Japanese Life In The UK
Where do the Japanese like to live in the UK?
When talking about living in the UK, the one biggest spot of course is going to be London. London has several neighborhoods that are favored by the Japanese population. Often named places include Acton, Finchley, Regent's Park, Hyde Park, Barnet, Golders Green, Highgate, Wimbledon, Kilburn, Kensington and - for whoever can afford it - London China Town, featuring a lot of traditional Japanese restaurants and places. In general the tendency is North and West London as these parts are considered safe and family friendly. Bear in mind that at neither of these locations apart from China Town you will feel like living in the middle of a Japanese island. The neighborhoods mentioned feature some Japanese amenities you would not be able to find elsewhere like specialty stores or schools. Outside of London, the two next most populous areas are the East of England and the South East.
Which Japanese schools and other educational facilities are available in the UK?
The UK hosts a couple of Japanese boarding schools, all private schools of course, and there are about 8 Saturday schools throughout the UK.
The Japanese School in London (Saturday school) has several locations throughout the city and its own bus system to provide accessibility to as many pupils as possible. It is partially governed and funded by the Japanese Ministry of Education.
The Rikkyo School in England is a Japanese boarding school for primary and secondary levels. It is located in Rudgwick, West Sussex, rather close to London.
The Teikyo School United Kingdom is located in South Bucks, Buckinghamshire. Students from age 15 to 18 attend this boarding school.
For people interested in learning Japanese in London, there is the Japanese foundation London. Their website is a golden source for courses of all sorts.
Where can I find authentic Japanese food in the UK?
Look at the video on the right and start craving some authentically cooked Japanese food. In London at least everything seems possible. Fresh Takoyaki is an experience for those unfamiliar with the Japanese cuisine that has nothing to do with Sushi.
Another still quite unknown Japanese yumminess is Okonomiyaki. China town London features at least two Okonomiyaki restaurants. I personally love them. They are Japanese omelettes of sorts just better than your usual 5min omelette at home.
OKONOMIYAKI - Cooking with Dog is a Classic although not shot in the UK
The most authentic Japanese food whether Sushi or Ramen is definitely found in London China Town. For some reason it seems to gather in one place. Did you know that Yo!Sushi supposedly was the first Sushi place to open in the UK? Other cities than London are also host to some original Japanese food. Birmingham features a Teppanyaki style restaurant (where you sit around grill tables. Manchester and Liverpool each got two to three Japanese restaurants as well. So there is definitely room for expansion!
What is Japanese business like in the UK?
As of the date of this article there are over 300 companies of Japanese origin in the UK. They are all listed on the website of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the UK. With about 55.000 Japanese people living in the UK (of which about 25.000 reside in London), the country's got quite the workforce. Besides known companies such as the Bank of Japan and Japanese airlines, there are about 100 Japanese owned factories across the country. However, there are staffed with less than 10% Japanese workers.
One of the biggest challenges still out there is the cultural difference in how business is done in the UK versus Japan. Language barriers and differing social norms make life and work for Japanese expatriates difficult.
The past 10 years have seen a rise in numbers of Japanese people and businesses. There are about 3 newspapers now and a few doctors as well as clinics that Japanese expats can go to (in London).