A shop billed as Europe’s first authentic Japanese kimono, accessories and matcha tea retailer has opened in Notting Hill.
Wasokan will sell traditional clothing such as kimonos and other accessories, and also offer courses in the art of Japanese dressing and talks on the country’s culture.
The shop in Westbourne Grove also has a unique café with stand-up bar which will sell an array of teas and confectionery and host traditional tea ceremonies.
Wasokan founder Noriyuki Ikeda chose the base for his first shop outside of Japan after scouring sites in London and Paris.
He said he chose London after realising interest in the city for Japanese culture was higher than he’d expected. “We expect to be frequented by Japanese as well as locals and tourists who are interested in Japanese culture, or simply our beautiful kimono cloth and the way we cut and style it,” he said. “In addition to offering the very traditional kimono we sell in Japan, we have also created two unique products specifically for the European market. These are our new generation kimono and kimono separates.”
Kimono are usually seen being worn by women, but Wasokan also stocks a small selection for men and children.
In time the shop will offer in-store Kitsuke lessons to teach people how to wear both traditional kimono and to share innovative styling tips for new generation kimono. Monthly “kimono de odekake” day trips for guests to wear kimono out and about will also be available.
Kimono accessories are also available from the shop, as are products for the home, such as carved wooden bowls for serving tea and Japanese dolls.
Mr Ikeda will also host regular talks on Japanese culture from the London store on wa wa no kokoro - the spirit of Japanese harmony between people and nature - and give his insights into how to have a happy life.
For more information on Wasokam, which opened on January 19, and its courses and prices, go to www.wasokan.eu