THE county town of North Yorkshire will soon be playing host to a little bit of Japan.

Ten Japanese performers are heading to the UK for a special event in Northallerton in May.

Kimono World are a group from Saitama, northwest of Tokyo, who specialise in aspects of traditional Japanese arts and culture such as music, dance and tea ceremony.

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The group are led by Emiko Kajino, a friend of Romanby-based Katie Chaplin who has a business called Japan Crafts, and travels all over the UK and beyond, teaching Japanese crafts.

The two have been planning the event for the last few months and on May 17 the Forum in Northallerton will be transformed into a vision of Japan, with displays of kimono and other Japanese decorations.

From 11am to 3pm people will be able to taste real Japanese green tea whisked to a froth by tea ceremony experts, before having their photo taken in a kimono. There will be demonstrations of Japanese embroidery as well as martial arts, haiku poetry and the chance to try crafts such as origami.

It is free to enter although there may be a small charge for some activities to cover costs.

From 7pm, there will be a performance of traditional Japanese arts including music, tea ceremony and dance. There will be a bar with sake, and a raffle with Japanese as well as English prizes.

Tickets cost £10 for adults, £8 for concessions and £7 for groups of 10 or more, and are available from or from The Forum box office