Cafe Chez Andre du Sacre-Coeur カフェ シェ・アンドレ ドゥ・サクレクール
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My name is Laurence Masukawa. Paris is my home town and I was raised near Montmartre. My grand-mother Germaine had a café, rue de Steinkerque. She often spoke about Japan and her dream was to see Mount Fuji and the famous cherry blossoms. She described Japan so well that I also felt like visiting this far away country one day.

As a teenager, I first discovered Japan through art exhibitions and often listened to Japanese traditional music. Then the opportunity came to learn Japanese at my business school EM Lyon in France.
That is when my Japanese journey began. I first visited Tokyo in 1989 as an intern working in the fashion business. My coworkers and the President of Daiai were so helpful, always explaining Japanese customs and culture as I hardly spoke any Japanese. I went back to Japan a year later, this time working for a traditional Japanese firm, Mitsui Petrochemical Industries. That was a wonderful 3-month stay. My language skills improved drastically and went on improving when I entered Waseda university in 1991 for a one-year exchange program.
After these three stays, I began to speak Japanese at last. I am so grateful to the Japanese people I met in all places. They have been fabulous teachers. Thanks to them, I fell in love with Japan!

I then started my career in consulting and had the privilege of working at S.E.R.I.C in Kojimachi. This company works on behalf of many French companies in several industries. I also worked at J.D. Power Asia Pacific, an American company close to Ningyocho.
It was at that time that I discovered Shochikuan, a Japanese soba (noodle) restaurant near my work place. I really like this Japanese specialty and I came to know Yoshio, the son of the proprietor. He was a very earnest young man. Never have I imagined that such a meeting would result in our wedding in 1998. So, I left the world of consulting to go back to my roots. I worked for quite a few years at the soba restaurant. The years spent there were so precious to me; it was there that I learned my craft! As a result, Chez André du Sacré Coeur was created in 2008 in Ningyocho.
I must thank my family both French and Japanese, the people living in Ningyocho as well as the customers of Shochikuan and Chez André. Without them, none of this would have been possible. Thank you so much! Yoshio and I look forward to seeing you here again at our café!


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