For expats in Japan, finding products that remind us of home always sparks a little bit of nostalgic joy—however long you’ve been here. For all British expats out there, Vulcanize London offers more than just brilliantly British products. The Tokyo-based store also features cultural services and events showcasing the best of British.
Founded in 2002 under the name Vulcanize, the store name was changed to Vulcanize London to highlight its connection with British brands. In October 2020 the refurbished Minami-Aoyama venue reopened as Vulcanize London @ The Playhouse.
The British Market
Their food and beverage event, the British Market, is a monthly occasion that showcases delicious products at the Minami-Aoyama Playhouse. Items range from quintessential household names to new brands entering the Japanese market.
Some of the brands on show at the last event were:
- Smythson Ltd
- Fox Umbrellas Ltd
- Hackett Ltd
- Turnbull & Asser
- N. Peal London
- Gieves & Hawkes
- Johnstons of Elgin
- Molton Brown
The store is also a hub of British culture, offering a multitude of services and events.
The Vulcanize Academy, for example, has a number of specialists who, familiar with British culture, serve as instructors. Daily cultural events, such as calligraphy or flower arranging classes, are available.
There is also Vulcanize Works—a service that offers repairs, maintenance and customization of British items such as shoes, watches, accessories and cars. The items do not have to have been purchased through Vulcanize London, as long as they’re British!
Akihiko Ban, a Vulcanize London representative, spoke to GoConnect about the event and its plans for the future. “This event takes place once a month, and is growing. On Valentine’s Day and White Day earlier this year, we welcomed between 800 and 1,000 guests a day, with a wide variety of British brands on display. Bakeries such as Swan & Lion, Unicorn Bakery, Malins Fish & Chips, and many beer, cider and tea brands are especially well received.
“We are planning to have Scottish smoked salmon, English smoothie brands, scotch whisky, gin, and British cheeses in the near future.”
Vulcanize London will be holding multiple events throughout the rest of the year. They are scheduled for Sept 19, Oct 17, Nov 21 and Dec 12. So, make sure you head down to check out some of the British brands on show.
Vulcanize London @ The Playhouse
Minami-Aoyama 5-8-5, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062