Battlefield Heroes

June 28, 2012

Apollo Cinema Piccadilly

To kick-start the beginning of the K-FILM series as part of the 100 Day Festival of Korean Culture, you are welcome to a FREE night out for a special screening of ‘Battlefield Heroes’ followed by a Q&A session with the award-winning Director LEE Joon-ik.

The event will take place on June 28 at Apollo Cinema Piccadilly Circus at 6:30PM.

Audiences will be admitted on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE basis. Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity.

All members of the audience will receive a raffle ticket and at the end of the films screening and Q&A sessions, raffles will be drawn by Director LEE Joon-ik and His Excellency Ambassador CHOO Kyu-ho.

Prizes include: a signed DVD of Director LEE Joon-ik’s film ‘SUNNY’, a book on Korean Cinema, and for all the K-POP fans, a signed (personally signed by all five members) CD of BIGBANG’s latest album ‘Still Alive’.

Make Thursday evenings a regular date on your calendar, with Thursday simply being “Korean Film Night”!


Manga at the British Museum

29 September 2011 – 8 April 2012

Room 91 (lobby)

An exclusive opportunity to see the original drawings from the manga series Professor Munakata’s British Museum Adventure.

Hoshino Yukinobu (b.1954) is the creator of Professor Munakata, one of Japan’s most famous manga characters. Millions of readers eagerly following his adventures in the fortnightly magazine, Big Comic.

Hoshino first visited the British Museum in 2009 and was inspired to work on a Professor Munakata mystery in the unique setting of the Museum. Japanese readers followed the series for five months, first published in Big Comic, before the thrilling mystery was bought to a close with a dramatic final scene that sees the Rosetta Stone in grave danger.

All ten episodes will now be published as a book in English by the British Museum Press, and to celebrate, Hoshino has lent the Museum his finished drawings (genga) and sketches and even two of his fude brush pens which he used to draw this adventure.

In this display you can see the development ofProfessor Munakata’s British Museum Adventure from conception to finished work. This is an exceptionally rare opportunity to uncover the process of how the first British Museum manga was created.

My Secret Cache

Films at the Embassy of Japan

My Secret Cache 

Monday, 24 October 2011, 18:30
Doors open at 18:00 No admittance after 19:00
Free admission. Prior registration essential.

Directed by  Shinobu Yaguchi 矢口史靖 /1997/83 mins

Much of the comedy of this film is generated by the ungainly physical humour of Sakiko’s single minded determination, using voice-over, flashback, and other forms of reconstructed narrative such as the ‘flick book’.

Money-lover, Sakiko is abducted by bank robbers to the Aokigahara forest, famous for its confusing layout and magnetic soil that confuses compasses. There they crash and burn: only Sakiko survives, unable to forget the money that she knows survived but which everyone else thinks burned up in the crash.

Click here for booking details.

Japan to offer 10,000 free trips to foreigners to boost tourism industry


Japan will offer 10,000 foreigners free airfares to visit the country next year, in an attempt to boost the tourism industry which has been hit by the ongoing nuclear disaster, a report said Monday.

The Japan Tourism Agency plans to ask would-be travelers to submit online applications for the free flights, detailing which areas of the country they would like to visit, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said.

The agency will select the successful entrants and ask them to write a report about their trip which will be published on the Internet.

Tourism authorities hope that positive reports from travelers about their experiences in Japan will help ease international worries about visiting the country, the newspaper said.

The program, which will require travelers to cover other costs such as accommodation, is expected to start from next April, subject to government budgetary approval.

The number of foreign tourists to Japan fell more than 50% year-on-year during the three months after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that triggered meltdowns and explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The sharp drop began to ease somewhat in the summer.

In June and July, tourist figures were down 36% from a year ago, easing to 32% in August as the country worked to reassure foreign tourism markets.

The government has said Japan is safe except for the immediate vicinity of the crippled plant, where work crews are still trying to bring the facility to a cold shutdown.

