Photos of Japan

January 6, 2010

One of the writers of this blog has just been back to Japan.  If you are feeling a bit natsukashi or just want to drool over Japaness then check out her flickr page to see lots of her fab photos.

She also has some great sets on japanese street fashion.


Japanese Wine Tasting

January 6, 2010

Japan Society

Tuesday, 12th January 2010

6.00pm to 8.30pm

Embassy of Japan,

101 – 104 Piccadilly



Free for Japan Society members (booking required)

Deadline for bookings: Friday 8th January


Were you aware that Japan is a producer of fine wines? The quality of Japanese wines and their popularity in Japan has improved markedly over recent years.

This even brings together the fifteen wine producers who have formed a group called Koshu of Japan (KOJ) in order to ensure the high quality of Koshu wine and to promote the product. This is the first of KOJ’s international events and members will have the chance to taste a selection of wines, discuss them with the producers and sample food from Sake no Hana selected to match the wine.

Film: A Zen life (various)

November 2, 2009
Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki
A ZEN LIFE – D.T. Suzuki” is a 77-minute documentary about Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki (1870-1966) the Japanese lay Buddhist, prolific writer and teacher credited with introducing Zen Buddhism to the West.
With an excellent grasp of English,
Daisetsu Suzuki was highly successful at getting Westerners to appreciate the Japanese mentality, and Japanese to see the merit of Western logic.  He earned widespread respect for his deep insights into Eastern and Western religions and philosophies.  The effect he had on Western psychology, philosophy, religious thinking, and the arts was profound.
A variety of excerpts from Dr. Suzuki’s talks about Zen and Buddhism, Christianity, and psychoanalysis punctuate the film.  Inter-faith dialogue and mutual respect were, in his mind, keys to peace.  Interwoven with film footage, photos and audio recordings of D.T. Suzuki are interviews of many people who knew him, including Huston Smith, Gary Snyder, Robert Aitken, William Theodore de Bary, Donald Richie, Mihoko Okamura, and Dr. Albert Stunkard, with rare historical footage of Fr. Thomas Merton, John Cage, Erich Fromm, and the voice of Christmas Humphreys.
A pioneer in improving East-West relations, his numerous writings in English and Japanese, translated into many languages, serve as an inspiration even today.  Daisetsu Suzuki’s message is all the more important now, in light of contemporary conflicts stemming from divergent ways of thinking.


Monday, 23 November, 6:30 pm
Interfaith Chapel, University of Glasgow, West Quadrangle
Screening followed by Q&A with director
No reservation necessary
For further information about the Glasgow screening,
please contact Joan Keenan, Interfaith Chaplaincy,
on 0141 330 5419 or

Tuesday, 24 November, 5:15 – 7:30 pm (doors open 5 pm)
Arts Lecture Theatre, Lower Ground Floor, Samuel Alexander Building
University of Manchester
Screening followed by Q&A with director
No reservation necessary for the Manchester screening

Thursday, 26 November, 6:30 – 8:30 pm (reception afterward)
Brunei Lecture Theatre, SOAS, Russell Square
University of London
Screening followed by Q&A with director and panel discussion
Please reserve in advance for the SOAS event by contacting,, or
or call 01442 890882

2 preview clips can be found on YouTube:

Buddhist Cookery Event, Nov 8th (London)

November 2, 2009
Japanese Buddhist temple cuisine ( shojin ryori ) is presented by Mari Fijii who is a chef and author of shojin ryori, she teaches temple cuisine for over 20 years in Japan and recently she has promoted her cooking in New York and Paris. This November, she is coming to London to share the unique dishes based on fresh vegetables, and staples such as seaweed, grains and tofu. It will be a nourishing experience for both body and soul.

Shojin_RyoriBuddhist Temple Food

Time: 12:00 – 2:00pm

Venue: MACROBIOTICAFE Click here to book now!

1. Introduction to Shojin ryori
History of shojin ryori
Style of the dishes ( one soup and three dishes with rice )
Use of ingredients
(shojin ryori uses basic Japanese seasonings and unique soya product for their dishes, such as koyadofu, kuzu, konnyaku, seaweed, fu, whatever the unfamiliar ingredients for international people. )

2.  Demonstrate the method of the creation
Creation of look, texture, flavour
Ideas of Imitation dishes

3. Tasting sample dishes / As an imitation dishes.

When November 8th, 2009 12:00 PM
71 Regents Park Road
London, NW1 8UY
Contact Phone: 07921 397 792
Event Fee
Demonstration of Japanese Buddhist Temple Cuisine £ 35.00

Japanese Food: Okonomiyaki Recipe

November 2, 2009

This month’s recipe provided by Atsuko, of Atsuko’s Kitchen, London.


