Newly Opened ‘Japan House’ in Kensington – A Slice of Tokyo in London
Much to our delight, Japan House opened its gleaming doors to the public this weekend (23rd – 24th June 2018). We’ve been avidly awaiting this welcome addition to Kensington High Street and it has far exceeded our expectations – the cultural hotspot truly feels like a slice of Tokyo in London!
The special place has been brought to life by some of the most established Japanese creative minds, including the Art Director for MUJI, Hara Kenya, & one of today’s most prominent interior designers, Katayama Masamichi.
The contemporary project aims to bring Japan’s unique culture and creations to international recognition, by stripping away geographical barriers and bringing them to their very own cities – so far, ‘hubs’ have been set up in São Paulo and Los Angeles, too. Ultimately, Japan House London has been created to open people’s eyes to the Land of the Rising Sun and gain a deeper appreciation of its intellectual craftsmanship.
Curated with the typically meticulous care that we so admire the Japanese for, the concept is very well executed. Just take a glance at their website and you’ll be entranced by the attention to detail paid to beauty and aesthetics – www.japanhouselondon.uk.
Wander around the beautifully laid out shop, admiring the collection of Japanese arts and crafts on display. The authentic items range from tasteful ceramics, refined stationary, delicate kitchenware to handmade artwork. Books also decorate the walls – including those by Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro, as well as lesser known authors and light-hearted non-fiction – all with exquisite covers.
The bright, modern and minimalistic interior design is reminiscent of the trendiest district of Tokyo – Daikanyama – and immediately welcomes you into the tranquil artisan’s haven. We’re certain it will impress aesthetes from far and wide. Ikebana flower arrangements and perfectly manicured bonsai trees also adorn the venue, not only bringing some colour to the sleek monochrome interior, but also hinting at the reverence and respect that the Japanese people have for nature.
A vast spiral staircase, created and imported from Japan, winds around a transparent circular lift and arguably acts as the focal point of the bright, white interior of this Art Deco building.
Down these stairs is a gallery (currently showing a futuristic architecture exhibition by the renowned Sou Fujimoto, the designer of the Serpentine Pavilion in Hyde Park), while a restaurant named AKIRA (after its masterful chef) sits on the top floor.
Workshops, performances and lectures focussing on both ancient and modern Japanese concepts will also be on offer here to attract curious minds of all interests and all ages.
Without a doubt, this innovative cultural centre succeeds in its mission of being ‘a creative crossroads between Japan and the UK’ as it brings a taste of the immaculate and innovative Japan to Londoners (even the futuristic loos)!
Not only is Japan House a destination in its own right, it’s also a huge inspiration for future travels. We hope a visit here will spark your imagination and desire to experience the real Japan for yourself, with the assistance of our tailor-made bespoke itineraries.
To see more photos, click here to see our Facebook album.