What's New at Japan Centre UK (AD)

My family loves all things Japanese and no trip to London is compete without a trip to Japan Centre -Europe's largest Japanese food hall. Our fave branch is tucked steps from Leicester Square with lots of fun and exciting products to browse and delicious food to buy to cook at home, takeout or eat in. Top Tip - the adjacent ramen bar, Panton Yokocho offers delicious retro Tokyo ramen in super cute surroundings with very reasonable prices especially considering its central location.

Interior of Panton Yokocho ramen bar, London

As if I needed an excuse to visit again I've just learned that Japan Centre has just launched new ranges which will delight anyone who adores Asian culture.

Firstly the Shinkansen range for children which is available for nationwide delivery or in-store celebrates the eponymous transport system with super safe and speedy trains known colloquially to many as bullet trains. My grandson B is absolutely obsessed with trains and I know he's going to love these cute trainer socks and tiny toothbrush. Move over Thomas and Toby, Shinkansen are way cooler. Apparently you can get stationery, clothing and even plasters featuring the famous trains.

Shinkansen train socks and childs toothbrush

At the age of 2 B is not quite ready for chopsticks yet (although he already loves Asian food) but when he is he can start with the Watts Lifestyle training chopsticks with a finger ring and ledge from the Japanese coin store collection to teach the perfect chopstick hold. And if he makes a mess we can mop him up with a super cute cat towel from the same range, small enough to pack into a rucksack for hygienic hand drying on the go or give a gorgeous and practical hanging vibe in the bathroom or kitchen.

cat towel and chopsticks from Japan coin store range at Japan Centre

Now I've mentioned stationery. As well as sharing my notebook obsession many of my children love stationery and when my box of gifted goodies arrived from Japan Centre there was a dive for the paper-based items in the box. A package of tiny doughnut stickers got snaffled faster than I can eat a real doughnut ( and let me tell you, that is fast!) and I can't wait to see the origami pieces coming from the booklet with paper and detailed instructions on how to make everything from a fox to a camel. 

Japan Centre stationery, doughnut stickers, Shinkansen memo pad and origami book

book open at instructions on how to make origami camel from Japan Centre

I'm taking the 100 sheet notebook featuring Japan's famous trains for leaving attractive but occasional angry notes for my teenagers. You know the kind. "Please remove all bowls and forks from under your bed/desk/clothes and place into the dishwasher."

As I mentioned before even if you don't have plans to visit London,  Japan Centre does offer a delivery service through the UK and US. In the meantime why not head along to the website and check out the recipes and know how features to help you prepare and cook food the Japanese way. There 's also a blog and of course you can shop groceries, lifestyle items and gifts, especially useful if you live in an area where it can be hard to come by authentic Asian ingredients.

And it's not "just" all things Japanese at Japan Centre. You can also buy goods and ingredients from across Asia including Korea. Korean food and culture is increasingly popular so it's great to see Japan Centre offering a good range including spicy Gochujang paste, kimchi, instant ramen, Korea’s national drink sojou in fresh and fruit flavours, and the ice pouches that went viral this year.  

 Disclaimer: I was gifted a box of items from the new range as a thank you for posting this honest review.