Japanese Events May 2023

by Best-Japanese Team
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As May brings relatively nice weather, there are quite a few Forest Bathing events held in May not only in London but also other places in the UK to practice this Japanese art and science of spending time in nature especially in forests for its amazing mental and physical health benefits. The dates and places together with further details are listed below in our Japanese Events May calendar.

Apart from Forest Bathing, you’ll find plenty of other Japanese art and culture related lessons and workshops in our Japanese Events May calendar as well, such as Kokedama (moss ball), Shorinji Kempo (self-defence), Shibori (tie-dying), Ikebana (flower arrangement), Origami (paper folding), Shodo (calligraphy) and Kintsugi (golden repair of broken items) workshops.

For those who are interested in Japanese food and/or drinks, West London Wine School has 2 events, “Introduction to Sake Tasting” and “Discover Japanese Wines”, and there’s the “Japanese Gin Cocktail Night” at Sake Collective as well as “Keiko Uchida x Kichiya Pop-Up Japanese Tea House” at the Factory and “Japanese Afternoon Tea” at Karma Sanctum Soho.

If you’re in the Brighton area, you might like to try the “Kanpai Japanese Street Food” at the Brewery or attend the fascinating “Zen Garden Workshop” at Plus X Brighton, which are listed along with Forest Bathing, Japanese Yoga & Japanese Book Club in the Outside of London Events Section of our Japanese Events May 2023 Calendar.


May 2nd, 19th & 23rd : Forest Bathing on Wimbledon Common – Connecting with Nature

Source: Eventbrite ‘Forest Bathing on Wimbledon Common – Connecting with Nature’
  • Date: Tuesday May 2nd, Friday May 19th & Tuesday May 23rd 2023
  • Time: 10:30 – 12:30
  • Cost: £35.00 for May 2nd & 19th | £38.62 for May 23rd
  • Location: The Windmill Tea Rooms, Windmill Road, Wimbledon Common, London, SW19 5NQ 

Forest Bathing was developed in Japan in the 1980s to help people decrease stress levels following scientific studies by the Government. It is called ‘shinrin-yoku’ in Japanese, which means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or literally ‘forest bathing under the trees’. Finland, South Korea and now the UK are fully embracing Forest Bathing to complement the medical health services. Most sessions last for around two hours and are accessible for most people.

For booking and more info, please visit these pages: May 2nd Forest Bathing on Wimbledon Common | May 19th Forest Bathing on Wimbledon Common | May 23rd Forest Bathing on Wimbledon Common


May 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd & 30th: Shorinji Kempo – Self defence, Meditation & Fitness

Source: Eventbrite ‘Shorinji Kempo: Self defence, Meditation & Fitness’
  • Date : Tuesday, May 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd & 30th 2023
  • Time : 19:45 – 21:30
  • Fee: Free, but need to book
  • Location: St Marylebone School, 64 Marylebone High Street, London, W1U 5BA

Learn a practical Japanese self-defence martial art in a fun, friendly and safe environment. Through training you develop a calm mind, heightened awareness, self-confidence and improve your fitness. The entrance to the school is through a gate at the back of the church, in the church gardens. Press the buzzer to be let in, then go diagonally across the astroturf pitch and down the stairs. The studio is at the bottom level, the entrance is through the sports hall.

For more information, please check the Shorinji Kempo: Self defence, Meditation & Fitness page for various dates.


May 2nd: Japanese Conversation Group

Credit: ‘The Japan Society’ – Japanese Conversation Group
  • Date: Tuesday, May 2nd 2023
  • Time: 19:00 – 23:00
  • Cost: No Booking Required – Just turn up and pay at the door a small fee to cover the costs of the buffet
  • 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 visit the Japanese Conversation Group page.


May 4th & 13th: Kintsugi Workshop

Source: Eventbrite ‘Kintsugi Workshop’ by Dotty by Design

Date & Time, Fee and Location

  • Thursday, May 4th 2023: 19:30 – 21:00 | £28 | Mini Picassos, 8 Station Terrace, Kensal Rise, London NW10 5RT
  • Saturday, May 13th 2023: 14:00 – 15:30 | £28 | KGU5s 130 Mortimer Road, Kensal Green, London NW10 5SN

The idea of this workshop is to repair a loved item, joining together the fractures using the Japanese Kintsugi method – applying the resin glue to the broken sections and making it whole once more. The Kintsugi method celebrates the beauty of the scars in an object and recognises that the history should be shown and not hidden. All the kit needed for this workshop is provided.

