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Places in Malaysia That Look Like Oversea: Discover These 11 Places That Will Remind You of Japan

04 Jan 2022
Top 11 Legitimately Awesome Places in Malaysia That Will Remind You of Japan

JONETZ by DON DON DONKI

Image Credit: Dondondonki Official Website

Don Don Don..Do-onki~ oops sorry, just got carried away 😳. I mean who visits Japan without visiting Don Quijote (Donki)🤷‍♂️. The one we have in Lot 10, Bukit Bintang, is exactly the same as those that they have in Japan! Okay, for those who are clueless, Don Quijote (Donki) is a famous discount store chain in Japan, known for its loud marketing and variety of goods. On 19 March 2021, it was marketed in Malaysia as JONETZ by DON DON DONKI. The “JONETZ” in the name comes from Jonetsu Kakaku, which means “passionate price” referring to the affordability of the price in the store.

Image credit: kwiknews.com.my

Upon entering the 3-storeys store, you will be greeted by the Donki theme song in English and Bahasa Malaysia versions! The tune is catchy and is known to stick to people's minds as they repeat it a lot, like...in an infinity loop. The interior is basically IKEA no.2 but fancier as you will be trapped in a maze of Japanese household products and food! You will see price labels which basically scream “DISCOUNT❗🔥” (even though there is no discount because they are..big) throughout the store. The prices of the products here are slightly pricier than in Japan. But surprisingly, you can also find items that are cheaper than DAISO!

Image credit: Eat Pray Love Facebook Official Page

Other than groceries and all the other supermarket goods, Donki also has ready-made food like sushi, bento, Japanese desserts and many more. They also brought their famous steamed sweet potatoes here all the way from Japan! (But of course, they steam them here-lah) This is one of the most authentic Japanese experiences that you can experience in Malaysia!

  • 📍 Ground Floor, Lot 10, Shopping Centre, G8-G11, 50, Jln Sultan Ismail, Bukit Bintang, 50250 Kuala Lumpur.

JONETZ by DON DON DONKI

Image Credit: Dondondonki Official Website

Don Don Don..Do-onki~ oops sorry, just got carried away 😳. I mean who visits Japan without visiting Don Quijote (Donki)🤷‍♂️. The one we have in Lot 10, Bukit Bintang, is exactly the same as those that they have in Japan! Okay, for those who are clueless, Don Quijote (Donki) is a famous discount store chain in Japan, known for its loud marketing and variety of goods. On 19 March 2021, it was marketed in Malaysia as JONETZ by DON DON DONKI. The “JONETZ” in the name comes from Jonetsu Kakaku, which means “passionate price” referring to the affordability of the price in the store.

Image credit: kwiknews.com.my

Upon entering the 3-storeys store, you will be greeted by the Donki theme song in English and Bahasa Malaysia versions! The tune is catchy and is known to stick to people's minds as they repeat it a lot, like...in an infinity loop. The interior is basically IKEA no.2 but fancier as you will be trapped in a maze of Japanese household products and food! You will see price labels which basically scream “DISCOUNT❗🔥” (even though there is no discount because they are..big) throughout the store. The prices of the products here are slightly pricier than in Japan. But surprisingly, you can also find items that are cheaper than DAISO!

Image credit: Eat Pray Love Facebook Official Page

Other than groceries and all the other supermarket goods, Donki also has ready-made food like sushi, bento, Japanese desserts and many more. They also brought their famous steamed sweet potatoes here all the way from Japan! (But of course, they steam them here-lah) This is one of the most authentic Japanese experiences that you can experience in Malaysia!

  • 📍 Ground Floor, Lot 10, Shopping Centre, G8-G11, 50, Jln Sultan Ismail, Bukit Bintang, 50250 Kuala Lumpur.

Kogetsu, The Saujana Hotel

Image Credit: Timechew.net

Kaiseki lunch overlooking a lake anyone? This restaurant is made to resemble a traditional Japanese tea house from its roof to its lanterns, to its tatami room. You will definitely feel like you are in the ancient capital of Japan, Kyoto! They don't serve pork and many Muslims have dined here. They also have a selection of Japanese liquors which are served separately. You can walk around the Saujana Hotel vicinity and enjoy the surrounding view after the meal.

