Shogawa River Gorge, Credit Toyama Tourism Organization
It’s almost Toyama Week in London!
Toyama Prefecture, located in the Hokuriku region of Japan, features a mixture of coastal and mountainous beauty. The coast features views of Toyama Bay, in addition to the awe-inspiring Tateyama Mountain Range that is ever present in the background to the east of Toyama city. A prefecture perfect for the outdoor enthusiast, it also features amazing food and deeply historical arts and crafts. You can visit the historical town of Gokayama, or Kurobe Dam, the tallest dam in the country. In spring, the town of Tonami hosts a tulip festival where you can admire nearly 3 million blooming flowers.
The dramatic coasts and mountains of Toyama, Credit Toyama Tourism Organization
Starting from 31 October and lasting until 5 November, there will be a variety of Toyama Prefecture related activities going on in London! From a Toyama sake dinner to a wagashi (traditional Japanese confectionery) pop-up at Pantechnicon, this week will serve as a great introduction to the many charms that Toyama has to offer. Just 2 hours by bullet train from Tokyo, the week will make you want to book your tickets as soon as possible!
The Amaharashi Coast, Credit Toyama Tourism Organization
At Japan House London on 31 October and 1 November, there will be a wagashi workshop, where you will be able to create your own wagashi under the experienced eye of Chef Yasuhiro Hikiami. You will be creating nerikiri, a type of wagashi commonly made for tea ceremonies, and learning to form it into the shape of a flower.
An example of nerikiri
Chef Hikiami will also host a wagashi talk on 1 November, discussing wagashi and its traditions passed on from generation to generation. He will also take live requests from audience members, making delicate and beautiful wagashi creations live for all to see.
Toyama wagashi pop-up shop
A wagashi pop-up at Sachi at Pantechnicon will be held from 2-5 November, from 14:30-17:30 each day, where you will be able to watch artisan Yasuhiro Hikiami create his intricate confectionery. You’ll also be able to request your own original design from the chef himself!
Chef Yasuhiro Hikiami
Wagashi is quite seasonal, with specific delicacies being created that fit alongside each season, such as cherry blossoms in spring and leaves and pumpkins in the autumn. Chef Hikiami, ranked the top wagashi artisan in the Hokuriku region, will be making these masterpieces live, so make sure to stop by!
An assortment of autumn themed wagashi
Also held at Pantechnicon, a Toyama sake dinner is scheduled to be held on 1 November from 19:30-22:00. This Sake Supper Club dinner will consist of local sake and delicious food pairings, from Japanese wagyu to traditionally brewed sake.
Wagashi and tea
At the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, there will also be an introductory talk on tea ceremonies and Japanese wagashi by chef Yasuhiro Hikiami on Friday, 3 November. You’ll hear from Chef Hikiami on how he makes his wagashi, and the thought that goes into them.
Chef Hikiami making wagashi
Craft and food
In addition, at the (ki:ts) concept store, there will be a Toyama craft and food retail pop-up starting on 1 November. Make sure to stop by and see for yourself the beautiful artisanal goods and creations that Toyama is famous for. One particularly fascinating craft is suzugami, a type of tin that is as pliable as paper. It can be folded into whatever shape you want, and used as a coaster or a small plate for food or dessert.
Make sure to stop by all the shops and stores celebrating Toyama Week, from 31 October to 5 November!