For booking and more info, please check these pages: May 4th Kintsugi Workshop | May 13th Kintsugi Workshop


May 5th: SHODO Japanese Calligraphy Course

Source: Eventbrite ‘SHODO Japanese Calligraphy’
  • Date: Friday, May 5th 2023
  • Time: 12:30 – 15:30
  • Fee: £58
  • Location: London Shodo, The Art Worker’s Guild, 6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AT (first floor)

All materials are included and the utensils are prepared. You’ll have 90min x2 (3 hours) of hands-on instruction, including 1 to 1 help. You will learn essential brush movements and calligraphy techniques and how to use all four treasures of the studies, brush, paper, ink and ink stone. There will be various templates (seasonal inspired) prepared for different levels so each individual can learn and develop in the most effective way.

For booking and more info, please visit the Shodo Japanese Calligraphy Course page.


May 7th & 13th: Less is more – Art of Ikebaba (Trial class)

Source: Eventbrite ‘Art of Ikebana Trial Class’
  • Date: Sunday, May 7th & Saturday, May 13th 2023
  • Time: 14:30 – 16:30
  • Fee: £65
  • Location: Craft Central 397-411 Westferry Road London E14 3AE

Explore the beauty of nature. Enjoy your world expanding from a stem. You will see yourself in a tiny container. In this class, you will make 1 arrangement, learn how to make sophisticated Ikebana arrangements, and some etiquette when you “do” Ikebana is taught. Flowers, 1 vase, 1 kenzan, scissors, text, 1 bag, and refreshment are provided and you can take all home except the scissors.

For more information and booking, please check these pages: May 7th Ikebana Trial Class | May 13th Ikebana Trial Class


May 11th: Beginners Shibori – Stitching and Binding

Source: Eventbrite ‘Beginners Shibori – Stitching and Binding’
  • Date: Thursday, May 11th 2023
  • Time: 18:30 – 21:30
  • Fee: £57.90
  • Location: Artist’s studio, 108 Alexandra Park Road, Muswell Hill, London N10 2AE

Shibori is the Japanese art of stitched and bound resist. In this class you will learn basic shibori stitching and binding techniques before dyeing your work in the indigo vat. Instructions on how to create and maintain your own indigo vat at home will be provided. Suitable for complete beginners. All classes include indigo dyeing, unless stated.

For booking and more info, please visit the Beginners Shibori – stitching and binding page.


May 11th: Harmony in Nature Woodland Therapy at Cannon Hill Common

Source: Eventbrite ‘Harmony in Nature Woodland Therapy at Cannon Hill Common’
  • Date: Thursday, May 11th 2023
  • Time: 11:00 – 13:30
  • Cost: £43.79
  • Location: Cannon Hill Common, 235 Cannon Hill Lane, London, SW20 9DB 

Forest bathing is an evidence-based wellbeing activity, based on the Japanese art of Shinrin-Yoku. Spending time in woodland has been shown to, amongst other benefits, boost our immune system for two+ weeks, balance blood pressure, reduce stress/cortisol levels, blood sugars, anxiety and rumination, as well as improve sleep, memory, concentration and creativity.

For booking and more info, please visit the Harmony in Nature Woodland Therapy at Cannon Hill Common page.


May 13th: Happy Origami Workshop

Happy Origami Workshop
  • Date: Saturday May 13th 2023
  • Time: 14:00 – 15:30
  • 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 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.


May 15th: Introduction to Sake Tasting

West London Wine School – ‘Introduction to Sake Tasting’
  • Date: Monday, May 15th 2023
  • 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 (especially wine lovers), who want to discover how it is made and taste the diversity of of its unique styles. You will taste six 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 visit the Introduction to Sake Tasting page.


May 17th: Discover Japanese Wines

West London Wine School – ‘Discover Japanese Wines’
  • Date: Wednesday, May 17th 2023
  • Time: 19:00 – 21:00
  • Entrance cost: £50
  • 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

Japan is famous for sake, but it also makes excellent wine – and boasts its own native white grape varietal, koshu. Join their tutor and Japan expert Sarah for a fabulous evening exploring the history and culture of Japan’s wine-growing regions while tasting some hard-to-find Japanese wines! You will taste seven Japanese wines from a variety of styles, accompanied by fine cheeses and Japanese-influenced nibbles.