  • 📍 Persiaran Golf, Saujana, 40150 Shah Alam, Selangor

Kogetsu, The Saujana Hotel

Image Credit: Timechew.net

Kaiseki lunch overlooking a lake anyone? This restaurant is made to resemble a traditional Japanese tea house from its roof to its lanterns, to its tatami room. You will definitely feel like you are in the ancient capital of Japan, Kyoto! They don't serve pork and many Muslims have dined here. They also have a selection of Japanese liquors which are served separately. You can walk around the Saujana Hotel vicinity and enjoy the surrounding view after the meal.

  • 📍 Persiaran Golf, Saujana, 40150 Shah Alam, Selangor

Selangor - Japan Friendship Garden

Image Credit: @mayonadz instagram

Klang Valley folks are lucky as this Japanese garden in Shah Alam is one of the closest places to what a Japanese garden looks like. The garden was built as an expression of appreciation to Japan which has remained as one of Selangor’s most loyal and longest investors.

Image credit: @atiyahmsdk instagram

The entrance is currently free and there's a Japanese traditional clothing rental shop inside (for those who want to feel like they are really in Japan). Once you stepped into the garden, you will be showered with luxuriant greenery combined with natural elements, like the Zen Space, Maze Pond, Torii Gate, Reflexology Space, Stone Basin, and Terrace Space. There is also a part of the garden that is made to look like the famous bamboo forest in Arashiyama (Kyoto 🎍vibe anyone?).

Image credit: @nuar_yusli instagram

The park is open daily from 10am to 7pm and is a good choice of picnic spot for people planning to relax and spend time with their family and friends while being out in nature.

P.S: This garden is located next to the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Mosque.

  • 📍 Persiaran Bandar Raya, Seksyen 14, 40000 Shah Alam, Selangor

Selangor - Japan Friendship Garden

Image Credit: @mayonadz instagram

Klang Valley folks are lucky as this Japanese garden in Shah Alam is one of the closest places to what a Japanese garden looks like. The garden was built as an expression of appreciation to Japan which has remained as one of Selangor’s most loyal and longest investors.

Image credit: @atiyahmsdk instagram

The entrance is currently free and there's a Japanese traditional clothing rental shop inside (for those who want to feel like they are really in Japan). Once you stepped into the garden, you will be showered with luxuriant greenery combined with natural elements, like the Zen Space, Maze Pond, Torii Gate, Reflexology Space, Stone Basin, and Terrace Space. There is also a part of the garden that is made to look like the famous bamboo forest in Arashiyama (Kyoto 🎍vibe anyone?).

Image credit: @nuar_yusli instagram

The park is open daily from 10am to 7pm and is a good choice of picnic spot for people planning to relax and spend time with their family and friends while being out in nature.

P.S: This garden is located next to the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Mosque.

  • 📍 Persiaran Bandar Raya, Seksyen 14, 40000 Shah Alam, Selangor

Jalan Jalan Japan

Image Credit: focusmalaysia.my

If you have been to Japan, you probably would have heard of Book-Off. For those who have not, it is basically Japan’s largest thrift store chain and now, they have opened not 1 or 2 but 8 branches in Malaysia! Branded as Jalan Jalan Japan (JJJ) here, they carry preloved and 2nd hand goods, all the way from Japan. Hey! Don’t look down on these preloved goods ok! As they are all in good conditions and if you are lucky, you might find some hidden gems like some vintage collections or limited-edition sneakers, who knows 🤷‍♀️.

Image credit: sugoidays.com

Prices start from as cheap as RM1. The stores carry goods that Japanese people sold off as 2nd hand items to Book-Off such as soft toys, baby wares, sports equipment, cutleries, figures and even things that you usually won’t be able to find in Malaysia like surfboards, Kimono and Koto! (a type of stringed Japanese traditional music instrument) Oftentimes, you will be able to find something that is new in condition, still wrapped within its original packaging.

Image credit: sugoidays.com

If you want to get a feel of how it feels like to shop in Japan, this is the place! Plus, you get to fill your wardrobe with Japanese fashion without breaking your bank! (Men can bring their wives here without maxing their cards 😏)

Jalan Jalan Japan

Image Credit: focusmalaysia.my

If you have been to Japan, you probably would have heard of Book-Off. For those who have not, it is basically Japan’s largest thrift store chain and now, they have opened not 1 or 2 but 8 branches in Malaysia! Branded as Jalan Jalan Japan (JJJ) here, they carry preloved and 2nd hand goods, all the way from Japan. Hey! Don’t look down on these preloved goods ok! As they are all in good conditions and if you are lucky, you might find some hidden gems like some vintage collections or limited-edition sneakers, who knows 🤷‍♀️.

