London Welcomes – Japanese Visitors

London is getting ready to host the 2012 Olympic Games, and it’s becoming an even more cosmopolitan and welcoming city because of it.

Just recently, London hosted the Matsuri Festival, as part of the ongoing cultural outreach that is being encouraged in London to prepare for the Games, and hopefully, as continuing events in their own right.

The event organizers expected about 15, 000 to attend the festival at the renowned Spitalfields Market, in an historic, culturally-rich and diverse part of the city. Instead, to the amazement of everyone, 45,000 people attended. Fantastic!

We’ll try to cover the Matsuri Festival next year in more detail, but put it on your calendar, and watch for more information at:
Matsuri Festival – TravelVacationReview Link also has mentioned the tremendous burgeoning of Japanese restaurants in London, and truly, I can remember when it was almost impossible to find any different kind of restaurant other than Brit Quick (mostly Fish and Chips), “Continental” (usually over-priced French or pseudo-French), a little “Italian” and some British meat and chop houses, along with the pubs.

So, London’s restaurant scene has been changing for the better. This cultural exchange helps the world learn from and about each other. I think that’s a good thing.

TimeOut was able to give high marks to around 100 of the city’s Japanese restaurants — almost half. And, as Japanese (and Okinawan) food is probably the healthiest in the world, if it’s made traditionally, then hopefully, this will help encourage new eating patterns among the British, too, as part of the “greening” and “health initiatives” that London’s Lord Mayor is instituting.

And, by the way, there’s a great deal more than raw fish (sashmi) and sushi and sukiyaki to Japanese cuisine. Especially look for “washoku” style restaurants as this is Japanese “home-cooking”. Washoku means “the Harmony of food” and its menus change with the seasons.

Or, enjoy “izakaya” style (Japanese pub food) or “keiseki” (tiny tapa-type plates which were traditionally served at the tea ceremony). Have fun exploring!

London – Lord Mayor Says “Walk”!

London Exercise Choices from TravelVacationReview

TimeOut Dining Guide

©2009 Mystic at Travel Vacation Review

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