Asian/Japanese Culture in Minneapolis/St. Paul?
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19 / M / Long Island, NY
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Posted 2/24/13
Hey Everyone,

I'm fairly certain I will be attending the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities this fall but I still had a few questions since I'm from New York and not familiar with the area. Obviously I will meet more Asians being in the College of Science and Engineering but I was wondering how Asians are represented in the cities. I'm very interested in Asian culture and will most likely be minoring in Japanese. Are there ramen shops or traditional japanese restaurants in the surrounding area/nearby campus? How about manga shops? (less likely, but its worth a shot). I will be joining the University's Manga Anime Society, however I'm trying to find a slice of that culture in the city itself. In general, how are Asians represented in the city? (Chinese, Korean, Japanese) Can students of the backgrounds be easily found on campus and elsewhere? Thanks for your input everyone!


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Posted 2/24/13 , edited 2/24/13
I lived there 7 years ago and Hudson, Wisconsin after that so things might have changed. I honestly can't say much about Japanese culture. I know there are Japanese culture groups that get together. It's like any big city food wise, I don't know what you're expecting but there is no strictly "Little Japan"-like area. I spent most of my time, myself a Korean, with other Koreans. There are a lot of Koreans there, a lot of adopted ones too. So you can expect a decent amount of Korean heritage and culture stuff around if you go looking for it. You'll also probably see some Hmong. Asians in general were more prevalent there than say upstate NY and PA, but they're still less than 5% of the Minneapolis population. Mall of America attracts lots of tourists from all over the world.

Yes you'll see Asian people. Yes there are Japanese culture clubs and places of interest. Don't expect it to be a haven of Asian people. It's like any other big city, except with maybe a bit more Mid-West politeness. I'm not trying to be rude, but really google and asking people you meet there will give you a much better answer than the forums of crunchyroll can. I mean literally wikipedia gives a demographics break down. Google or urbanspoon or whatever can find you restaurants, hertigate sites, and cultural activities.
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19 / M / Long Island, NY
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Posted 2/24/13

shinlot wrote:



Thanks for your input shinlot! I will probably ask around when I visit the University in a few weeks. I just wanted a little insight before I actually head over there. I didn't know there were many Koreans there, its kinda a relief (in my high school there are plenty of Koreans and a lot of them are in my social circle). The only big city I've been to is NYC so I figured that would have more Asian culture if you look for it than most places considering the size and diversity, at least I'll still be able to get some Japanese food and maybe some Korean BBQ in Minneapolis if I search for it. If you don't mind me asking, were you a student at a University there?
Posted 2/24/13
Idk. Never been farther north than Missouri.
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32 / M / MN
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Posted 2/24/13
I live in the Southern Burbs.

Sorry there are no dedicated Anime/Magna shops in the cities there are a few comic shops that sell them, but I'm not sure how much they actually carry. As the only one I can think of is called "The Source Comic and Games". It's not particularly close to the U, but you can catch a bus there fairly easily (I bet).

There is a very large Hmong population in St Paul and to a lesser extent in MPLS. As far as Chinese, Korean or Japanese cultural areas not that I'm aware of, but there may be.

There are a fair number of good Japanese restaurants in the area, I'm not sure what constitutes a traditional restaurant, but they have good food, sushi bars and are cool places IMO. I don't hang out near the U so I'm not sure whats there.

I'm not huge in the anime culture here, but I know there are some activities. There are a few conventions that happen here the largest being Anime Detour. The group that puts that on has a monthly anime movie screening at a independent theater. They post it on their facebook page usually a week or so before it happens.

http://www.animedetour.com/
https://www.facebook.com/AnimeDetour

If you have any further questions/clarification I'd be happy to answer them.
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24 / M / Dongducheon, Korea
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Posted 2/24/13
Hey,

I'm from MN and the previous two posters are correct- there is a large Hmong presence in MN. While I went to UW-Madison, several of my good friends of course went to the U of MN. I'd love to be able to speak more knowledgably about it, but in truth I would be as much help as about anyone. I could better vouch for the anime/manga/etc scene of Wisconsin than my own state, being that my interest really didn't take off until I left. If you do want any information about great restaurants, though, I can definitely help you there! haha
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19 / M / Long Island, NY
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Posted 2/25/13

mamertine wrote:





Thanks for the info mamertine! Glad to hear there are some good restaurants around. So I assume there aren't really any dedicated Ramen Shops like I see in NYC (Totoro Ramen,Ramen Takumi, etc)? Do you have to be 21+ to get into the sushi bars or is it accessible to those just looking for some sushi? I haven't really heard of Hmong people before to be honest, but I assume their culture is entirely different than Japanese and Korean culture, ah well.

I think its cool that there are some attractions like Anime Detour, I wouldn't dress up or anything but it would be something fun to experience visiting. Having an anime movie night is also a great idea to bring fans together, that would definitely be worth exploring.

Anyways, your post really helped me get a feel for what I can expect, thanks so much!
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32 / M / MN
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Posted 2/25/13
The sushi bars I've been to are all restaurants that have a sushi bar. I doubt they care about the age of the person eating sushi. I have not found a dedicated ramen shop. I've been researching that a bit also see links below. If someone has first hand experience with these I'd like to know. In rereading these, several are by the U, which is good for you, but I generally avoid that part of town as it's a pain for me to get there.

Yes Hmong culture is quite different from Japanese or Korean.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/684652#7540315
http://heavytable.com/twin-cities-ramen/
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19 / M / Hinamizawa
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Posted 2/25/13
:Hey, I might be going to there as well
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25 / M / Bonne Lake, WA
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Posted 2/25/13
Midwest is quite different than the coasts. Cities are smaller, and surrounded by a highway that encircles the 'inner city' and about 5-7 miles of urban sprawl met suddenly with farmland just past that.

Sushi bars rarely serve alcohol. the term is used simply to set apart the fact that they have a dedicated sushi chef in the kitchen. usually they have them up in front on the counter bar with a display cooler of the fish so you can watch the chef at work. Knew a guy that had this great dessert, was an orange sitting in it's peel, cold, with ice cold sake from the freezer drizzled over top.

Just remember that they only need a license to sell alcohol, but it's not necessary to share a drink with a friend
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19 / M / Long Island, NY
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Posted 2/25/13 , edited 2/25/13
Oh okay, yeah I wasn't actually too sure what was meant by the term "Sushi Bar". I'm still kinda new to this scene and am just beginning to explore it.

Again, thanks for the links mamertine, really helpful.

Metalsmith, thanks for the info on midwest cities, I wasn't particularly sure how they operate compared to what I'm used to. Thanks for the other pointers as well :)

Rena-Ryuuguu: Really? Awesome, maybe we should meet sometime if we both end up there. Have you joined the Class of 2017 Facebook group?

http://www.facebook.com/groups/292051500896312/
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32 / M / MN
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Posted 2/27/13
You seemed a bit hung up on the Ramen and this was in the paper today.
http://www.twincities.com/entertainment/ci_22678709
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19 / M / Long Island, NY
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Posted 2/28/13
How convenient that an article was just published now! Thanks for the link, very useful stuff. I'll keep that in mind for when I visit in the coming month.
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Posted 9/11/13
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