Image credit: sugoidays.com

Prices start from as cheap as RM1. The stores carry goods that Japanese people sold off as 2nd hand items to Book-Off such as soft toys, baby wares, sports equipment, cutleries, figures and even things that you usually won’t be able to find in Malaysia like surfboards, Kimono and Koto! (a type of stringed Japanese traditional music instrument) Oftentimes, you will be able to find something that is new in condition, still wrapped within its original packaging.

Image credit: sugoidays.com

If you want to get a feel of how it feels like to shop in Japan, this is the place! Plus, you get to fill your wardrobe with Japanese fashion without breaking your bank! (Men can bring their wives here without maxing their cards 😏)

Capsule Hotels

Image Credit: muslimtravelbug.com

There are a variety of capsule hotels here in Malaysia, which means we don’t have to fly all the way to Japan just to experience it!

Image credit: @krisgoman instagram

If you want to experience something futuristic and Star Trek-ish, IO hotel is it.

Image credit: klia2.info

Here is another special one if you want to experience how it feels like sleeping in a mini container at Capsule Transit Airport Hotel @ KLIA

Capsule Hotels

Image Credit: muslimtravelbug.com

There are a variety of capsule hotels here in Malaysia, which means we don’t have to fly all the way to Japan just to experience it!

Image credit: @krisgoman instagram

If you want to experience something futuristic and Star Trek-ish, IO hotel is it.

Image credit: klia2.info

Here is another special one if you want to experience how it feels like sleeping in a mini container at Capsule Transit Airport Hotel @ KLIA

The Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur Library (JFKL Library)

Image Credit: missklsingapore.com

This is a hidden gem in Klang Valley (if you like hidden gems, check out our 13 Hidden Gems in Langkawi) that many people don’t know about plus, the entrance is free! It is a library with Japanese language books and books about Japan in English. Anyone can enter the library for free but if you want to borrow some of the books there, you will have to apply for membership and pay a small fee for that (if everything is free they will end up eating sand lol). The same goes for materials like CDs and DVDs which are to be enjoyed in the library itself.

Image credit: missklsingapore.com

The library itself is cosy and has several reading corners where you can sit comfortably and read. Japanese parents are often seen bringing their children for a visit during weekends. Some of the books available here are children’s storybooks, travel books, Japanese language textbooks, novels and many more. There is also a tatami mat corner with pillows where you can sit and enjoy your manga (alert for otaku!).

  • 📍 18th Floor, Block B, Northpoint, No. 1, Medan Syed Putra Selatan, 59200 Kuala Lumpur. (Adjacent to Mid Valley Megamall)

The Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur Library (JFKL Library)

Image Credit: missklsingapore.com

This is a hidden gem in Klang Valley (if you like hidden gems, check out our 13 Hidden Gems in Langkawi) that many people don’t know about plus, the entrance is free! It is a library with Japanese language books and books about Japan in English. Anyone can enter the library for free but if you want to borrow some of the books there, you will have to apply for membership and pay a small fee for that (if everything is free they will end up eating sand lol). The same goes for materials like CDs and DVDs which are to be enjoyed in the library itself.

Image credit: missklsingapore.com

The library itself is cosy and has several reading corners where you can sit comfortably and read. Japanese parents are often seen bringing their children for a visit during weekends. Some of the books available here are children’s storybooks, travel books, Japanese language textbooks, novels and many more. There is also a tatami mat corner with pillows where you can sit and enjoy your manga (alert for otaku!).

  • 📍 18th Floor, Block B, Northpoint, No. 1, Medan Syed Putra Selatan, 59200 Kuala Lumpur. (Adjacent to Mid Valley Megamall)

Tokyo Street @ Pavilion

Image Credit: nst.com.my

Located on the 6th floor of the Pavilion Mall, this place carries a few restaurants that serve authentic Japanese food and shops with imported Japanese goods. Upon ascending the escalator to the 6th floor, you will be hit with a pang of nostalgia upon seeing the red giant lantern (Asakusa Shrine anyone?). You will then be greeted by traditional Japanese shop lots made to resemble shopping streets in Japan.

Image credit: @ugy3np7 instagram

Some of the shops here have rare stuff from japan like Marimo moss balls, local products from Yamanashi, Hokkaido Ramen and many more. This is a very much recommended indoor shopping space if you want to take a bite on some sweet Taiyaki, coupled with a cup of fragrant matcha while shopping for the latest Japanese fashion. Even if you got nothing to buy, this is still a nice place to walk around and discover imported goods from Japan.

