About Us

Hajimemashite! (How do you do!)

Since the arrival of our children in 2014, I have been looking into my Japanese heritage including Japanese cuisine. Food plays a large part in Japanese culture. Whenever I visit Japan, I am pleasantly surprised by the huge variety of individual restaurants in cities: sushi bars, soba noodle stands, ramen bars, hot plate ‘Teppanyaki’ parlours, skewered chicken stands, tempura parlours to name just a few.

It may surprise you that the majority of these restaurants are easily accessible and offer excellent quality food at reasonable prices.

This was my motivation for starting the Japan Emporium in 2017.

Here I introduce many genuine Japanese products as I know from birth that people take great care and pride in what they produce. In addition,

I would also like to show you what I often do in the UK, that is to create authentic Japanese food by using what is easily available from supermarkets, online shops and specialist shops.

I believe not everything needs to come from Japan to create authentic Japanese food. Some of the recipes are inspired by my Japanese friends in the UK.

I am very grateful to them for happily sharing their creative ideas and professional skills. I hope you enjoy your new journey through Japanese cuisine.

Dozo otanoshimi kudasai! (please enjoy!)

Meiko Wakabayashi, founder of the Japan Emporium


Our chef Miki Kikuchi

Creator of ‘Delicious, nutritious and beautiful’ food


Miki and I are friends from our time as students in Tokyo. After our graduation, Miki lived in France where she discovered a passion for cooking. She studied cookery at the Musashino Cooking College and worked at major hotels as a chef in Tokyo. In 2017, Miki opened her cookery school ‘La Vie’ in Yokohama.

Miki’s repertoire includes traditional Japanese, Korean, French, Scandinavian and many ethnic foods. She is not only renowned as a pastry chef but also as an innovator of food which promotes health and beauty.

‘La Vie’ won one of the Good School Awards 2017 among the Cookpad cookery schools in Japan.

For more information and photos, please see