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he Sakura (cherry blossom) spring is one of the world’s most stunning ‘natural’ wonders, as blankets of iconic pale pink flowers fleetingly transform Japan’s towns, cities and countryside. This Easter, presenters Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and James Wong, will join hundreds of thousands of other travellers visiting Japan to indulge in ‘Hanami,’ or the national tradition of ‘flower watching’. As each follows their own Sakura stories, the trio will learn that the arrival of the blossom is not just a spectacle of nature. It has become one of Japan’s most important cultural moments, influencing the economy, tourism, and family tradition. The presenters will look back to the Sakura’s ancient origins and how the arrival of the blossom represented the fleeting beauty of nature and also human life.
For Chris Packham – the Sakura will be a chance to explore the wildlife that lives in harmony with the blossom;
· The Japanese white-eye has been perfectly designed to enjoy the cherry blossom and can be seen everywhere at this time of year. Chris goes in search of this tiny bird to explain just why it can live in such harmony with the Sakura.
· And with Hanami parties in full swing, he’ll encounter the illusive urban nightlife living in the city suburbs. These are the raccoon dogs, or Tanuki – who come out to feed on the party scraps.
For ethnobotanist James Wong, the trip is a chance to look at the amazing phenomenon of the trees themselves. James will:
· Learn that the most popular Sakura is unable to fertilise future generations of trees so all the blossom orchards are manmade.
· Travelling to Mount Yoshino, where 30,000 trees delight the annual visitors, James joins the group of dedicated Sakura gardeners who ensure the survival of the spectacle by planting new trees every year.
· And in Kyoto he meets one of the revered ‘Sakura’ doctors who dedicate their lives to keeping the trees healthy.
For Michaela Strachan, she will:
· Start in Tokyo where she meets the blossom bees. Pesticides are banned in the city, so the bees have access to clean nectar sources – particularly the Sakura.
· And with Hanami at the heart of the season, Michaela and Chris join revelers in one of Kyoto’s large parks to discover how different generations celebrate the Sakura, including the Japanese students celebrating the season in their own way.
This BBC Two one-hour “as-live” special will celebrate this spring blossom time, from the frenetic energy and consumerism of the city, to moments of tranquillity and serene beauty in the spiritual mountains of Yoshino as James Wong visits the ‘Pink Mountain’ – reputedly the best place in the world to see cherry blossom.
A THOUSAND CRANES http://athousandcranes.org.uk/
in association with artsdepot
The Little Mochi Man
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY VICKY IRELAND FOR CHILDREN AGED 4-7 AND THEIR FAMILIES
DESIGN BY MILA SANDERS MUSIC BY JULIAN BUTLER
HARUKA KURODA AND NATSUMI KURODA
Join little Mochi Man on his adventures as he travels from the snowy mountains of Hokkaido, to the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.
Inspired by the traditions of Shogatsu (Japanese New Year celebrations) and with ‘origami’ puppets, animation and especially composed music, this is the perfect introduction to Japan for young children.
The Little Mochi Man is performed by CBeebies and CBBC regular Haruka Kuroda and Natsumi Kuroda, written and directed by award winning Children’s theatre director Vicky Ireland.
Made possible Design is by Mila Sanders with music and animation by Julian Butler. It is produced by A Thousand Cranes n association with artsdepot, and is supported by funding from Arts Council England.
Vicky Ireland is a writer and director of children’s theatre and was awarded the first MBE for services made to Children’s Theatre. She was Artistic Director at Polka Theatre in Wimbledon for 18 years and presented TV’s Words and Pictures for 12 years and will be back at Polka this summer to direct her acclaimed production of Jacqueline Wilson’s Double Act www.vickyireland.com
A Thousand Cranes was founded in 2006 by performer Kumiko Mendl and writer, director Vicky Ireland to bring the many fascinating stories and cultures of Japan to UK audiences and the company has performed throughout the UK and abroad.
A Thousand Cranes were made Artistic Associates of artsdepot in 2009.
020 8232 1010
Half Moon Theatre, Limehouse
020 7709 8900
020 8369 5454
09 – 11 Feb
the egg, Theatre Royal, Bath
Lincoln Japan Festival, Lincoln
0844 338 5000′
Nuffield Southampton Theatres Campus
023 8067 1771
Greenwich Theatre, Greenwich
0208 858 7755
The Cockpit, Marylebone
020 7258 2925
Cambridge junction, Cambridge
The Courtyard, Hereford
23 – 25 March
Polka Theatre, Wimbledon
020 8543 4888
Stratford Circus Art s Centre, Stratford
020 8279 1080
The Civic, Barnsley
23 -27 May
Little Angel Theatre, Islington
020 7226 1787
Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury
* Call Charges apply
Admission: Each venue will have their own ticket pricing
Award-winning Suzue Aoyama-Curley has created afternoon teas at world-renowned London hotels, Claridges and The Savoy. During her time in the UK, she has seen Japanese ingredients such as sansho pepper and miso become more easily available and has watched as connoisseurs have begun to experiment with uses beyond Japanese cuisine. It was a natural step for her, therefore, to take her skills in creating traditional pastries for the archetypal ‘English Afternoon Tea’ and begin to look for ways to infuse them with the flavours of her home, Japan. This has opened up into a world of creative patisserie-making firmly rooted in the classics.