From JapanToday

How to save money in London

The aim of this post is to provide some suggestions in how to save money in one of the most expensive cities in the world. I hope you’ll find it useful.


Central London dwellers miss out many supermarket offers as only big chain supermarkets such as Sainsbury and Tesco have branches here and they mainly have a smaller range of the most popular and more expensive items. Outside the central area there are larger branches together with those of Morrisons and Asda. All of these run special offers and one of the cheapest ways of getting perishable goods is to shop just before closing time especially on a Sunday afternoon, usually before 4.oo pm or 5.00 pm. Other good options are supermarkets such as Netto, Aldi and Lidl (best known as ‘no frills’ supermarkets) to be found in the inner and outer suburbs and are generally cheaper than the well known stores though the range of products is more limited.


They have struggled in recent years in the face of rising cost and competition from supermarkets selling cheap clothes and fruit. The most central is Berwick Street in Soho, where there may be a chance of picking up unsold food very cheaply at the end of the day. Other more famous markets such as Petticoat lane and Portobello Road now cater more for visitors than for local bargain hunter.

’99p’ and ‘Pound’ Shops

These chain in the last few years have become a familiar sight, except in central London. They offer branded grocery and other goods at much less than other outlets and are also a good source of many household goods. The thing to be aware of is that a few items, because of the standard price, might be dearer than some special offers elsewhere, but they are still well worth a visit for the bargain hunter.

Clothes & Charity Shops

Charity shops are to found on every high street. However, those in the central areas have higher prices and really are more for visitors interested in ‘retro’ clothes. The shops run by national charities often have a corporate and inflexible pricing policy which doesn’t seem to take into account the location. Best bargains are to be found in shops linked to a specific local charity; prices are lower as the managers generally have more discretion. The stock is more mixed as all donations come to that shop rather than being rotated amongst several branches.

Other good places to buy cheap clothes such as t-shirts, underwear and sock, mainstream shops such as Primark and Asda offer the best value, and you can be certain that what you want will almost certainly be in stock.


Londoners have two free morning newspapers on weekdays. The metro carries brief news stories along with TV listings and sports stories, while City AM is very much business orientated. The Standard has been free for a few years and is circulated from about 3 pm. It contains more in depth news and is more politically balanced than in the ‘paid’ days. Local areas have free weekly issues ranging from virtual advert sheets to those such as Camden New Journal which takes a campaigning line with wide coverage of local issues.

If you want internet access, most libraries offers up to an hour free each day to members.


Travelling is very expensive in London. If you do need to travel often it may be well worth getting an Oyster Card. An Oyster Card will reduce the cost of each bus fare (the cheapest way of travelling in London is by bus) from the extortionate £ 2.20 single to £ 1.30 and you will pay a maximum of £ 4.00 a day for an unlimited number of bus journeys. Day travelcards are cheaper after 9.30 am on Monday to Friday and all day at Weekends and Bank Holidays if you need to use the tube, but can avoid the morning peak.

I hope in the next few weeks to add more suggestions and I’m happy to add yours. Please write to and let me know your tips in how to save money in London.


Films at the Embassy: Waterboys

This high-spirited comedy follows a group of five hapless high-school boys who are roped into starting a synchronised swimming team. Despite a series of hurdles and hiccups, not least their own dismal record of failure, the boys bumble through the summer trying to prepare a routine for the school festival. Before long their public debut is upon them but will the Waterboys sink or swim…?

Directed by the talented Shinobu Yaguchi and nominated for eight prizes at the Japan Academy Awards in 2002, Waterboys won awards for ‘Best Newcomer’ and ‘Best Music Score’.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011, 18:30
Doors open at 17:45 No admittance after 19:00

The Embassy of Japan

101-104 Piccadilly,

London W1J 7JT

Admission is free, but prior registration is essential.

Click here for details on how to book your free seat.