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Showing posts with label London. Show all posts
Showing posts with label London. Show all posts

Monday, April 06, 2009

London Sushi

Sushi Bar, Fortnum & Masonロンドン寿司

Sushi is chic in London. This is not exactly news, but a recent trip to the UK reconfirmed this.

Dipping an uncooked slice of glistening pink fish - finely cut into a bite-size piece - into soy sauce mixed with wasabi is now so common as to be nearly passe - and at Fortnum & Mason no less!

In the basement of the three hundred year-old high-end department store in Piccadilly was a long, elegant sushi bar. At 11 am, couples were throwing back glasses of chardonnay and tucking into thick pieces of maguro tuna.

A line of equally perfumed customers waited impatiently to be seated.

For those on a tighter budget, chain sushi restaurants abound on the average high street as well.

In Camden Town, not far from the canal and market, we found Hi Sushi Salsa.

We didn't have time to investigate further, but the "salsa" part intrigued.

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Friday, April 03, 2009

Uniqlo in London

london uniqloユニクロロンドン

The Japanese apparel company Uniqlo has moved overseas.

With stores now in the US, UK, France, China, South Korea, and Hong Kong, Japan's answer to the Gap is on its way to conquering the world, one $9.99 three-pack of all-cotton underwear at a time.

In London, Uniqlo has thirteen stores in the metropolitan area.

The flagship store is located on Oxford Street.

Uniqlo got its start in Hiroshima, with company president and founder Tadashi Yanai selling goods from the back of a truck. The first store opened there; now there are over 750 stores worldwide.

Yanai, one of Japan's richest men, is worth in the billions of dollars.

Recently, the group announced that German luxury fashion designer Jil Sander had agreed to join the company to oversee men's and women's fashion as a "creative advisor."

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Japan Centre London

Japan Centre, Londonジャパンセンター、ロンドン

Located in Piccadilly, central London, the Japan Centre serves the area's enormous Japanese community and those with an interest in Japan.

With nearly 100,000 Japanese nationals in the Greater London area, there is strong demand for the many products at the Japan Centre.

The shop has a large stock of books, magazines, origami, and a supermarket like supply of food and drink.

Prices are not cheap, but when you need instant ramen or a Japanese magazine, well, this is the place to go.

Home delivery is also possible.

Japan Centre
212-213 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9HX, UK
Tel: 0870-162-0255


Japan Centre is situated at 212-213 Piccadilly in the West End. Roughly one minute from the Piccadilly Circus underground station.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Japan in London 2


I've just got back from a few idyllic days in London away from the rain and humidity here in central Japan. I was staying in the Bloomsbury area of London near Russell Square, the British Museum and London University Senate Building.

The area has quite a Japanese influence, especially with the number of Japanese restaurants in the area catering to Japanese businessmen, tourists visiting the British Museum and students studying at the university.

Samurai Sushi & Bento Restaurant on Goodge Street is one such place but there are 3 or 4 other Japanese eateries within easy walking distance.

Samurai Japanese Restaurant, Goodge Street, London

Nearby University College London (UCL) also has a strong Japanese connection, as it was here in 1863 and 1865, that probably the first Japanese students to London came to study. Future Japanese Prime Minister Ito Hirobumi, along with Kaoru Inoue, Masaru Inoue and other Japanese students attended lectures at UCL and a plaque and stone monument records their visit. Many of these men returned home to play leading roles in the modernization of their country in the Meiji Period.

University College London Memorial Plaque

The Japanese Peace Pagoda on the south bank of the Thames in Battersea Park was built by Japanese monks and completed in 1985 under the guidance of Japanese peace activist Nichidatsu Fujii (1885-1985), the founder of the Nipponzan-Myohoji Buddhist Order. The first such Peace Pagoda in the UK was built in Milton Keynes in 1981.

Japanese Peace Pagoda, Battersea Park, London

Kew Gardens, in south west London, has the original hinoki gateway of the 1910 Japanese Exhibition at White City - the Chokushi Mon. The gate is a four-fifths replica of the gateway to Nishi Honganji Temple in Kyoto. The gate is set in a pleasant Japanese-style garden and nearby is a haiku carved in granite and donated by the Haiku Society of Japan in 1979 to commemorate the visit of haiku master Kyoshi Takahama (1874-1959) who was inspired to verse by his stay in Kew in 1936.

Even sparrows
Freed from all fear of man
England in Spring

Chokushi Mon, Kew Gardens, London

Books on Japanese History

Japanese Folding Fans

Japan in London #1


Monday, March 20, 2006

Japan in London


The Japanese Embassy in London, Green Park

Embassy of Japan
101-104 Piccadilly, London W1J 7JT
Green Park tube Station

The Japan Centre, Piccadilly, London

The Japan Centre
212 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9TG
Tel: 0207 287 1722
Piccadilly Circus tube station

The Rice Wine Shop

The Rice Wine Shop
82 Brewer Street, London, W1R 3PF
Tel: 0207 439 3705
Piccadilly Circus tube station

Japan Crescent, Crouch Hill, London

Japan Crescent, Crouch Hill, Islington, London N4
Finsbury Park Tube Station; Crouch Hill overground station

Japan in London #2

Books on Japan


Sunday, January 29, 2006

'Small Japan'


Sayonara Hotel, Naples I’m just back from almost two weeks in Europe: four days in the UK and the rest of the time in Italy: Rome, Naples and the Isle of Capri.

I traveled with a Japanese friend who was constantly delighted and somewhat amazed by the not-uncommon sight of a Japanese restaurant, a business that had adopted a Japanese name, or advertisements for Japanese companies. You can see here a sample of some of them: the ‘Taro’ Japanese restaurant in London, the ‘Hotel Sayonara’ in Naples, and, if you click here, the advertisements for TDK and Sanyo on London’s Piccadilly Circus electronic billboard – including the very impressive CocaCola ad.

Restaurant Taro, London I was almost as amazed at my friend’s amazement as he was amazed at the number of Japan references in Europe. He is cosmopolitan and well-traveled but, like most Japanese even still, has little idea of how big a player Japan is on the world stage. Japan’s self-image seems to have been forged in the nineteenth century as a ‘small country’ and, in spite of the huge leaps and bounds Japan has made since that time, frozen at that. Japanese will talk about their country as ‘small’ when in terms of both area and population it is much bigger than the UK, quite a bit bigger than Germany, and, even though smaller in area than France, with twice France’s population. And I doubt whether the first thing that comes into a British, French or German person’s mind is the ‘smallness’ of his or her country.

People often ask me here why I came to Japan, and I respond that I first developed an interest in the country when I was an elementary school student. ‘What? You knew about Japan so long ago? And in New Zealand?’ I simply answer ‘Yes’, and tell them that at least half our home appliances and the cars we went through had Japanese names, and that in popular culture Japan was by far the foremost country when it came to representing what was typically Asian.

Anyway, it was touching to see my friend as thrilled by the attention Japan was getting, and it was nice as well to get little reminders of ‘home’ here and there.

Budget Hotels - Italy
Budget Hotels - Japan