Update on J-Life in London

There is a ridiculous amount of Japan-related stuff going on here in London. So much more than I expected, and so much more than I have time to cover. I feel like I’ve been neglecting Haikugirl’s Japan a little bit these last few weeks, so here’s a quick round-up of what’s been going on and what’s coming up. This by no means covers everything – just the stuff I’m particularly interested in.


The Japan Matsuri took place in London on 18th September. It was brilliant! I’m going to write up a whole post about it shortly, but for now I’ll give you one picture as a taster…

Japan Matsuri 2011, London

(Actually, you can see all my pics on Flickr if you want!)


I moved house – again! Having only recently moved up to London, I realised that the area I had chosen and the flat I was living in were not right for me at all. The flat, now known as “the flat from hell”, was making me seriously unhappy. Luckily, I managed to get out of my contract and find a new place (“the flat from heaven”). Why is this Japan-related? Because I moved to Finchley. There are a few areas of London which are known for having higher populations of Japanese people (and therefore more Japanese food shops, restaurants etc) and Finchley is one of them (others include nearby Golders Green and Acton). I’m living in North Finchley, where there is the famous Japanese food shop Atariya, and I’ve also spotted a couple of sushi/bento restaurants nearby (Hi Sushi and Sushi Japan). There’s a Japanese deli called Tatsumiya down the road, too:

Tatsumiya - Japanese Delicatessen in Finchley

I feel very at home in Finchley, and I love it when I’m walking around Sainsbury’s and I hear someone speaking in Japanese. 🙂


Photo-blogger extraordinaire Floating Camera was visiting his home in London and we had the chance to meet for a real-life chat and quick camera lesson. He takes really wonderful photos of Tokyo, and you should definitely check out his blog if you haven’t already. He took this photo of me while we were having lunch at Cha no Ma on Baker Street.


Last week I attended a Careers Information Day for returning JETs. More about that here.


On Monday, I went back to school and started studying Japanese again. I have lots of homework to do this weekend… More about my first class here.


Work is going really well, and I’m loving the fact that I’m involved with Japan-related things on a daily basis (and that I got free sushi and yatsuhashi today!). I don’t want to go into too much detail about the organisation I work for here, but we have a lot of really interesting events so, if you’re in London and interested in Japanese culture (art, politics, books, etc.), click here. Space is usually limited for the events, so make sure to book and check that you receive a confirmation email.


Next Saturday (15th) Japan Undergound is back and I’m particularly excited about seeing Tokyo Pinsalocks. I saw them in London a few years ago and they were really good. The other acts performing are GalapagosS and HondaLady.

Where: Bloomsbury Lanes, Bedford Way, London, WC1H 9EU.
When: Saturday 15th October
Tickets: Adv. £10 [Buy Online]
Facebook Event Page: [Click here]
Last.fm Event Page: [Click here]


Junya Ishigami‘s exhibition Architecture as Air is on at the Barbican until 16th October. I’m not sure if I’m going to get a chance to see it, but the Barbican is open from 11am – 8pm (and until 10pm on Thursdays) so I might try to pop in next week.


I’m not expecting to get a chance to see any of the films at the Raindance Film Festival, which finishes on 9th October, but it’s worth a mention because there were some interesting Japanese films showing. One film, Control Tower (“Kanseitou”), is named after a song by teenage indie-rock group from Hokkaido, Galileo Galilei. Parade, Galileo Galilei’s critically acclaimed debut album, is available now in the UK from Amazon and iTunes.

(Image: Twisted PR)

ICN gallery

My new favourite gallery, the ICN gallery near Old Street, has two exciting exhibitions coming up. After the success of their current exhibition, OHAKO, I’m really looking forward to the Keiko Masumoto pop-up exhibition which is on from 12th – 19th October:

(Image: ICN)

And the Ryo Arai & ITARO – Essence of Edo – Tokyo exhibition which is on from 27th October – 19th November.

(Image: ICN)

For more information, check out the ICN website.


So, as you can see, life is very good, but very busy! Watch this space for more information about the Japan Matsuri (mentioned above) and some of the other events which I hope to attend soon. Also coming up soon is the next installment in my A-Z of Japan series. This week will be Q…

Now, time to go and order some Japanese food from the Japan Centre website while they’re offering FREE delivery (available until Sunday, when you spend over £20).

7 thoughts on “Update on J-Life in London

  1. I’m really looking forward to the Japanese horror/ghost-themed exhibition at the ICN gallery too – looks fantastic!

    Great overview, by the way Haikugirl, of what’s been happening lately in London regarding Japn-related events and exhibitions. Top job!!!


    • Thanks – I wish I had time to write more detailed posts on everything. I’ll do more soon…

      Yeah, I’m really excited about everything at the ICN. Maybe see you there sometime? 🙂


  2. Thank you so much for your support of ICN!
    The artworks arrived yesterday, we’re so excited. Unfortunately the spider queen work was sold in Japan so we don’t have it to show, but the works of his we do have are amazing!

    I am personally loving Masumoto’s daikon 😉

    Looking forward to seeing you again.


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