Japanese Events January 2024

by Best-Japanese Team
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Nandina domestica for Japanese Events January 2024

January is always a great time to try something new or finally get round to starting a hobby you’ve been meaning to do for a while! If you have Japanese hobbies and skills in mind, you’ll see several workshops in our Japanese Events January 2024 calendar, where you can learn more and try your hand at them.

One of the highlights in January has to be a Kakizome workshop by the Japan Society. Kakizome is the traditional Japanese practice of writing your first calligraphy of the New Year and it’s believed to bring good luck and set intentions for the year ahead.

Japan House London is also holding Festive Family Workshops to learn and enjoy creating your own Nengajo (New Year card), paper Shinkansen (bullet train), and Ema (picture horses) as well as Origami (paper folding) workshops to make Orizuru (folded crane) and Kabuto (paper helmet).

If you’re interested in Japanese drinks and sake, West London Wine school has their Introduction to Sake Tasting workshop where you can taste 6 different types of sake with cheese and nibbles while learning a lot about sake.

Meanwhile, outside of London, a couple of exciting events are going to be held in January including a How to make delicious Sushi workshop in Milton Keynes and the Woodblock Printing events in Abingdon. If you’re not close to these places, you might like to take a day or weekend trip to attend these fantastic events. You can find the event details below in the Outside of London Events section of our Japanese Events January 2024 calendar.

January 6th: New Year’s Calligraphy Workshop

Credit: The Japan Society ‘New Year’s Calligraphy Workshop’
  • Date: Saturday, January 6th 2024
  • Time: 11:00 – 12:15 | 13:00 – 14:15
  • Admission: Booking essential. £20 for Japan Society Members, their family and friends | £25 for Non-members
  • Location: The Japan Society, 13 / 14 Cornwall Terrace (Outer Circle), London NW1 4QP

All tools, equipment and materials will be provided on the day. Kakizome is the traditional custom of writing your first calligraphy of the New Year. People often write positive and auspicious words and phrases in kanji using a brush and ink on a big sheet of calligraphy paper. Suitable even for complete beginners. This is a wonderful opportunity to try this quintessential Japanese art led by a professional calligrapher.

For booking and more information, please visit the New Year’s Calligraphy Workshop page.

January 9th: Japanese Conversation Group

Credit: The Japan Society – ‘Japanese Conversation Group’
  • Date: Tuesday, January 9th 2024
  • Time: 19:00 – 23:00
  • Admission: £3 without buffet, £5 – £6 with buffet. Discounts available for students and Japan Society members. Advance registration is not required.
  • Location: Shakespeare’s Head, 29 Great Marlborough Street, Soho, London W1F 7HZ

The Japanese Conversation Group provides a friendly and informal atmosphere for Japanese speakers of all nationalities to come together and speak Japanese – intermediate level recommended. Meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every month. They begin at 7.00pm and finish around 11.00pm.

For more information, please check the Japanese Conversation Group page.

January 12th: Shodo The Art of Japanese Calligraphy

Credit: School of SHODO – ‘The Art of Japanese Calligraphy’
  • Date: Friday, January 12th 2024
  • Time: 13:30 – 16:30 with a tea break
  • Fee: £58
  • Location: School of SHODO, The Art Worker’s Guild, 6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AT (first floor)

All materials included and the utensils are prepared. You’ll have 90min x2 (3 hours) of hands-on instruction, including 1 to 1 help and learn essential brush movements, calligraphy techniques and how to use all four treasures of the studies, brush, paper, ink and ink stone. You will also receive tips, advice and detailed insights from a practicing calligrapher: plenty of inspiration and techniques to experience the mindfulness process.

For booking and more info, please check out the Shodo The Art of Japanese Calligraphy page.

January 13th & 25th: Happy Origami Workshop

Credit: Origami Happy Wonderland – ‘Happy Origami Workshop’
  • Date & Time: Saturday, January 13th 14:00 – 15:30 | Thursday, January 25th 19:00 – 20:30
  • Fee: £15
  • Location: THE SNOOTY FOX (Opposite Canonbury Overground Station), 75 Grosvenor Avenue, London, N5 2NN

This is a wonderful Origami experience where you will learn about Japanese traditions. Just by folding paper, you will be happy and calm and before long it will bring a smile to your face. Japanese Origami artist Toshiko, a member of British Origami Society, will be teaching you how to fold beautiful flowers like tulips and lilies, kimono book marks, lovely gift & jewellery boxes and kawaii dress bunting.

For more information and booking, please check the Happy Origami Workshop page.

