Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2016 highlights

Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2016 highlights


I’ve recovered from a weekend marathon of fantastic films at the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2016. Inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s iconic 1952 film Ikiru (“To Live”), this year’s films looked at how people across the ages persevere, negotiate and reconcile with the environment and situation they live in. This was my third Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme … Continue reading

Presentation and taste rule at Oliver Maki

Presentation and taste rule at Oliver Maki


When I hear there’s a new Japanese restaurant opening up near me, you can guarantee I’ll be heading over there sharpish. Oliver Maki – a family-owned business which has four branches in Kuwait and one in Bahrain – opened the doors of its first UK restaurant in London, Soho, earlier this week. With Louis Kenji … Continue reading

Why I secretly loved watching Maid-Sama

Why I secretly loved watching Maid-Sama


The last anime series I watched that fell into the high school romance category was probably Ouran High School Host Club – a good 10 years ago. I like to think that 25-year-old Sophie is a bit more ‘mature’ and has permanently moved on to stories that are much more complicated and psychologically complex (that goes not … Continue reading

Five reasons you should watch Hana-bi

Five reasons you should watch Hana-bi


Asian film fans will probably already be aware that Third Window Films recently announced they are releasing three films by the acclaimed Japanese director, Takeshi Kitano, on Blu-ray DVD this year. The first of these is Hana-bi (Fireworks, 1997). This is the story of former police officer Nishi who concocts a bank robbery after a disastrous stakeout leaves … Continue reading

WIN Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme tickets!

WIN Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme tickets!


It’s January and it’s finally getting really cold, so there’s no better excuse for a competition! I wrote about the line-up for the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2016 last week and the organisers are kindly providing two lucky winners a pair of tickets each! Read on for details and entry instructions… The Japan Foundation Touring … Continue reading

Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2016 line-up

Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2016 line-up


One of my highlights in the UK-Japan calendar is the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme, now in its 13th year. This is the largest film programme in the UK focussing on Japanese cinema and each year has a different theme. 2016’s line-up has been inspired by iconic film-maker Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru, a humanistic portrayal of a salaryman … Continue reading

Book Review: Spring Snow

Book Review: Spring Snow


I realise we’re still in the first week of January, but I’m going to say it: we have an early contender for the book’s blog of the year 2016! As with all my book reviews, I will keep detail on the plot brief so you can discover the magic for yourself. Spring Snow is a … Continue reading

Blog’s best of 2015!

Blog’s best of 2015!


It’s New Year’s Eve, so tradition dictates that I must do a ‘best of 2015’ round-up blog! This was a very busy year for me blog-wise: a trip to Japan, branching out into restaurant reviews and reaching 1,000 subscribers! And, of course, I read lots of books and watched my fair share of anime. Competition … Continue reading

Umai Sushi Saturday at Sake no Hana

Umai Sushi Saturday at Sake no Hana


If you’re looking for top-of-the-range Japanese food in London, Sake no Hana near Green Park tube station won’t disappoint. For just £47 each (or £39 if you’re vegetarian) on a Saturday, you can enjoy a seven course lunch along with a bottle of champagne and cocktails. Given how the food is absolutely fantastic, that is definitely … Continue reading

Exploring Kanazawa

Exploring Kanazawa


It’s time for another flurry of holiday photos! I cannot recommend a visit to Kanazawa enough if you are travelling around Japan. It’s serene, beautiful and full of history. We managed to cram the highlights into just two days – Kanazawa Castle got its own blog post which you can read here – so here … Continue reading