New Cultural Center Offers Taste of Japan in London

June 29, 2018 Updated: June 29, 2018    

LONDON—Japan House, which opened to the public on June 22, brings together food, art, design, and technology from Japan, with items such as nail clippers selling for $135, traditional teacups, and Japanese paintbrushes on display.

“It’s a very holistic project, and what we’re trying to do is to show the whole range of Japanese culture, from food through to the finest objects which will be on show, through to the most beautiful hand-crafted items,” said Mike Houlihan, director general of Japan House.

An exhibition space currently shows sculptures of work by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto. On the top floor is a restaurant that serves sushi and sake.

“The concept behind Japan House is particularly the ‘tokonoma,’ which is an arch of space in a traditional tea room,” said interior designer Katayama Masamichi. “Traditionally, in a tea ceremony, hosts invite guests to their tea room, they entertain and please guests in the tokonama space with flower arrangements, calligraphic pictorial scrolls, which all coincide with seasonal beauty.”

The London location adds to two other Japan House centers in Los Angeles and Sao Paolo.

Volunteers from Japan House London hand out flowers to the public on June 22 to celebrate the cultural center’s opening. (Akira SuemoriJapan House London)
Volunteers from Japan House London hand out flowers to the public on June 22 to celebrate the cultural center’s opening. (Akira SuemoriJapan House London)
Items such as this sugar pot will be on sale at the shop. Mage-wappa products are made using the original method of bending cedar and securing with mountain cherry tree wood. e beautiful wood patterns make each product unique. e fragrance of cedar, combined with its smooth touch and natural colours, creates a feeling of warmth for the home. (Japan House London)