Japan Centre, the UK's premier Japanese Food Hall, is marking its milestone 45th birthday on 11th July 2021 by hosting a series of virtual cooking classes, interactive workshops, along with running special offers, and a sensational competition giving two people a chance to win a trip to Tokyo.
Japan Centre, founded in 1976 by Tak Tokumine, has been credited for trailblazing the familiarisation of Japanese food in the UK. Still a family business to this day, Tak has transformed the Japanese food and dining scene in London, pioneering the cuisine which was largely undiscovered until Japan Centre’s arrival. From a small bookstore on Warwick Street, to a chain of authentic ramen bars and Japanese food halls, Japan Centre has evolved into a much adored institution over the years thanks to its rich variety of quality Japanese goods including food and drink, magazines and gifts through to sushi and hot souzai food.
To thank customers for their support throughout the decades, Japan Centre are welcoming everyone to join in the celebrations this July; whether that’s by using the special birthday offers in-store or attending a virtual masterclass.
Free online events include:
Learn the art of origami – 26th June and 11th July, 2pm-3pm
Attendees will discover the beautiful Japanese art of paper folding. Enter a state of full relaxation and meditation while folding along with expert instructor, Sarah Haram.
Miso making workshop with the Yamato Miso Company – 11th July, 10am-11:30am
Join Seiichi Yamamoto, the CEO of Yamato SoySauce & the Miso Company, to learn the secrets of miso making in our hands-on workshop. Learn about the magical properties and health benefits of Koji. Be guided step by step to learn how to make healthy and nutritious miso for all your Japanese dishes.
Miso is made by the fermentation of soybeans – very commonly, with other grains such as rice and barley. This process results in a rich, savoury paste that not only seasons a dish, but lends it instant umami depth, making it much more exciting than plain old salt.
Learn how to create traditional Japanese sweets ichigo daifuku and dorayaki – 2nd July, 6pm - 8pm
Experience an amazing fusion of Japanese and Western-style desserts with these strawberry and sweet red bean mochi, or ichigo daifuku. First created during the 1980’s, ichigo daifuku are a true Japanese delicacy consisting of large, juicy strawberries, a coating of sweet red bean paste, and an outer layer of chewy mochi. Enjoy making these sweet treats as an indulgent, truffle-like snack in Japan Centre’s workshop.
Free Online Green Tea Experience with Arigato Japan - July 3rd, 10am-11am
Join our local expert, Lauren, for an authentic and fun, free, online green tea experience in Japan! Green Tea has a special place in Japanese culture. Discover its secrets, why it is good for your health, get great tips and tricks from a local perspective and learn how to brew the perfect cup at home!
Virtual tours of Japan
Attendees also have the chance to explore the buzzing city of Osaka, Kyoto, and the old town charms of Nara with free virtual tours by InsideJapan Tours, delve deeper into the world of authentic Japanese sake (20th June, 12pm-1:30pm) as well as try their hand at making matcha mille crepe and matcha drinks (13th June, 2pm-4pm).
Aside from the workshops, customers can explore Japan Centre’s easy-to-follow recipes, featuring sushi, matcha desserts, and crispy katsu curry. And those wanting to stock up on authentic Japanese products can receive 33% off selected Japanese goods and drinks, including fine sake, matcha and snacks as well as 20% off sozai sides, ramen and curry in Japan Centre’s Food Halls. Visit their locations at Leicester Square, Westfield Stratford and Westfirled White City.