Japanese Culture – a multifaceted culture, thousands of years old, yet fascinating. What makes it so rich? Is it the social conventions, the etiquettes? The vivid foods? A drink for every palate? Or the skilled traditional entertainers and fighters? Luckily, London has a lot more to offer from the land of the rising sun than you know.
If you are to acquaint yourself with the different facets of the Japanese Way of Life, knowing the manners and customs is the first step. Bowing to greet, to show respect, to express sorrow, to offer gratitude is the common societal rule.
So let us indulge in the varied offering that you can opt for when you step out next.
It isn’t just Sushi!
When you talk about food to any Japanese, 2 minutes into the conversation, and you know you have hit the right spot. The enthusiasm and passion with which they create the extraordinary delicacies are second to none. The meticulous presentation of a Japanese spread will surely grab your attention.
Osaka, known for its heartfelt street food, inspires many around the globe. Our city is no exception. Japanese street food is something to savor and indulge in! The color of the soy sauce or the smell of grilled over charcoal yakitori is bound to take you on the ride of a sensory wonderland.
Across the city, you will find restaurants and eateries that offer a range of dishes. Popular ones being takoyaki, gyozas, chicken wings, soft shell crabs, wagyu sliders, .etc., similar to the ones served in the yatai or small street food stalls in Japan.
Seaweed, tofu, or sweetfish constitute the local specialty of Japan’s cities and towns. Japanese cuisine is not only about popular Sushi. You can also try donburi (simmered fish, meat, vegetables on a bed of rice), yaki (grilled) or tempura (deep-fried) fish, or a bowl of ramen (noodles in broth).
So next time when you are ordering in, you know what to try.
Manga (Japanese Comics) and Anime (Japanese Animation) – global sensations now, have also spread across the streets of London. You will find shops selling manga along with popular titles. A popular destination being the Japan House. It houses not only manga but also various artifacts and contemporary items.
Manga covers a vast array of topics, from romance to action and from sports to science fiction. The books are generally in black and white for all age groups and gender. Japan’s philosophy of love for all things kawaii (cute) forms the basis for manga.
A manga, which gets love and is popular among all, becomes an animated series or anime.
So when you visit, make a call between Astroboy, Doremon, Dragon Ball, Bleach, or maybe Death Note. It Has to be real picky, doesn’t it?
Sakes, Sakura & Sakazuki
A country of drinkers with few rituals associated with it – that is Japan for you. Seem a little odd? Well, not actually. Japanese prefer a drink with a meal at different times of the day. The most common being – Tea. They drink a variety of tea. Tea in the afternoon, accompanied by a range of sweet and savory snacks is an affair to relish.
You can indulge yourself in such an afternoon at any of the Japanese Tea Rooms and try Sakura (Blossom) tea. What is interesting is the crockery used – sakazuki, which is a handcrafted ceremonial cup.
Getting a sense of why the hype with just tea? You can also try Sake (Rice Wine), the National drink of Japan, or Beer-ru (lager beer), and you will be pleasantly surprised.
If you are someone who has watched Samurai movies all your life and have dreamed of being one, then this is your place to be. The Kyoto garden, which opened in 1991, consists of all things you visualize when you dream of Japan.
The colorful blossom trees, lakes with koi carp, rock waterfall, and a photogenic peaceful view around invites you to its all glory.
Why was a London garden built like the Japanese ones? The answer is that it was a gift from Kyoto City to Great Britain, commemorating the long friendship between the two countries.
The sound of the chirping birds, picturesque landscape, and the gushing sound of the waterfall await your visit.