For more information and booking, please check the Discover Japanese Wines page.


May 18th: Stations, Stream, and Speed: Railroads and the Spatial Imaginary in Nineteenth Century Japanese Woodblock Prints (Zoom)

Utagawa Hiroshige III. Woodblock print. View of Shinbashi railway station in Tokyo. 1870s. © The Trustees of the British Museum
  • Date: Thursday, May 18th 2023
  • Time: 18:00 – 19:00
  • Fee: Free and open to all, booking essential
  • Location: Online lecture via Zoom

Third Thursday Lecture – Sainsbury Institute. 50 min lecture followed by Q & A.

Speaker: Dr Alison Miller (Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellow 2023, Sainsbury Institute).

Full details to be announced.

For more information and booking, please visit the Stations, Stream, and Speed: Railroads and the Spatial Imaginary in Nineteenth Century Japanese Woodblock Prints page.


May 20th & 21st: Keiko Uchida x Kichiya Pop-Up Japanese Tea House

Source: Eventbrite ‘Keiko Uchida x Kichiya Pop-Up Japanese Tea House’
  • Date : Saturday, May 20th & Sunday, May 21st 2023
  • Time : 11:00 – 18:00
  • Admission: Free, but need to book
  • Location: The Factory, 21 Shacklewell Lane, London, E8 2DF 

Visit The Factory, Dalston for a day of Japanese culture! There will be a matcha bar, where you can buy matcha, matcha lattes, and other Japanese tea, as well as a selection of cakes from Kichiya, such as Dorayaki ice cream, Mille crepe, Strawberry short cake, Biscuits, and more! Keiko will be holding workshops for the Japanese Tea Ceremony (£15), as well as selling a selection of her favourite matcha, tea, and tea ware for you to use at home.

For more information, please check the Keiko Uchida x Kichiya Pop-Up Japanese Tea House page.


May 25th: Kokedama Workshop

Source: Eventbrite ‘Kokedama Workshop’
  • Date : Thursday, May 25th 2023
  • Time : 18:30 – 20:00
  • Fee: £78.74
  • Location: Plant Designs Shop, 18 Exmouth Market London EC1R 4QE

Learn how to make your own hanging kokedama moss ball, a beautiful and natural way to display plants in your home. The ticket includes all materials needed to make kokedama, refreshments for the evening, and of course advice from the team guiding you along. You will also have the opportunity to explore their houseplant shop after hours, with an added 10% off purchases for the evening 🌿

For more information and booking, please visit the Kokedama Workshop page.


May 30th: Itajime Shibori – folding and clamping

Source: Eventbrite ‘Itajime Shibori – folding and clamping’
  • Date : Tuesday, May 30th 2023
  • Time : 18:30 – 21:30
  • Fee: £57.90
  • Location: Artist’s studio, 108 Alexandra Park Road, Muswell Hill, London, N10 2AE

This 3-hour session covers the range of Shibori techniques focussing on clamped resist techniques, known as Itajime and teaches you all about indigo. In this workshop, you will learn the three basic folding techniques for preparing fabric for clamp resist dyeing, known as “Kikko” – equilateral triangles, right angle triangles and squares. These can be varied in many ways to achieve different effects.

For more information and booking, please check the Itajime Shibori – folding and clamping page.


May 31st: Japanese Gin Cocktail Night – Try the Original 4 Cocktails

Source: Eventbrite ‘Japanese Gin Cocktail Night: Try the Original 4 Cocktails’
  • Date: Wednesday, May 31st 2023
  • Time: 19:30 – 21:00
  • Admission: £35
  • Location: SAKE COLLECTIVE, 144 Commercial Street, London E1 6NU 

Sake Collective will be holding a cocktail tasting event led by The Ethical Spirits & Co. On the night, you will be greeted with a refreshing G&T on arrival at the bar, which holds a large selection of Japanese sake. You will taste three delicious original cocktails made from their gins, all unique and aromatic and feel free to ask any questions you may have during the session! A valid physical ID (passport, national ID card, driving licence) is required to enter this event.

For more information and booking, please check the Japanese Gin Cocktail Night page.


