Matsuri in London

matsuri in London

Summer in Japan means many things. Humidity. Cicadas. Cool biz. But most importantly, matsuri – festivals.

Fumio Tanga of Shofoodoh and I were lamenting the lack of matsuri in London, and ‘we should do this’ quickly became ‘omg we’re doing this’ after securing an awesome venue in Dalston Roof Park. Essentially, it will be a celebration of Japanese food and drink (for many, the main attractions at any matsuri) with a little culture thrown in for good measure. Kikkoman is sponsoring and we will have their delicious soy sauce on hand as part of the nagashi sōmen (flowing noodles) activity.

In addition to Background Bars serving beer, original cocktails, and matsuri staples chu-hai and umeshu soda, we’ve got a killer lineup of Japanese food traders:

Nanban (me): Whippy-San Japanese soft ice cream (banana miso on Saturday, matcha melon on Sunday)
Shofoodoh: otōshi (small salads and snacks)
Tonkotsu: karaage and karaage burgers
Pom Pom: takoyaki and potato-yaki
Petit Gateau: taiyaki, castella, and various sweet breads
Doya: Osaka-style okonomiyaki (choice of pork belly, squid kimchi, mochi cheese, or spring onion)


We’ve also got DJs spinning Japanese music throughout the day: Comadisco on disco, Chop Shop on Japanese psychadelic and soul, and Howard Williams on enka and other Japanese classics. We’ve secured a shamisen player and are hoping to book a taiko performer or two as well! The artist Haruhito Tomi will be creating origami and facilitating his ‘Exquisite Godzilla’ drawing workshop as well. Plus, we’re showing an anime film (which we cannot advertise) in the evening on both nights.

The weather’s looking good and everything is coming together. Lanterns and happi have been delivered, drinks have been sampled (and sampled again), and we are all really excited. Hopefully this will become an annual thing.

Advance tickets are now sold out, but you can still come on the day, although it will be one in/one out if and when the venue reaches capacity. (If it’s full when you arrive you can always chill out at Cafe Oto downstairs).

It’ll be matsuriffic!

Matsuri in London sponsored by Kikkoman
20 & 21 July, 2013, entry 15:00-late
Dalston Roof Park
18 Ashwin Street
E8 3DL

For enquiries please contact Emmanuella at Dalston Roof Park or myself.


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