I first started this blog to enter a competition and win a trip to Japan, which sadly I didn’t win, but I continued writing and overtime it developed into Nihon in London. My goal was, and still is, to find all Japanese related things in London and share them with Japanophiles such as myself. I get a lot of my information from sites such as Japan Foundation, Japan Society, JETAA or even Facebook. It’s easy enough to sign up to newsletters and get the latest info about Japanese related events happening in London straight into my inbox, but what if there was an easier way? And this is where the app Japan Nakama comes in!
When I first heard about it, I thought this is brilliant! An app dedicated to highlighting Japanese culture, with the aim of connecting all Japanese culture lovers living in London so we become nakama (a circle of friends). Why had no one made this before?
I asked founding member Wayne Daniels to tell me a bit more about their story, and how they came to developing Japan Nakama:
“We’ve grown up in London looking for entertainment, and we often found ourselves around London’s Trocadero or Japanese Restaurants to eat, play games, sing karaoke and meet like-minded people.
We love Japanese culture. We practiced martial arts like Iiaido (like Kendo with real swords), watch many anime, practice speaking Japanese and have worked to create Japanese services in London.
Nakama in Japanese, translates to “Circle of Friends”. We created Japan Nakama to bring Japanese culture in the UK together, for people to find their Nakama and have fun together!
We were inspired to create this app because it was difficult to find information on Japanese events in London, the information is spread all over the place. We thought it’d be nice to find out what’s happening at any time all from our mobile phone!”
The app looks nice and clean, and is simple to use. It is separated into three different categories: News, Events and Spotlight. Under News you will find subcategories such as Food, Fashion, Anime and a Nakama blog. Events will list up and coming Japanese related events in London, and Spotlight talks about people who are making a significant contribution to Japan in the UK.
I enjoyed reading through the Anime section (Attack on Titan Season 2 has finally started!!), and the Nakama blog has a variety of interesting blog posts. In Food, you’ll find recipes and the latest news about food in Japan. What would be nice however, is if there was also a focus on Japanese food in London (restaurants, shops etc.).
I would have also liked the app to have a search function for events, or subcategories, such as Music, Art, Festival, Language Meet Ups etc. Alternatively, even list the events according to different areas in London (although most of the events are based in the central). But this may just be me being fussy f^_^;
The app is still fairly new and the Japan Nakama team have many future projects they are working on. To find out more, visit their website here. I’m looking forward to seeing how the app will be used to connect people in London.
If you would like to download the app, it’s available for Android and iPhone here.
Let’s all become Japan Nakama! 皆Japan Nakamaになりましょう！