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Ring in the New Year with Mochi Pounding at Japan Centre!

New Year Mochi Tsuki & Kagami Biraki

New Year is one of the most important celebrations in Japan, and as such there are many fantastic traditions associated with it (not to mention delicious food!) On January 2nd from 12 noon join us at Japan Centre Piccadilly for two fantastic free events all in the name of a Happy New Year!

Sake Ceremony [Kagami Biraki]

Kagami Biraki Sake Cask Opening

You might think anything that involves hitting stuff and alcohol was an accident waiting to happen, but the Kagami Biraki sake ceremony is popular at special occasions across Japan such as New Year without a whiff of touble (mostly). Kagami Biraki means ‘opening the mirror’ in Japanese and can refers to breaking open the lid (mirror) of a large ceremonial cask of sake with several wooden mallets while everyone shouts an encouraging “Yoisho!”

Arrive for 12 noon and watch as we smash open our gigantic sake barrel and serve free, royal warrant Gekkeikan sake to all as we ‘kampai’ in the New Year!

When: Thursday 2nd January 2014 | 12:00

Mochi Pounding [Mochi Tsuki]

Fresh Mochi, yum!

You might think of mochi as a delicious sweet treat, but have you ever wondered how the rice gets so chewy and delicious? Yep, more hammers and mallets. Visit Japan Centre at 12:30 on January 2nd and see how it’s done the old fashioned way, using a giant hammer and a huge mortar! Traditional mochi making requires considerable feats of strength and nimble fingers, one person hammers down on the mochi while another person adds water and flips the mochi over in between pounding to stop it from sticking. It’s a real sight to see, with the added frisson of danger from potential squashed hands!

After the sake ceremony at 12:30 we will begin to pound the mochi and once prepared serve free anko red bean-filled mochi to all those in store.

When: Thursday 2nd January 2014 | 12:30 – 14:00

See you there!

A great day out for all the family, we look forward to seeing you all at Japan Centre on the 2nd for these two unique, loud and fun, free New Year events!

Christmas F:east! – festive celebrations with a Japanese flavour

Christmas F:east

This Christmas is going to be a feast not only for the tastebuds, but the eyes, mind and wallet too! We’ve decked the halls and gone all out this year to make sure there’s something amazing going on at all times. So don’t miss out, check out our amazingly comprehensive round up of everything Christmas!

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EVENT: Japan Centre x Hyper Japan Sat 13th July

Japan Centre x Hyper Japan

In preparation for the UK’s biggest weekend long J-Culture party Japan Centre is combining forces with Hyper Japan and holding a Japan Centre x Hyper Japan collaborative event at our Westfield Stratford store 12pm – 6pm on Saturday 13th July!

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Christmas & New Year Opening Times 2012

Christmas and New Year Delivery Times

Planning on popping along to see us this festive season? Make sure you check we’re open! Please see below for all our store location opening times between Christmas and New Year.

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Delivery in time for Christmas & New Year 2012

christmas delivery

Get your gifts in time for the big day!

We love doing our Christmas shopping online, but it does mean that we can’t leave it until Christmas Eve to do it all! If you want guaranteed delivery before Christmas from Japan Centre Online there are a few dates to be aware of to make sure you receive your order in time. Please be aware these dates are also for guaranteed delivery before New Year.

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New Sushi and Sake Bar @ Westfield Stratford

westfield sushi and sake bar

Join us at Westfield Stratford City at our newly opened Sushi & Sake Bar. Refresh after a day’s shopping at Westfield with low-fat, omega 3-rich sushi, piping hot crunchy tempura and a cup of crisp sake. umai by Japan Centre’s new Sushi & Sake Bar is a fantastic new addition to our east-end store, with budget concious prices and a relaxed izakaya bar environment.

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Free Tasting Weekend at Westfield Stratford

Westfield free tasting


Last week umai Westfield Stratford held a cool pop up stand with exclusive manga goodies, this week our second stand alone store located in the bustling Westfield mall is holding  a free tasting event on Friday 4th and Sat 6th May 12pm – 6pm.

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Pop-Up Store at Westfield Stratford!

Westfield Pop Up


There’s some pretty cool things going on at umai by Japan Centre Westfield Stratford City. Our second stand alone store located in the bustling Westfield mall houses all your favourite Japan Centre goodies as well as a special central umai deli area where you can pick up fresh sashimi and sushi, hot from the pan tempura and of course our latest Japanese burgers!

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Student Discount at Japan Centre and umai!

Student Discount

Ahh I remember my student days fondly. Lots of parties, lots of drinking and lots of sleeping. Unfortunately though, not a lot of money. This is why Japan Centre is here to help and support you! We know how daunting it can be thinking about how much you have left to spend on proper food instead of that 8p pack of instant noodles or yet another week’s worth of pasta… so we’ve introduced a student discount!

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umai Westfield: Happy 6 Month Anniversary!

umai westfield anniversary

Well look at that, time’s flown by and umai by Japan Centre Westfield Stratford City is already celebrating its 6 month anniversary! Our Westfield branch is a beautiful little place, selling a fantastic selection of both umai deli take-out and all your favourite staple Japanese cooking ingredients! We’ve enjoyed meeting our East London customers and hope you’ve enjoyed your umai by Japan Centre shopping experience too!

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