Lifestyle Travel

Exploring Japan in London

May 20, 2016
Holland Park Kyoto Garden

Given how much we missed our time together in Japan where we spent our honeymoon, I planned a cultural (Japanese) day out in London for Stephen’s birthday. It was like going abroad and the way it went made me realise we should spend more time discovering the beauty of London, as opposed to spending ridiculous amounts of money traveling overseas. I shared my day out route with some friends and they all felt it was very inspiring, so I decided to blog about it.

The London Japanese discovery route
Ladbroke Grove station > UKAI Sushi > Portobello Road > The Mitre > Holland Park (Kyoto Garden) > Tombo Cafe > Eat Tokyo

When you exit from the Ladbroke Grove station, UKAI Sushi is only 4 mins walk away. From outside it looks like an ordinary and traditional English pub, but it was the Japanese neon sign, which caught my attention, as we charged our way to Portobello Road, so we decided to enjoy a cocktail and a sushi platter before continuing our journey.

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I had an Asian Rose Ice Tea (fresh raspberries shaken with lychee and jasmine tea) and it was so refreshing, perfect for a warm sunny afternoon! After a few sip of our cocktail, the manager of the restaurant approached us and started explaining where their salmons came from. Their salmons are freshly delivered from Scotland every morning and believe me, it was amazingly fresh. We were also given free miso soup with our sushi platter.

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As we continued our journey to Portobello Road,we spotted a Chatime (an infamous Taiwanese bubble tea chain), another nice pub and countless unique looking vintage shops. I bought a cute yellow summer dress from a little boutique call Appletree. If you are a huge vintage fan and love silverware, you should explore this place. Portobello Road have a massive food market during the weekends and that is one of its main attractions.

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As we approached the end of Portobello Road, we stopped by a pub and had another drink with some delicious triple cooked chips before reaching our next destination, Holland Park. The weather was getting better and the sun was blasting down like a life stream, so we couldn’t resist to soak up in The Mitre front beer garden. Life couldn’t get any better chilling under the sun, with a cold drink on one hand and triple cooked chips on the other. It feels much better on a weekday afternoon too considering there aren’t many tourist around.

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We finally arrived at Kyoto Garden in Holland Park afterwards. This Japanese garden was donated by the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto in 1991 and it was designed and built by an eminent Japanese Garden designer. The garden represents the celebration of the Japan Festival in London back in 1992. The colour of the trees, pond, waterfall and bridge reminded me of Uji in Kyoto. The only downside in the garden is when you want to capture a photo of the waterfall behind the bridge, but tourists get in the way when they walk across the bridge. I was able to capture a perfect photo after battling against my patience.

Holland Park Kyoto Garden

Our journey did not end in Kyoto Garden because we caught a bus to South Kensington afterwards to get a soft green tea ice-cream from Tombo. The green tea ice cream they serve in Tombo is different to the green tea ice creams around London. I felt nostalgic because the ice cream they serve taste exactly the same as the ice cream we had in Japan and that itself is worth it.

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We finished our journey with a hearty Japanese meal from Eat Tokyo in Holborn. As a regular customer, I could only commend this place because we have never been let down by their food or service. Their service is quick, the food is filling and the price is reasonably affordable. They serve the best sashimi bento box in town for £11 only. More importantly, their Katsu curry is gigantic! If I were to describe Eat Tokyo in a single sentence, It will be: ‘Eat Tokyo, an upgrade to Misato is a very affordable Japanese restaurant serving quality food in large portions.’

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We thoroughly enjoyed this half day trip in London! If you have a whole day to spend, you can also visit the Science Museum, Natural History Museum and V&A Museum before heading to Tombo! Try out this route and let me know how it goes. Peace out 🙂

UKAI Sushi
240 Portobello Rd, London W11 1LL
www.ukai.co.uk

Tombo Cafe
29 Thurloe Pl, London SW7 2HQ
www.tombocafe.com

Eat Tokyo (Holborn)
50 Red Lion St, High Holborn, London WC1R 4PF
www.eattokyo.co.uk/holborn

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