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Hyper Japan, the biggest celebration of Japanese culture in the UK, runs February 24-26. Here's a list of the best Japanese food, events and celebrations in London

Sake tasting, Liverpool Street

Sushi has a firm foothold in Western food and drink culture, but sake has been a slow burner. Nevertheless, with as many varieties of sake as there are wine, it’s certainly worth our appreciation. Here, you can try five different types, matched with Japanese dishes. You’ll also learn  drinking etiquette and production techniques from sake sommelier Shinya Maeji.

Wed, Mar 7. 6.30pm-8.30pm
Moshi Moshi, Unit 24, Liverpool Street Station, EC2M 7Q
Tube: Liverpool Street

Sumo wrestling, Various

Get a pair of guests to slip on a fat suit and have it out in a ring, and you’ve got yourself the perfect way to ramp up a party. You suggest a location and this company supplies the suits, a mat, a smoke machine, an umpire, and even a Japanese soundtrack. Put on the fake pounds and find a friend who is ready to rumble.

Various locations

Harajuku and cosplay meet-up, Westbourne Park

If a one-off opportunity to partake in cosplay at Hyper Japan isn’t enough, this informal group of Harajuku and cosplay afficionados will be just the trick. They meet regularly at fun Japanese-themed events and usually dance their cute little socks off. The most common meeting place is at west London haunt, Retro, which plays a Japanese film once
a month, and tends to attract disciples of J-culture

Sun, Mar 11. 7pm
Retro, 50 Bosworth Road, WC2N 6HH
Tube: Westbourne Park

Lucky Voice karaoke, Islington

You haven’t truly made like a Japanese person until you’ve lost yourself in a ballad, mic in hand, while contained in
a box. When you’re visiting karaoke haunts in your lunch break, then you’ve really got the idea. Loosen your collar after work, have a drink at the bar, then dive into one of the booths. There are even costumes, so you can look the part. It’s the most fun you’ll have with your clothes on. Also in Soho.

Daily. Times vary.
73 Upper Street, N1 1RG
Tube: Highbury & Islington

Martial arts, Kensington

Learn the traditional  Japanese disciplines of judo, shotokan karate, Aikido and ju-jitsu at
a school that has trained Olympic competitors for decades. The venue has, and continues to, attract high profile teachers, so you
are learning from the best.

4 Gilston Road, SW10 9SL
Tube: South Kensington 

Benihana, Piccadilly

There’s no kitchen in this restaurant. Instead, you sit around a teppanyaki grill and watch the chef cook your meal, then toss it over on to your plate. It’s great food theatre.

Daily. Times vary
37 Sackville Street, W1S 3DQ
Tube: Piccadilly Circus

Learn Japanese, Oxford Circus

Take your Japanese language skills beyond ‘konichiwa’ over nibblies. This informal group  meets regularly, and also holds social dinner nights, karaoke events and hanami (flower-viewing) picnics.

First Tuesday each month. 6.30pm
Old Explorer pub, 23 Great Castle Street, W1G 0JA
Tube: Oxford Circus

Origami, South Bank

Start with a crane, and with any luck, plus a little help from some practiced paper-folders, you’ll be making a meal of your morning newspaper
on the Tube. Join origamists – experts and amateurs alike – as they congregate for their love of the traditional Japanese art. Attend regularly and you’ll be on your way to true origami mastery. Remember, though, glue is unforgivable.

Second Sat each month. 2pm-5pm
First floor foyer, The Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX
Tube: Waterloo

Scramble, Online

The clothes at this online store feature logos that draw from the bright colours and deft brushstrokes of Japanese fashion, some of which can evoke a swaying tree or a rippling lake. Plus, there are a few select lines straight from Japan.

Online store

Click for more events celebrating Japanese culture...


Hyper Japan in London events
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