At this event, you will have the opportunity to taste a selection of luxurious sweets and baked goods reinvented with Japanese flavours and, at the same time, watch a professional at work. While demonstrating patisserie skills and techniques, Suzue will speak about her passion and answer questions. Learn about the art of combining flavours and pick up hints to inform your own baking. This event will doubtless appeal to the keen cooks among Japan Society members, but could also be a special Christmas or Valentine’s gift. Please let us know if you would like a gift certificate for a loved one.
The menu at this event is as follows*:
1. Nibbles served with Japanese sake
• Sansho pepper biscuit with smoked salmon
• Wasabi puff topped with caviar
2. Palate cleanser
3. Served with a small shot of Amedei hot chocolate
• Miso financier served with sea salt caramel cream
• Houji-cha sable sandwiched with Amedei Gianduja cream
4. Japanese Forest Gateau served with Houji-cha
Amedei Chocolate & cherry gateau accompanied with matcha cream
*Please note that the menu may be subject to change. We will be serving bite-sized portions for consumption during the event, so will not provide take-away containers. Guests are encouraged to enjoy the refreshments during the evening, with the specially paired drinks.
Suzue Aoyama-Curley is a Pastry Chef and Food consultant. Brought up in Osaka, Japan,Suzue moved to UK in 1995 to study culinary art at Le Cordon Bleu. After obtaining Le Grand Diploma at Le Condon Bleu, she started her career at Claridges. In 1999 she became a Pastry Chef at The Savoy, in charge of tea pastry. In 2000, she won Gold award in afternoon tea pastry, salon culinaire, London – the first Japanese to do so. In 2004, she opened the boutique William Curley in Richmond with her former partner. The William Curley brand was awarded the Best British Chocolatier for 5 years from 2007 by The Academy of Chocolate. Since 2016 she has set up own workshop business.
Continuing the popular series of Stalking Trees walkshops, we are delighted to welcome Paul Wood, author of London Street Trees (Guardian Nature Books of 2017) to entice you to Explore the Urban Forest.
Calling all blossom lovers! We have timed this walk to coincide with some of the most spectacular blossom to be seen in South London. A whole avenue of glorious Japanese Yoshino cherry trees will, with luck, be in full flower. This species is unusual in the UK, but is the most frequently seen Cherry variety found in Tokyo. But it doesn’t end there, further along our route we will see flowering Magnolia and Cherry Plum street trees. To add even more interest, this walk takes in two boroughs, Lambeth and Southwark, each with different planting policies meaning one side of the street may be planted with entirely different species to the other, so we can guarantee a superbly interesting and diverse range of species.
Continuing the popular series of Stalking Trees walkshops, we are delighted to welcome Paul Wood, author of London Street Trees (Guardian Nature Books of 2017) to entice you to Explore the Urban Forest in Crouch End.
It may come as no surprise to hear that leafy Crouch End is an arboreal hotspot, so this is an opportunity to look in more detail at the range of trees found in this increasingly respectable North London neighbourhood. From the towering conifers outside the library, to newly planted trees of many different species on the streets between Park Road and Crouch End Hill, highlights include a Nettle Tree and a Snakebark Maple. But the showstopper on our route will be Crouch End’s finest Cherry tree avenue which, at this time in previous years, has been in glorious full bloom!
Saké is a versatile beverage that can complement food just as well as wine. It is also an excellent drink to be enjoyed on its own. No wonder, then, that this national drink of Japan is growing in popularity in the West.
At the event, a saké expert from VSF Wine Education will showcase 6 of the sakés from VSF Shop’s portfolio to demystify the wonderful world of this Japanese drink.
VSF Wine Education is the first and only wine school in London dedicated to the Chinese and Japanese communities. Accredited by the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) as an Approved Programme Provider, the school has been actively cultivating wine, spirits and saké appreciation and enjoyment in London.
Apart from running training courses, VSF Shop sells a wide range of sakés, from the highly sought-after Dassai (獺祭) and Tatenokawa (楯野川) to artisanal labels such as Konishi (小西酒造), Aizu Homare (会津 ほまれ) and Hayashi Honten (林本店).
On the day of the event, you’ll be able to sample various styles of Japanese saké (Junmai Daiginjo, Daiginjo, Ginjo, Honzojo, Futsushu, etc.) as well as an assortment of Japanese food to pair with the tipples.
