This weekend, Londoners won’t need a long haul flight to transport them to the streets of Japan. A trusty Oyster card will suffice, as the UK’s largest festival for Japanese food and culture is returning to London this Sunday (October 1). For one day – and one day only – Trafalgar Square will be jam-packed with deliciously authentic Japanese street food and wonderfully traditional Japanese entertainment.
The iconic festival will be marking it’s twelfth year in action by returning to the capital city for the first time since 2019. Showcasing the very best of Japanese culture, Japan Matsuri has attracted a loyal fanbase of Londoners who can’t wait to immerse themselves in this weekend’s festivities.
The festival will be back with a bang; kicking off at 10am (with His Excellency Mr Hajime Hayashi, Ambassador of Japan to the UK, formally opening the festival at 10.30am). A full-to-the-brim entertainment schedule has been created, with a series of traditional and contemporary performances taking place throughout the day. From music and martial arts to comedy and cosplay; there’s something to entertain everybody.
Visitors will get the chance to experience the magnificence of Awa Odori (a folk dance procession, embodying the festival’s spirit of joy) and the elegance of Nihon Buyo (traditional Japanese dance). Headlining act, Joji Hirota and The London Taiko Drummers, will also be captivating the crowds with their sensational soundscapes.
Prepare to stuff your face with all the authentic Japanese street food you could possibly dream of. Heddon Yokochō and Shoryu will be serving up some ravishing ramen, whilst Okan will be offering a whole load of comforting Osakan soul food, and Clerkenwell’s much-loved Mugen will be delivering the sushi goods. Top tip: go with an empty stomach or you’ll regret it.
Pop-up art displays will be on show courtesy of Japan House, and Eden Design will be providing the artisanal gift stalls. A wide variety of family-friendly activities will also be on offer so it really is the perfect day out for everybody.
Find out more and plan your visit here.