the umani-packed, salted caramel miso soft serve for dessert!

Shunsai, East Brisbane

This unassuming restaurant tucked away in East Brisbane earns its acclaim with an ever-changing menu reflecting seasonal ingredients in a pocket-sized venue. The 18-seat Shunsai eatery is best enjoyed from the bar seating overlooking the kitchen where you can watch Chef Shun Mori work his magic creating a true kaiseiki (a Japanese meal with a selection of small courses) experience. 

DIY Japanese cuisine

If your wanting to try your hand at making your own Japanese-inspired meal, borrow a cookbook from your local Council library and embrace your own Iron Chef. You can grab all the ingredients you need from one of three Genki Marts across Brisbane. Genki Marts have one of the biggest and best ranges of Japanese groceries in Australia.

Hanasho Florist

Experience true artistry with a visit to Hanasho Florist in West End. With pendant lights swaying from the ceiling, gift items suspended above your, twig sculptures, and a maneki neko beckoning you inside, Hanasho is a world unto itself. But the true masterpiece is their expertly-crafted flower art. Their floral arrangements are a perfect gift for a loved one, or a great way to take your next event to a whole new level.

Japanese Garden and Bonsai House, Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha

Step into another world as you walk through the Japanese Garden in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha. Originally built as part of the Japanese Pavilion at World Expo '88, the garden was gifted to the people of Brisbane and opened in February 1989. The sprawling garden contains a combination of native and exotic plants suited to Brisbane's unique climate. With single-trunked trees leaning over the garden's water features and pathways, it is unlike anything else in Brisbane. Designed by one of Japan's leading landscape architects, the late Kenzo Ogata, the theme of the garden is tsuki-yama-chisen or 'mountain-pond-stream' and features the key elements of stone, water, arbours, paths, vegetation and ornaments.

Kazuyo's Collection

Explore some of Brisbane's most stunning Japanese art at Kasuyo's Collection in West End. This store offers a range of high quality, handmade, Japanese homewares and gifts that are perfect for any occasion and all at an affordable price. If you're looking to get involved and make your own art, take part in their Stitch, it's Tuesday events witht he local community stitch club at their store.

QAGOMA exhibitions

Take some time to experience Japanese art at QAGOMA. Book to visit Chiharu Shiota's, The Soul Trembles exhibition, which is on until 3 October 2022. The exhibition highlights a quarter of a century of Shiota's art and is the biggest solo exhibition of her work to date. 

Zombster

If you have a love of all things anime and manga, head down to Zombster in Oxley to browse their extensive range. Zombsters is Brisbane's number one source of anime and manga and the perfect spot to pick up favourites like One Piece or Attack on Titan.

Jacorey Sando and Dessert

One of Fortitude Valley's newest cafe and dessert hotspots, Jacorey Sando and Dessert is a flavour explosion for your tastebuds. With quick and friendly service in a relaxed atmosphere, Jacorey gives your the chance to escape the rat race as you enjoy one of their signature ice cream lattes and/or their Japanese Sando (teriyaki chicken and mushroom sandwich).

Don't stop exploring!

There is always more to see and do in Brisbane and this list is not expansive. To keep exploring, jump on the Brisbane app to find your next adventure.

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Editor's note: The featured content in Brisbane Explore is created to inspire residents and visitors to plan a day out exploring Brisbane and to buy local as part of the city's Economic Recovery Plan. Brisbane City Council disclaims any relationship with, or endorsement of, businesses featured in this video.

Come back regularly to check for new and updated content and don't forget to share your favourite places on Instagram using #Brisbetter!

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