shops & products

Ahh… natsukashiiii… those summer days in Japan when I used to eat my weight in Matcha Haagen Dazs from the 7-11 convenience store around the corner! A drippy, whippy ice cream on a summer’s day brings out the gleeful, sticky-chinned child in everyone.  But choosing matcha (very strong, powdered green tea) flavour does feel that Read more

‘My favourite day of the school holidays‘ wrote my 5 year old boy, ‘was using the Japanese Washlet toilet at the Japan House. It squirts water at your bumhole and then dries it with hot air.’ Indeed, Japan House, High Street Kensington, is fun to pop in before a romp in Hyde Park (not too Read more

The good news about making Japanese food at home: so many Japanese dishes are actually really easy to put together! Sometimes it even seems like more of an ‘assembly job’ than ‘cooking’, per se. Thus, the (kind of) bad news: this means the quality of each ingredient really shines through! So, you’ll want to source Read more

If you love making Japanese food at home, you’ll know the satisfaction of collecting the perfect equipment for your kitchen. Banish the clutter that can tend to build up in Japanese kitchens, and focus clearly instead key items. There are so many essentials now available to buy in the UK! Japanese Tableware by Doki Read more

For a country known not to be big on dessert, Japan certainly does have a sweet tooth. In fact, Japanese tradition gives sweets and patisserie centre stage; truly savouring specialities alongside a harmonising cup of tea – not as a mere afterthought after a main meal. Did you know there are some incredible places to Read more

What with this all unpredictable British springtime weather, you might not have managed to fully appreciate the blossoms before the petals were blown away. If you are feeling a little hard done by on the hanami-stakes, here are some sakura-related suggestions for your sensual delectation! Drink some cherry blossom tea Just the act of making Read more

I’d been randomly craving some of those pea-pod shaped, pea-flavoured crisps that I used to get in Japan for some time. Imagine my glee when my Chimasu box arrived with a bit of pea-theme going on! I’d specified online what kind of snacks I like (erm, everything) from the categories: biscuits and cakes; sweets; crisps Read more

Dan Rook: Chash Tea ‘Leaf Excutive’

“If ‘Tea Makes Everything Better’ shouldn’t we be drinking better tea?”.  Good point, well made.  Dan Rook of Chash tea has a clear mission. Sourcing and carefully selecting the world’s finest tea and infusions by  taking the time to talk to a wide range of suppliers, Dan brings better tea into British people’s daily lives Read more

HYPER JAPAN 2014 Round Up

Bringing Japanese pop culture all together into one fantastic festival, HYPER JAPAN 2014 (July 25-27) is a must for the Japan enthusiast!  The festival is held over three days at  Earls Court One, Warwick Road, London, SW5 9TA (nearest tube: Earl’s Court). For Japanfans who just can’t get enough, and there are not one, but Read more

Billy the Bus and the Great Tour of London by Trevor Hawes, White Post Corner Limited 2012, £5.99 Omiyage alert!  A perfect present for the Japanese kids in your life; Billy the Bus and the Great Tour of London is a cheery, winsome look at popular tourist attractions through the eyes of an iconic red Read more

Already popular in Japan, 3D figurine printing is a new technology now here in London.  Levavo, London’s first shop of its kind, is conveniently tucked behind Liverpool Street Station on Leyden Street.  I’d seen a member of SMAP get a 3D figurine of himself on TV, but I never thought 3D printing would be something Read more

Japanese Sweets ‘Wagashi’

  Minamoto Kitchoan, based at 44 Piccadilly, belongs to a smart international chain of ‘wagashi’ Japanese sweets shops, with branches in New York, Shanghai and other major cities.  Cheering seasonal displays in the window highlight the delectable delights of each time of year.  Step into the shop to feel like you’ve been transported to their Read more

Near South Ealing station a brilliant little bakery is tucked away. Tantalising smells waft from Tetote Factory Bakery; perhaps one of those secret places in London known only to locals (many Japanese ex-pats live in this area of West London)… and to those lucky few who have heard about it through word of mouth.  Based Read more