Happy Tanabata – again!

Tanabata at Kew GardensHappy Tanabata, for the second time this year. Tanabata again? What’s going on? Well, the Tanabata festival falls on the seventh day of the seventh month. So most places celebrate it on the seventh of July, like the Japan Society- led Tanabata festival on the South Bank that I wrote about before. But not all calendars are the same – by the lunar calendar August counts as the seventh month, so here we are celebrating Tanabata all over again. Continue reading

Japan Matsuri in Trafalgar Square

Japan Matsuri

Japan Matsuri is London’s annual celebration of all things Japanese. Arguably Hyper Japan is bigger, but it’s more commercial and you have to pay to get in, while Japan Matsuri is free to all. This year it was held in Trafalgar Square for the second year running and attracted an eclectic mix from London-resident Japanese through die-hard Japan fans to passers-by attracted by the fun and not quite sure what it was all about. Continue reading

Tent at the London Design Festival

Furukawa Yosuke Syoten

The trouble with the London Design Festival is that there’s so much on in such a short time. That’s why I’m still playing catch up with today’s post about Tent which Yannick and I visited last week. Along with Superbrands at the same venue, Tent is one of the main hubs of the festival, showing forty established brands and more than two hundred independent designers over four days in Hanbury St, near Spitalfields Market. Continue reading

Street Food Festival

Takoyaki

It’s Bank Holiday weekend – and down on the South Bank there’s a street food festival which includes takoyaki from Japanese street food specialists Yumi. I went along on Friday to try it out and see how it measured up to the takoyaki you get in Japan. Continue reading

Treasure at Somerset House

Treasure at Somerset HouseThis has been a busy week for shows in London so a lot of the events in Jewellery Week, in which designers from across the UK showcase their work, passed me by. But I did manage to catch the final flagship event, Treasure, in the Embankment Gallery at Somerset House, showing until 16th June.  Continue reading

Don’t panic – here’s which Japanese film to see at the London Film Festival

Key of LifeThe 56th BFI London Film Festival opens on 10 October and amongst all its goodies are seven new Japanese films. Frustrating isn’t it? You wait months for a Japanese film to come along and suddenly you get seven all at once. We’re all busy people so the question I’ve challenged myself to answer on your behalf is this – if you’ve only got time to see one of them, which one should it be? Here’s my unscientific guide, put together with the help of some Japanese friends in Tokyo. Continue reading

Still time to catch Prism – plus the best of the rest at the London Design Festival

Prism at the V&AIf I did a blog post on every Japanese designer I saw at the London Design Festival we’d be here till Christmas, so as the Festival ends here’s a roundup, starting with London-based Keiichi Matsuda’s Prism at the V&A. Prism was so successful it’s been extended to the 28th September so hurry onto the V&A website and see if you can get a ticket.   Continue reading

Unleash your inner Sherlock Holmes with nendo mimicry chairs at the V&A

nendo mimicry chair 1Warning! Spoiler alert! If you’re planning to go to see Japanese Design Studio nendo’s mimicry chairs at the Victoria & Albert Museum and want to discover them for yourself watch out because this post has photos of the full set. If you do go (and you’ll have to be quick as they are part of the London Design Festival which ends on the 23rd September) here’s some advice: Continue reading

London Design Festival+Eley Kishimoto+Aram Gallery=Wow

Eley Kishimoto Narumi platesThe London Design Festival is here again with so much to see and do I feel quite dizzy. I’ll never get round it all but I’ve made a start with the fabulous Eley Kishimoto Living with Patterns exhibition at the Aram Gallery on Drury Lane.

Eley Kishimoto means rugs to me so I was bowled over to discover that the compact exhibition included china, shoes, clothes ceramics, and lace as well. Continue reading