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7 Cities Outside of Asia With Strong Asian Representation

Here are some of our favorite Asian neighborhoods in the world where Eastern tradition meets Western influence, to incredible effect.

1 December 2021

Asian representation outside of Asia is at an all-time historical high, and you can see it most anywhere in the world. Asian communities abound in places like America, Canada, and Europe, and serve as an all-important pillar for the local Asian diaspora. From historic settlements that have withstood the test of time to up-and-coming hipster hubs, here are some of our favorite Asian neighborhoods in the world where Eastern tradition meets Western influence, to incredible effect. 

San Francisco  

san francisco chinatown

Boasting both the oldest Chinatown and the largest Japantown in North America, it’s no surprise that San Francisco is at the top of the list. More than a third of this tech-savvy city identifies as Asian, due to a huge influx of Chinese immigration back in the mid-19th century during the California Gold Rush, which laid the foundations for its East Asian community today. 

 

London 

london chinatown

Lots of cities in the world have Chinatowns, but none are quite as iconic as this one! Located right in the heart of bustling Soho, this beautiful red lantern-adorned enclave has over 100 authentic restaurants to choose from, and it’s just a stone’s throw from some of London’s most famous attractions, like The National Museum and Piccadilly Circus. It also hosts an incredible Chinese New Year’s celebration every year that’s not to be missed.  

 

Hawaii 

hawaii

The Aloha state actually holds the distinction of being the only Asian-American plurality in the US, with communities representing Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino, and even Okinawan ethnic groups. In fact, Honolulu's Chinatown is one of the oldest in the country, and a fascinating historical area to explore away from the beaches. 

 

Victoria 

victoria fan tan alley

Similarly to San Francisco, Victoria’s Chinatown was founded over 150 years ago, after Chinese immigrants made their way out west to work in goldfields and help build the Canadian Pacific Railway. What truly sets this neighborhood apart are its charmingly narrow lanes and alleys, which are perfect for wandering and window-shopping. Victoria’s Fan Tan Alley has even been used as a filming location for major Hollywood movies. 

 

Toronto 

toronto

Canada’s biggest city is also recognized as the most multicultural city in the world, and that means you’ll find a diverse mix of nationalities here – including almost every part of Asia imaginable. Toronto has an eye-popping six Chinatowns, not to mention the fashionable hub of Koreatown and emerging Little Tokyo district. There are even events aimed at showcasing Asian culture, like the Reel Asian Film Festival and AsialiciousTO, a new food festival launched this year. 

 

Paris 

paris

For authentic sake and other Japanese delicacies, head to the Japanese heart of Paris, also known as Tokyo-sur-Seine. Located on Rue Saint Anne, between the Louvre and the Opéra Garnier, it’s home to many Japanese restaurants, bookshops and patisseries – and boasts the best ramen in the city. You can also check out the Quartier Asiatique, which is the cultural centre for the city’s Asian residents, including Laotian, Vietnamese, and Cambodian populations. 

 

Los Angeles 

LA koreatown

Head to the heart of Los Angeles to find “the best Koreatown outside of Korea.” This super-trendy neighborhood has everything from budget eateries to hip cocktail bars, and of course, noraebang and barbecue joints galore. Los Angeles is also home to one of only three official Japantowns in the US, and a Chinatown, which houses Bruce Lee’s old martial arts studio. 

london chinatown
london chinatown

7 Cities Outside of Asia With

Strong Asian Representation
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