January 15th: Introduction to Sake Tasting

Credit: West London Wine School – ‘Introduction to Sake Tasting’
  • Date: Monday, January 15th 2024
  • Time: 19:00 – 21:00
  • Entrance Cost: £40
  • Location: West London Wine School, located inside The Wine Cellars (access via the Big Yellow Storage Company entrance) 71 Townmead Road, Fulham, London SW6 2SG

Curious about sake, but not sure where to start? This tasting is perfect for anyone new to sake who want to discover how it’s made & taste the diversity of of its unique styles. Sake tutor Sarah will cover the basics of history, ingredients, production and premium classification, introduce the major styles and show how basic wine tasting principles can easily be applied to sake. You will taste 6 different styles of sake alongside cheese and nibbles to help enhance flavours and introduce sake and food pairing concepts.

For more information and booking, please check out the Introduction to Sake Tasting page.

January 20th: The European Premiere of ‘WHOLE/ホール’



Haruki (Kai Sandy), a mixed ethnicity student decides to quit college and travel to Japan to better understand his Japanese roots. Upon arrival Haruki experiences racial adversity and struggles to connect with his parents. However, one day Haruki meets a guy named Makoto (Usman Kawazoe), a construction worker raised in Kansai who is also mixed ethnicity.
Although Haruki and Makoto are complete opposites in terms of personality and socioeconomic status, they quickly form a friendship. Through a series of events, Haruki and Makoto grow closer and begin their journey from “Half” to “Whole.

The film won the Japan Cuts Award Special Mention at the 14th Osaka Asian Film Festival and was officially entered into the largest Japanese film festival in North America, Japan Cuts (New York.)

After the The European Premiere of ‘WHOLE/ホール’ there will be the opportunity to reflect on the film and join a panel discussion with 3 special guests. The guests are all mixed ethnicity Asians who are thriving in various industries. The discussion will focus on mixed ethnicity in the arts and culture sector. The panelists will talk about their experiences and we will discuss the importance of improving access, diversity and representation in these spaces, while building a community space for people of mixed ethnicity.

  • Date: Saturday, January 20th 2024
  • Time: 13:00 – 16:00
  • Entrance Cost: £7
  • Location: Flett Theatre, Natural History Museum Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 5BD

For more information and booking, please check out Multippl’s Whole Film Screening Event page.

Ongoing Japanese Events in January: Ikebana Month by Month (Display) | Festive Family Workshops

1) Ikebana Month by Month

Credit: Japan House London ‘Ikebaba Month by Month’
  • Date: Monthly from July 2023 to June 30th 2024 | Next Display from January 5 – 8th 2024
  • Time: Monday to Saturday 10:00 – 20:00 | Sundays and Bank Holidays 12:00 – 18:00 (Christmas & New Year Opening Hours)
  • Admission: Free | Drop-in
  • Location: Ground Floor, Japan House London, 101-111 Kensington High Street, London W8 5SA

Slow down and appreciate the subtle changing of the seasons and passing of time with a monthly display of ikebana, Japanese flower design, created by members of Ikebana International London Chapter. Each display is made by a member of Ikebana International from a variety of ikebana schools including Ikenobō, Nippon Kadō Koryū, Ohara School of Ikebana, Ryūsei-ha and Sōgetsu School. The next arrangement is on display from Friday January 5th until Monday January 8th 2024.

For more information, please visit the Ikebana Month by Month page.

2) Festive Family Workshops

Credit: Japan House London – ‘Festive Family Workshops’

Create Your Own New Year Card (nengajo): Wednesday January 3rd 16:00 – 17:00 | Friday January 5th 14:00 – 15:00 | Saturday January 6th 14:00 – 15:00 | Admission Free, Drop in *Children must be 6+ & accompanied by an adult | The Hall, Japan House London, 101-111 Kensington High St, London, W8 5SA

In Japan it is customary to send New Year greetings cards (nengajō) to relatives, friends and colleagues. Colour in and cut out the selection of pictures associated with the New Year season to decorate your own original nengajō.

Make Your Own Paper ‘Series N700S’ Shinkansen: Wednesday January 3rd 14:00 – 15:30 | Thursday January 4th 15:30 – 17:00 | Admission Free, Drop in *Children must be 6+ & accompanied by an adult | The Hall, Japan House London, 101-111 Kensington High St, London, W8 5SA

Learn about rail innovation in Japan by creating your own paper ‘Series N700S’ Shinkansen using an activity sheet created by Japan House London in collaboration with Central Japan Railway Company.

