New hobbies, ancient treasures, and a few little luxuries: Lexus recommends a selection of Christmas gifts that capture the essence of Japanese design and culture, with options to suit every budget.
Try a new hobby: the Japanese art of Kintsugi
Kintsugi course from Yodomo, a company specialising in courses and craft materials, £24.99 (for a kit and course)
Put your broken crockery to creative use with Kintsugi, known as the art of ‘golden joinery’, in which cracks are repaired with golden glue, turning imperfections into things of beauty. This at-home course, devised by studio potter Ranjit Dhaliwal, includes tuition and kit; all the recipient needs is some broken pottery.
A taste of Japan with no passport required
Voucher for a Sake flight afternoon tea at The Prince Akatoki hotel Marble Arch, London, £104 for two, (valid for 12 months)
After a year of cancelled plans, put a date in a loved one’s diary with this voucher for tea at London’s Prince Akatoki Hotel, where Japanese-inspired design brings a slice of Tokyo to the capital. An afternoon of sushi, sweet treats and sake awaits.
A future collectors’ item
This single-flower vase is small yet perfectly formed with its kimono-inspired motifs and rich cobalt glaze. Japanese ceramicist Miyu Kurihara makes each of her porcelain vessels by hand, using traditional brush techniques to create contemporary designs, and has exhibited her work in London and Tokyo. This piece, ‘Tranquility’, is part of the Japanese collection at online store Telescope Style, which sells pieces from artisans worldwide.
A little lockdown luxury
Haori Gift Set: Kikko Floral, from Foundland, £85
Give a little glamour this Christmas with a vintage haori jacket, sourced from Japan by Foundland. Traditionally worn over a kimono, loose-fitting haori garments are stylish and comfortable. This gift set includes an eye mask with Binchotan charcoal, renowned for its detoxing properties. Alternatively, kimono purses (£15) make great stocking fillers.
Origami, Poems and Pictures from The British Museum £9.99
This book of origami tutorials, haiku poems and Japanese artwork, although intended for children, is a design treat for any age. Featuring beautiful illustrations from the British Museum’s archives, each section is themed around objects and animals, with poetry and colourful origami paper included.
For the modern art afficionado
Yayoi Kusama collection from Tate Shop various prices
Yayoi Kusama is a living legend of Japan’s modern art scene, famous for her polka dots, quirky sculptures and bold prints. In spring 2021, Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms exhibition will open at London’s Tate Modern, but in the meantime, the gallery’s Kusama-themed gifts are perfect for Christmas, from ‘Yayoi Toesama’ socks (£8.50) to colourful handkerchiefs (£25).
Red Fuji custom print from the V&A, available in a choice of sizes, from £15 (unframed); £60 (framed)
The art of ukiyo-e, or woodblock printing, dates back 200 years, yet it often has a contemporary style. Red Fuji by Katsushika Hokusai is no exception: simple yet striking, it’s a masterpiece in colour blocking, and complements modern or traditional interiors. It is printed on smooth matte fine art paper, with framing options available.
Stocking fillers for our times
Kyoha face masks, from Japan House, 101-111 Kensington High Street, London, £18 each
The Kyoha dyehouse in Japan’s Iwate Prefecture, is famous for its intricate patterns and rich indigo colours, with techniques perfected over 100 years. This ancient workshop has recently created a thoroughly modern product: reusable face masks, stitched from hand-dyed tenugui (cotton cloth). Each one is OEKO-TEX-certified to guarantee safety, comfort and durability.
Japanese tableware, from online store Rouge from £4 (dipping dish) to £32 (sushi platter)
Rouge offers a selection of authentic and eye-catching tableware, imported directly from Japan, ranging from simple ramen bowls and sushi plates, to the Crackle Glass range with its deep turquoise colour. Each piece is priced separately.
Time for tea
Lexus offers a range of unique gifts that can be ordered from Lexus centres nationwide.
New for 2020 is a Lexus Moya Sencha Tea gift set for £27.50, comprising a traditional Japanese ceramic tea cup and a tin of Sencha tea. Said to boost the immune system and raise your energy levels, sencha – a type of green tea – is Japan’s most popular pick-me-up.