Okonomi means ‘favourite’, as you can choose your favourite toppings to put onto the pancake. ‘Yaki’ means ‘grilled’.

It is a well known regional speciality of the Kansai area, which includes Kyoto and Osaka.  It is a very popular Japanese street food, commonly eaten at festivals as well as restaurants. Here the customers can cook their own okonomiyaki at their table, and eat it straight away from the hot
The ingredients are very simple and one of my friends named it “economy
yaki”… That make sense! But you can always select a good quality
topping if you make at it at home.

Make a small size so that it is easy to turn over, and add a variety of
toppings. Serve it while it is hot, to watch the katsuobushi (bonito
flakes) dancing on the top of okonomiyaki!  This is fun at the party.

400g white cabbage
4 spring onions
4 eggs
For frying:
4 tbsp  vegetable oil
For the mixture:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
300ml dashi (Japanese stock – you can buy powder in Oriental supermarkets)
20g yamaimo (fresh Japanese yam potato available in the Japanese grocery
shop in London)
For toppings:
4 thin sliced pork belly
4 prawns
1 squid (sliced)
200g grated cheese
A cup of sweetcorn
For the sauce:
okonomiyaki sauce
ainori ( green nori powder )
katsuobushi ( bonito flakes )

1. To make the mixture, mix flour and baking powder in a bowl and add
dashi slowly to break any lumps of flour, and blend well. * don’t stir
too much as it will become a doughy texture.
2. Grate yama imo finely ( or use powdered yama imo ) and add to the
mixture. It will be very slimy to touch, but gives it a soft texture.
3. Chop cabbage and spring onion finely.

1. Add the eggs to the cabbage and spring onion in a large bowl, mix
2. Add the pancake mixture to the cabbage mixture then mix gently.
3. Heat the large frying pan with high heat. When hot, spread the pan
with oil. Spoon the mixture into the frying pan.
* make small portions, so it is easy to turn over. Repeat to make about
12 okonomiyaki. (3 per person)
Okonomiyaki 4. Reduce the heat to medium, put your favourite toppings on the surface
of the mixture then wait until the bottom turns brown.
* don’t press down on the okonomiyaki or they will become hard and may
not cook well.
5. Turn the okonomiyaki, and cook for a further 4-6 mins.
6. When the topping is cooked well, turn it over again.
7. Spread the top with okonomiyaki sauce, and mayonnaise, then sprinkle
with katsuobushi and watch it ‘dancing’ in the heat.  Add aonori for extra flavour

Music: New Music From Japan (London)

August 30, 2009
Tsuru Sushi Restaurant - new japanese music

Tsuru Sushi Restaurant - new japanese music

New Music from Japan showcases Japanese musical and performance talent. The events have been running for one year on the last Wednesday of each month and have attracted a diverse crowd from the Japanese and local communities. Performers are also diverse, ranging from Wataru Kousaka, a sanshin player, to contemporary electronic composer Anchorsong and many others.

When: Last Wednesday of every month April to September 2009

Where: Tsuru  Japanese Restaurant, 4 Canvey St, London SE1 9AN

Contact: T: 07944 848740, E:

Website: Tsuru Sushi.

Japanese Festival (London)

August 29, 2009
Japanese Festival London

Japanese Festival London

A celebration of Japan and its rich culture, arts & crafts at one of London’s most vibrant markets. Situated in the heart of the city, Spitalfields offers a unique spot for East to meet West. Whether you are a londoner, missing home or have a bit of curiosity, this will be a fantastic opportunity for you to experience some of the most exciting entertainment in London, delight in exquisite Wa-shoku (Japanese cuisine) and get involved in as many interactive arts & crafts events as you can think of throughout the day.

If you are a Japanese business or performer who would like to get involved, you can contact the organisers:

When: Saturday, 19th September 2009, 10am – 8pm.

Where: Spitalfields Market, nearest tube Liverpool Street Station.

For more information: visit the Japan Festival website.