  • 📍 6th Floor, Bukit Bintang St, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.

Tokyo Street @ Pavilion

Image Credit: nst.com.my

Located on the 6th floor of the Pavilion Mall, this place carries a few restaurants that serve authentic Japanese food and shops with imported Japanese goods. Upon ascending the escalator to the 6th floor, you will be hit with a pang of nostalgia upon seeing the red giant lantern (Asakusa Shrine anyone?). You will then be greeted by traditional Japanese shop lots made to resemble shopping streets in Japan.

Image credit: @ugy3np7 instagram

Some of the shops here have rare stuff from japan like Marimo moss balls, local products from Yamanashi, Hokkaido Ramen and many more. This is a very much recommended indoor shopping space if you want to take a bite on some sweet Taiyaki, coupled with a cup of fragrant matcha while shopping for the latest Japanese fashion. Even if you got nothing to buy, this is still a nice place to walk around and discover imported goods from Japan.

  • 📍 6th Floor, Bukit Bintang St, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.

Lot 10 Shopping Centre


Image credit: @xxxcindyc instagram

On the top floor lies the J's Gate Dining, where you can find some of Japan's best specialty restaurants. Not to mention, there is also an array of Japanese restaurants that offer you a premium dining experience called 4F The Table (4F NOT F4👨‍🦱👨‍🦱👨‍🦱👨‍🦱 OK!!).

  • 📍 Lot 10 Shopping Center, 50, Jln Sultan Ismail, Bukit Bintang, 50250 Kuala Lumpur.

Lot 10 Shopping Centre


Image credit: @xxxcindyc instagram

On the top floor lies the J's Gate Dining, where you can find some of Japan's best specialty restaurants. Not to mention, there is also an array of Japanese restaurants that offer you a premium dining experience called 4F The Table (4F NOT F4👨‍🦱👨‍🦱👨‍🦱👨‍🦱 OK!!).

  • 📍 Lot 10 Shopping Center, 50, Jln Sultan Ismail, Bukit Bintang, 50250 Kuala Lumpur.

Fujiwara Tofa Shop (Ipoh)

Image Credit: @victoria_jonyin

Not even kidding, this is the actual name of the shop😂. If you think you can bump into a Toyota AE86 then yes you can! (But no Jay Chou😢) If you are thinking of test driving it, then we are sorry to disappoint you (again) because the car is heavily guarded by stanchion posts. There are also other race cars parked near the shop for visitors to take photos with.

Image credit: @leeminghong.madman instagram

This cafe has tau foo fah and soy milk (not sure if they are fetched by Toyota AE86 or not) and people can dine in it while fawning over the toy car collections on display. Other than soy-based food and drinks, they also have local delights like chicken rice, laksa, nyonya kuih and so on! This cafe serves no pork, no lard and no alcohol.

With the black and white manga drawings on the walls, you will definitely feel like you are living in the world of Initial-D. They also have a branch in Subang Jaya which looks almost identical to the one in the Initial-D movie!

Image credit: tofushopmalaysia Facebook Page

  • 📍 Palo 101 Lot 189-E, Jalan Sultan Iskandar, 30000 Ipoh, Perak

Fujiwara Tofa Shop (Ipoh)

Image Credit: @victoria_jonyin

Not even kidding, this is the actual name of the shop😂. If you think you can bump into a Toyota AE86 then yes you can! (But no Jay Chou😢) If you are thinking of test driving it, then we are sorry to disappoint you (again) because the car is heavily guarded by stanchion posts. There are also other race cars parked near the shop for visitors to take photos with.

Image credit: @leeminghong.madman instagram

This cafe has tau foo fah and soy milk (not sure if they are fetched by Toyota AE86 or not) and people can dine in it while fawning over the toy car collections on display. Other than soy-based food and drinks, they also have local delights like chicken rice, laksa, nyonya kuih and so on! This cafe serves no pork, no lard and no alcohol.

With the black and white manga drawings on the walls, you will definitely feel like you are living in the world of Initial-D. They also have a branch in Subang Jaya which looks almost identical to the one in the Initial-D movie!