You can also purchase your newly found favourite saké on-site at discounted prices. Whether you are a saké enthusiast or absolute beginner, this is a great chance for you to taste different styles of saké hailing from Japan in one go!
At the door: £45 / person
Online reservation: £35 / person
Early bird tickets (limited quantity): £30 / person
The event “Understanding & Appreciating Japanese Saké (Rice Wine)” will be held on Saturday 13th October 2018 from 2-3pm, 3-4pm and 4-5pm (3 sessions), with max. 18 persons per session. For enquiries, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visitors are encouraged to take the Overground (Rotherhithe Station) or Underground (Canada Water Station) to arrive at the venue. Anyone under the age of 18 years old will not be permitted entry.
“I’m with you” by So Fujii and Natsuki Tsukagoshi
DATES: 12th – 22nd December 2018
PRIVATE VIEW 13th December 18:00 – 20:00, RSVP https://bit.ly/2Tce7mR
Following the great success of ‘The Pets You Love’ by illustrator So Fujii, the Sway Gallery London is delighted to announce the opening of ‘I’m with you’, an exhibition where So Fujii teamed up with Tokyo-based icing artist Natsuki Tsukagoshi to deliver a new view of ‘The Pets You Love’, using different materials, yet following the same theme.
This exhibition is divided into two parts
The first part has Pets as the main theme. The two Japanese artists gathered pictures of pets on different social media, and they worked on a unique project, creating two portraits of the same pet, one as an illustration, the other as an iced biscuit. They brought this project to the Sway Gallery because they wanted to share the feelings of the pet owners (love, happiness, joy, sometimes frustration and even sadness).
The second part will take us into the world behind the creation of the picture book ‘I’m with you’, the story of a girl who gets lost in the woods and meets all kinds of strange animals.
This is actually an unprecedented collaboration among three artists, So Fujii, the illustrator, Natsuki Tsukagoshi, the icing artist and Kanako Noda, the writer. The original artworks from this picture book are absolutely special, an exceptional combination of different media that will charm people of all ages.
*The copies of the picture book will be available to purchase at the Sway Gallery.
Illustrator, born in Toyama, Japan. Currently based between Tokyo and his hometown Toyama.
The main themes of his drawings are animals, plants, foods, fruits and vegetables. He uses a multitude of lines, beautiful colours and his technique includes a lot of details.
Icing artist, born and raised in Tokyo.
She started her carrier as a pastry chef, and her artistic talent brought her to the world of icing art. She holds regular exhibitions in Japan and her iced biscuits not only are used in photo shootings for magazines but they are also highly requested by celebrities as bespoke pieces of art.
She is the official instructor for Snoopy’s icing workshops in Japan.
SAT 15th DEC 12:00-18:00, 22nd DEC 12:00-16:00
SUN by appointment (buyers only)
Like sushi and sashimi? Why not take our one-day sake course to understand the different styles of saké and get top tips to pair your Japanese dishes with the right saké? We’ll also teach you how to make a bottle of mirin (a condiment similar to sake) for you to take home and pair with your food!
17 March, 9am to 5pm. Details & registration: https://bit.ly/2LXnyDl
#VSFWineEducation #Sake #Saké #Nihonshu #FoodPairing
Learn everything about saké in a saké brewery in action, right in London!
VSF Wine Education is joining hands with Kanpai Sake Brewery (the UK’s first sake brewery) to run this course that will provide you with a detailed understanding of the production methods that affect the style, quality and price of saké. Upon completion you will be able to assess sakés accurately, and use this information and your understanding of sakés to make authoritative recommendations. 18+19+25+26 May 2019. Details & registration: https://bit.ly/2seHf0a
#Nihonshu #Sake #Saké #London
Looking to experience something new in 2019? Why not try teaching English in Japan?
Gaba Corporation is the leading one-to-one English language school in Japan, with 44 locations spread across the major cities. Instructors have the benefit of a flexible schedule which they design monthly, with no minimum or maximum number of lessons needing to be taught each month. Our clients are motivated adults with varying goals and interests, and there is a large focus on development for Instructors in the form of different workshops and mentorship. Career opportunities are also available. Teaching English in Japan with Gaba is a great opportunity to live in the exciting culture of Japan and gain some valuable professional experience at the same time.
We are looking for applicants who possess the following:
• Solid people skills
• Good command of the English language
• Ability to work independently
• Desire to live and work in Japan
• TEFL/ TESOL certification or ESL experience preferred
Testimonials from current instructors available to watch at our website.
If you are living in or near any of the following locations, please come along to one of our Information Seminars in August 2019 to meet a recruiter and learn more about Gaba:
• Manchester – August 8th (evening)
• London – August 10th (daytime)
If you are not able to attend our Recruiting Event, you may still apply for a position to come to Japan to teach with GABA through our website.