Ongoing Japanese Events in May: Drop-in Kumihimo Braiding Demonstrations with The Braid Society | Japanese Afternoon Tea

1) Drop-in Kumihimo Braiding Demonstrations with The Braid Society

Image: Kumihimo in action. Credit: Jacqui Carey
  • Date: Wednesday, April 5th to Saturday, June 10th 2023
  • Time: 12:00 – 17:00 for Saturday May 13th & 20th | 15:00 – 17:00 for Wednesday May 31st
  • Admission: Free / Drop-in
  • Location: The Library, Japan House London, 101-111 Kensington High St, London, W8 5SA

During your visit to the exhibition Kumihimo: Japanese Silk Braiding by Domyo, drop into the Japan House Library to watch a skilled craftsperson from The Braid Society create intricate and beautiful kumihimo braids using a marudai braiding stand. Literally translating as ‘joined or constructed threads’, kumihimo are finely braided cords which have been made in Japan for over 1,300 years.

For more information, please visit the Drop-in Kumihimo Braiding Demonstrations with The Braid Society page.


2) Japanese Afternoon Tea

Source: Eventbrite ‘Japanese Afternoon Tea’
  • Date & Time: From Wednesday to Saturday 12:00 – 18:00
  • Cost: £48.02
  • Location: Karma Sanctum Soho London, 20 Warwick Street London W1B 5NF

Japanese-inspired Afternoon Tea is a unique take on the classic British tradition with savoury dishes such as crispy shrimp, chicken katsu slider, hirata bun with wasabi crunchy tofu, steamed & pan-fried vegetable gyoza, salmon tartare, and sweet treats including selection of mochi, chocolate & caramelised miso tart, apple & apple crumble, and warm scones with served with yuzu curd.

For more information and booking, please check the Japanese Afternoon Tea page.


Outside of London Events: Japanese Zen Garden Workshop (Brighton) | Kanpai – Japanese Street Food (Brighton) | Forest Bathing + Mindfulness in Nature (West Walk, Leith Hill, Wendover Woods, Alice Holt Forest, Box Hill, RSPB The Lodge) | Nihongo Yoga (Edinburgh) | Japanese Book Club (Edinburgh) | Forest Bathing Workshops (West Kent)

1) May 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th & 31st: Japanese Zen Garden Workshop (Brighton)

Source: GetFun Garden Ltd.
  • Date: Wednesday, May 3rd, May 10th, May 17th, May 24th & May 31st 2023
  • Time: 17:00 – 18:30
  • Fee: £16.76
  • Location: Plus X Brighton, Plus X Innovation Hub, Lewes Road Brighton BN2 4GL

Rocks, sand, plants and rakes. These are the elements of forming a Japanese zen garden, a kind of Japanese traditional art that you can find in Japanese temples. In the workshop, you will be introduced the concepts and basic techniques of Japanese Zen Garden. An individual table set of zen garden materials will be provided. At the end of the soul calming journey, you will have a cuppa of Japanese green tea as a curtain fall of the workshop. No experience is needed.

For booking and more info, please check the Japanese Zen Garden Workshop page for various dates.


2) May 5th & 27th: Kanpai | Japanese Street Food at the Brewery (Brighton)

Source: Eventbrite ‘Kanpai | Japanese Street Food at the Brewery’
  • Date & Time: Friday May 5th 2023 (17:00 – 21:00) | Saturday May 27th 2023 (13:00 – 21:00)
  • Admission: Free, but need to reserve a spot
  • Location: Brighton Bier | Brewery + Taproom, Unit 10, Bell Tower Industrial Estate, Roedean Road, Brighton BN2 0JB 

Kanpai Japanese Street Food return to the Brewery!

You’ll find steaming Gyozas, crispy fried Chicken, teriyaki burgers & much more!

For more info, please check these pages: May 5th Kanpai | Japanese Street Food at the Brewery | May 27th Kanpai | Japanese Street Food at the Brewery


3) May 7th, 10th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st, 27th & 28th: Forest Bathing+Mindfulness in Nature (West Walk, Leith Hill, Wendover Woods, Alice Holt Forest, Box Hill, RSPB The Lodge)

Source: Eventbrite ‘Forest Bathing+Mindfulness in Nature at West Walk’

Learn about the latest science on nature and health, and experience for yourself the health benefits of spending time in woodlands. Although you’ll learn about science and their latest research, this isn’t an intellectual exercise; you will also experience how to relax deeply in nature. Think of Forest Bathing as mindful time spent amongst trees.

