Japan Expo Centre - 5 au 6 Novembre 2022 CO’Met Orléans


Enjoy our real JAPAN quality!

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Where it all began…
Born in Fukuoka, Kyushu, our CEO Tak Tokumine grew up in a large family in south Japan, before graduating from Keio University Tokyo and starting work for his family’s steel mill business. Wanting to see more of the world he went to further study in Hong Kong where he met his future wife-to-be, finally marrying and settling in the UK in 1975.

After exporting British cars to Japan and selling martial arts equipment in the north of England, in 1976 Tak established his first business selling Japanese martial arts equipment in part of an already established Japanese shop Musashi in Manchester.
Seeing a gap in the market for Japanese books and imported Japanese goods from this small market for Japanese products, Tak moved into retailing directly to customers with his first official Japan Centre premises opening at 5 Warwick Street, London W1 in 1976. Japan Centre moved to Brewer Street, Soho in 1984 and expanded to include a small supermarket and curry bar as interest in Japanese & Asian food began to increase.
Following the growing appetite from Londoners and an expanding expat community, Japan Centre moved to 212 Piccadilly in 1994, this was followed by Tak’s first venture into a stand-alone restaurant with the successful launch of Toku, a casual Japanese restaurant that would build the foundations for Shoryu Ramen in the future.
Following the internet boom of the late 1990s, Japan Centre’s first online shop was launched in 2005 - allowing customers to get their favourite ingredients delivered across the UK and into Europe.
From 2007 as Japan Centre continued to push the growth of the Japanese food market, the business expanded and moved to a larger store at 14-16 Regent Street. Tak’s vision now was to add more ready-made food, a deli counter for fresh Japanese soul food to eat in or takeaway, a fresh fish & meat counter, a huge sushi range and a Japanese bakery.

In 2009, Japan Centre began to supply stores and restaurants in the UK and Europe with our must-have Japanese products via our own direct procurement from Japan.
In 2011, Japan Centre Westfield Stratford City opened, helping to reach new customers in the east of the capital, offering a wide range of fresh food, cooking ingredients, handmade sushi, desserts from our bakery and home & kitchenware items. This was the new vision for Japan Centre.

Opening in Westfield London in 2018, Japan Centre Ichiba created Europe’s largest Japanese food hall, helping to bring a taste of Japan to West London residents and tourists alike. Alongside partners Kikkoman and Gekkeikan, household named brands of soy sauce and sake, Japan Centre Ichiba is a destination where you can truly taste Japan.

Thank you to all the customers who have joined us on this journey from our very first bookshop customers in 1976 to our customers just discovering our food halls today. Our greatest thanks for all your support over the last five decades and here’s to many more together.

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