Make Your Own Paper Ema: Thursday January 4th 14:00 – 15:00 | Sunday January 7th 14:00 – 15:00 | Admission Free, Drop in *Children must be 6+ & accompanied by an adult | The Hall, Japan House London, 101-111 Kensington High St, London, W8 5SA

Ema (lit. ‘picture horses’) are palm-sized wooden tablets seen at shrines throughout Japan. People write prayers or wishes on them and hang them at the shrine as offerings. Make your own paper ema using an original Japan House London activity worksheet.

Origami (paper folding) : Saturday January 6th 15:30 – 16:30 | Sunday January 7th 15:30 – 16:30 | Admission Free, Drop in *Children must be 6+ & accompanied by an adult | The Hall, Japan House London, 101-111 Kensington High St, London, W8 5SA

Try your hand at origami, Japanese paper folding. Guests can make their own  orizuru (folded crane) to wish for peace and hope for the future or make a paper helmet (kabuto) based on those worn by Japanese warriors including samurai.

For more information, please check out the Festive Family Workshops page.

Outside of London Events: Nihongo Yoga & Social Meeting (Edinburgh) | Japanese Black and White Woodblock Printing (Abingdon) | Learn How to Make Delicious Sushi (Milton Keynes)

1) January 7th: Nihongo Yoga with Japanese and English & Social Meeting

Credit: Nihongo Yoga – ‘Nihongo Yoga with Japanese and English & Social Meeting’
  • Date: Sunday, January 7th 2024
  • Time: 11:30 – 13:00 (about 45mins yoga practice & 45 mins tea time)
  • Fee: £10 although if you bring snacks to share with everyone it is half price.
  • Location: Yoga Studio Art and Spirituality, 6-8 Alexander Drive, Gorgie, Edinburgh, EH11 2RH

This is a unique class for people who study Japanese or like Japanese culture and allows them to have the chance to meet new like-minded people. Instructor Kotomi will conduct the class in both English and Japanese. She enjoys spending time with class participants after sessions and for everyone to socialise and get to know each other. At Nihongo Yoga, you can get plenty of opportunity to talk after.

You can find more event information here: Nihongo Yoga with Japanese and English & Social Meeting.

2) January 20th & 21st: Japanese Black and White Woodblock Printing

Credit: The Abbey Sutton Courtenay LTD ‘Japanese Black and White Woodblock Printing’

Talk with artist Hiroko Imada & Supper

  • Saturday, January 20th 2024 | 17:30 – 18:30 Supper 19:00 | £40 | The Abbey, The Green, Sutton Courtenay, Abingdon OX14 4AF

Woodblock Print Workshop

  • Sunday, January 21st 2024 | 9:30 – 12:30 or 13:30 – 16:30 | £45 | The Abbey, The Green, Sutton Courtenay, Abingdon OX14 4AF

An exciting workshop at The Abbey, Sutton Courtenay where the world renowned artist Hiroko Imada will guide you through the mesmerizing world of Japanese black and white woodblock printing. Immerse yourself in this traditional art form and learn the techniques used to create stunning prints. Discover the history behind this ancient technique and gain hands-on experience as you create your own unique masterpiece.

For more information and booking, please visit the Japanese Black and White Woodblock Printing page.

3) January 27th: Learn How to Make Delicious Sushi

Credit: Yay!Sushi ‘Learn How to Make Delicious Sushi’
  • Date: Saturday, January 27th 2024
  • Time: 13:00 – 15:30
  • Fee: £75
  • Location: Yay!Sushi, Fullers Slade Spider Park, 92 Weavers Hill, Fullers Slade, Milton Keynes, MK11 2

Join Chef Anna and learn step by step how to make the perfect sushi. Anna will talk about the sushi tradition, the main ingredients, the sushi kinds, shows the knives she uses and explains what they are used for. Participants will also have the opportunity to taste an original Japanese wine made from the fruit Ume, the so-called Choya. Children will be provided with non-alcoholic drinks. Everyone at the workshop will get a takeaway tray and can take home all the sushi they have made.

For booking and more information, please check the Learn How to Make Delicious Sushi workshop page.

We hope you found our Japanese Events for January 2024 round up helpful, and you’re able to check out some of these fantastic events!

We’ll be updating this event page as we get more info, so please do come back to check it from time to time.  

Please feel free to comment below on your experience if you were able to attend! This will give our readers a better idea of what to expect and may encourage them to join future events by the same organizers.

Also, if you’d like to submit information for your Japanese event coming up in January or February, please get in touch with us through our contact form.

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