Forest Bathing+Mindfulness in Nature at West Walk

  • Sunday May 7th 2023: 10:00 – 12:00 | £32.80 | West Walk (Hundred Acres wood), Hundred Acres Road, Wickham PO17 6JD

*For booking and more info, please check the Forest Bathing+Mindfulness in Nature at West Walk page.

Forest Bathing+Mindfulness in Nature at Leith Hill

  • Sunday May 7th, Saturday May 20th, Sunday May 21st 2023: 10:00 – 12:30 | £39.22 | Leith Hill Rhododendron Wood Car Park, Dorking RH5 6LU

*For booking & more info, please check these pages: May 7th Forest Bathing+Mindfulness in Nature at Leith Hill | May 20th Forest Bathing+Mindfulness in Nature at Leith Hill | May 21st Forest Bathing+Mindfulness in Nature at Leith Hill

Forest Bathing+Mindfulness in Nature at Wendover Woods

  • Wednesday May 10th 2023: 9:30 – 12:00 | £38.93 | Wendover Woods, Upper Icknield Way, Aston Clinton, Aylesbury HP22 5NQ

*For booking and more info, please check the Forest Bathing+Mindfulness in Nature at Wendover Woods page.

Forest Bathing+Mindfulness in Nature at Alice Holt Forest

  • Saturday May 13th 2023: 10:00 – 12:00 | £32.80 | Alice Holt Forest, Dockenfield Street, Binstead GU10 4LS 

*For booking and more info, please check the Forest Bathing+Mindfulness in Nature at Alice Holt Forest page.

Forest Bathing+Mindfulness in Nature at Box Hill

  • Saturday May 13th & May 27th 2023: 9:00 – 11:30 and Sunday May 14th & May 28th 2023: 8;00 – 10:30 | £39.22 | Box Hill Zig Zag Road, Box Hill Road, Tadworth KT20 7LB

*For booking and more info, please check these pages: May 13th Forest Bathing+Mindfulness in Nature at Box Hill | May 14th Forest Bathing+Mindfulness in Nature at Box Hill | May 27th Forest Bathing+Mindfulness in Nature at Box Hill | May 28th Forest Bathing+Mindfulness in Nature at Box Hill

Forest Bathing+Mindfulness in Nature at RSPB The Lodge

  • Saturday, May 27th 2023: 9:00 – 12:00 | £45.32 | RSPB The Lodge, Potton Road, Sandy SG19 2DL

*For booking and more info, please visit the Forest Bathing+Mindfulness in Nature at RSPB The Lodge page.


4) May 7th: Nihongo Yoga (with Japanese and English) & Social Meeting (Edinburgh)

Nihongo Yoga
Nihongo Yoga & Social Meeting
  • Date: Sunday, May 7th 2023
  • Time: 11:00 – 12:30 (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.


5) May 16th: Japanese Book Club (Edinburgh)

Japanese Book Club | Ippo Ippo
  • Date: Monday, May 15th 2023
  • Time: 17:30 – 19:00
  • Participation cost: £15 full price; £12 concession
  • Location: ELREC Meeting Room on the Ground Floor (Edinburgh & Lothians Regional Equality Council, 14 Forth St, Edinburgh EH1 3LH)

Join Japanese tutors Elly and Hitomi Kobayashi for a relaxed evening of reading and conversation in central Edinburgh. The Japanese Book Club is a monthly event through which learners gather to explore a variety of bite-sized materials, with something for all levels, from beginner to advanced.

For more information and booking, please check the IppoIppo Event page.


6) May 21st : Forest Bathing Workshops (West Kent)

Source: Eventbrite ‘Forest Bathing Workshops’
  • Date: Sunday, May 21st 2023
  • Time: 10:00 – 13:00
  • Cost: £31.86
  • Location: Staffhurst Wood, 54 Grants Lane Edenbridge TN8 6QF

The Japanese began Forest bathing back in the 80’s and today there are Forest Bathing Guides all over the world guiding people back into Nature to find peace, deep relaxation, connection and meaning. The practice has now been subject to a vast amount of research and study and has been scientifically proven to be an effective support with mental health illness and physical/emotional health and wellbeing too.

For booking and more info, please check the Forest Bathing Workshops page.


Your reviews of Japanese Events May 2023

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

We’ll be updating this Japanese Events May 2023 page as we get more info, so please do come back to check it from time to time, and 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 May or June, please get in touch with us through our contact form.

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