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Japan House

Attractions Kensington
4 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)

A new cultural hub in Kensington where you can immerse yourself in authentic Japan

If you fancy a trip to Japan but not keen on the long haul flight, you’re in luck. High Street Kensington is about to get a sleek new addition in the form of Japan House. It’s one of three brand spanking new cultural centres (the others are in LA and São Paulo) aiming to show you the ‘real’ Japan. Spread over three floors, everything at the London branch from the floor tiles (flown in from Awaji Island) to the food (cooked up by renowned chef Shimizu Akira) will have its roots there. The best bit? No jet lag.

Venue name: Japan House
Address: 111 Kensington High St
W8 5SA
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am to 8pm, Sun: 12noon to 6pm
Price: Free entry
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Static map showing venue location

Pick a date

  • Until Sunday July 28 2019

Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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A tribute to Japanese design, where not just the downstairs gallery, but also the shop on the ground floor, is like an exhibition space. Japan House is white-walled and minimalist almost to the point of being austere, but there's comfortable seating and staff are very friendly, so it doesn't feel too antiseptic. With a restaurant upstairs, a cafe on the ground floor, and a small library downstairs, it's almost a one-stop shop. Prices range from moderate to oh-my-god-are-you-serious.   


I had a chance of visiting the Japan House during the recent paper art exhibition. It was breath-taking and thought provoking. There’s so much more to paper than meets the eye. The gallery space is spacious and bright, there's something very calming about it. The centre itself is stunning too. Simple, stylish, minimalistic. It has a tourist information full of free brochures and map, very handy if you’re planning a trip to Japan next year like me. The shop is for those with a fat wallet. The objects, representation of Japan’s finest crafts, are beautiful but spending £4k on glasses or £500 on a kitchen knife is not for me. There’s a little library with books on Japanese art, crafts and culture, little cafe and a gorgeous restaurant. And if you ever wanted to try the high tech Japanese toilet, they have them too, just be careful to click the wright button!


Right off the bat, this is a must-visit for any Japanophile.

From the moment you step in, surprise surprise, everything about Japan House unmistakably, um, Japanese. That is, the interior design is clinical, minimalistic but futuristic, just like every Japanese establishment.

There are  3 floors to explore. Here, you can pick up a coffee, lounge around, and buy Japanese homeware for your humble abode. If you're planning or preparing to visit Japan soon, Japan House has in abundance tourist pamphlets and information leaflets free to take away. Handy!

Upstairs, you'll find an omakase restaurant (fancy!) and downstairs, you'll find an ever-changing exhibition which is free to explore. When I visited, I became acquainted with the works of an eminent Japanese architect. I'd never seen so many miniature models of beautiful building designs on one floor!

I'm not really sure if it can be categorised in just one way.  It's a coffee shop, a restaurant, an information point, a mini-homeware department store and a mini-museum rolled into one. This might seem like taking on too much, but only the Japanese can pull it off. 

It's little Japan right in one of London's most affluent neighbourhood. It's not just for Japanophile. Anyone will enjoy a wander here. What's not to live about Japan after all?

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