Image credit: tofushopmalaysia Facebook Page

  • 📍 Palo 101 Lot 189-E, Jalan Sultan Iskandar, 30000 Ipoh, Perak

Ramen Bar Shishido

Image Credit: @yvonnesoo instagram

Fancy some ramen in a Japanese alleyway setting? This is exactly the place for it. It is so good that the restaurant is always full of people and queues are often sighted too! The set-up inside the restaurant itself, makes it looks like you are having your meal outside of the restaurant (confusing yet?😂).

Image credit: ramenbarshishido.com

You can choose the bar table for the authentic ramen shop feel whereby you get to observe the chefs prepare your bowl of ramen. However, if you are shy 😳 you can opt for tables that are in the middle or near the wall.

Image credit: @wafflewongg

Besides ramen, they also have tsukemen, rice bowls, hot pots, yakitori and even ramen burgers! (Really curious about this). So, if your girlfriend has difficulty deciding what to eat, just bring her here because they have a pretty extensive menu that covers all sorts of Japanese food. This restaurant is non-halal, so do not accidentally bring a Muslim friend here!

  • 📍 The Gasket Alley, 15-5 @, Jalan 13/6, Seksyen 13, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Ramen Bar Shishido

Image Credit: @yvonnesoo instagram

Fancy some ramen in a Japanese alleyway setting? This is exactly the place for it. It is so good that the restaurant is always full of people and queues are often sighted too! The set-up inside the restaurant itself, makes it looks like you are having your meal outside of the restaurant (confusing yet?😂).

Image credit: ramenbarshishido.com

You can choose the bar table for the authentic ramen shop feel whereby you get to observe the chefs prepare your bowl of ramen. However, if you are shy 😳 you can opt for tables that are in the middle or near the wall.

Image credit: @wafflewongg

Besides ramen, they also have tsukemen, rice bowls, hot pots, yakitori and even ramen burgers! (Really curious about this). So, if your girlfriend has difficulty deciding what to eat, just bring her here because they have a pretty extensive menu that covers all sorts of Japanese food. This restaurant is non-halal, so do not accidentally bring a Muslim friend here!

  • 📍 The Gasket Alley, 15-5 @, Jalan 13/6, Seksyen 13, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Urban Retreat Onsen Spa @163 Retail Park

Image Credit: @elizabeth_apple_lim instagram

Combining authentic traditional Japanese onsen culture with traditional body therapies, this is a new spa concept by Urban Retreat Spa. Here, you get to immerse in Japanese imported Onsen Spa Tub, which offers you the same experience as soaking in an authentic onsen in Japan! How cool is that!

Image credit: @elizabeth_apple_lim02

This is an indoor facility where you will be soaking in the wooden onsen tub with special salts and water temperatures that you can choose from. They even have up to 7 types of body scrubs for you to pick. If you are shy about exposing your birthday suit in front of many people, don’t worry because this spa offers a private room with a single person tub in it. The round tub goes for women, whereas the rectangle tub goes for men.

Image credit: klnow.com.my

After soaking would be a massage session in which you can choose the package that you want. Last but not least, you will be treated to a cup of refreshing tea and a slice of a yummy swiss roll! What a nice way to end a relaxing day.

  • 📍 Lot 2F, 163 Retail Park, 07, 8, Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.

If you like this blog post, we have another one on 8 Places in Malaysia That Look Like Europe that we believe you would want to check out.

Urban Retreat Onsen Spa @163 Retail Park

Image Credit: @elizabeth_apple_lim instagram

Combining authentic traditional Japanese onsen culture with traditional body therapies, this is a new spa concept by Urban Retreat Spa. Here, you get to immerse in Japanese imported Onsen Spa Tub, which offers you the same experience as soaking in an authentic onsen in Japan! How cool is that!

Image credit: @elizabeth_apple_lim02

This is an indoor facility where you will be soaking in the wooden onsen tub with special salts and water temperatures that you can choose from. They even have up to 7 types of body scrubs for you to pick. If you are shy about exposing your birthday suit in front of many people, don’t worry because this spa offers a private room with a single person tub in it. The round tub goes for women, whereas the rectangle tub goes for men.

Image credit: klnow.com.my

After soaking would be a massage session in which you can choose the package that you want. Last but not least, you will be treated to a cup of refreshing tea and a slice of a yummy swiss roll! What a nice way to end a relaxing day.

  • 📍 Lot 2F, 163 Retail Park, 07, 8, Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.

If you like this blog post, we have another one on 8 Places in Malaysia That Look Like Europe that we believe you would want to check out.


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