Love is in the air – Tanabata on the South Bank

Tanabata decorations, South BankDown on the South Bank they’re having a festival of love that’s going on all through July and August, with free events, themed weekends, performances, poetry, talks, pop-ups, installations and artworks. Including, courtesy of the Embassy of Japan and the Japan Society, a celebration of Tanabata, the Japanese festival of love, which falls on the seventh day of the seventh month, and a display of fukinagashi decorations. I’ve been down to the Festival Hall to take a look. Continue reading

South Bank Winter Festival

South Bank Winter FestivalIf I tell you I’ve been to the South Bank Winter Festival, I suppose you’ll expect pictures of roundabouts and santas and gluwein and chestnuts roasting on a open fire. And you’ll be right, there will be all that. But, this being the kind of blog it is, there’ll mainly be pictures from the Designer Makers Christmas Market which you can find tucked away under the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and another round of suggestions for Christmas presents with a Japanese flavour. 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

I track down the South Bank Shapeshifters

Takayuki Hara at Unit 24Sometimes I go to some odd places in pursuit of a blog post – bits of London I’ve never been to before, trips out of the capital or out of my comfort zone (or both). But this exhibition was one of the oddest. For one thing, I couldn’t find it. ‘Just behind the Tate Modern,’ it said. Not too challenging, you’d have thought. But I walked up and down the street twice before I spotted the gallery – disguised as a Dry Cleaners. Continue reading