THE public are to be transported to the land of the rising sun – in the very heart of North Yorkshire.

Northallerton is to play host to Japanese performing group Kimono World on May 17 as part of a Japan Day at the Forum.

Between 11am and 3pm visitors can have lunch at a Japanese street food cafe, be dressed in a real kimono and taste freshly-whisked green tea before learning the secrets of origami.

Loading article content

A poet will help visitors to write a haiku and there will also be a demonstration of Japanese embroidery and beadwork, as well as dynamic martial arts.

The daytime event is free to enter and there will be a free goodie bag for the first 50 people through the door.

In the evening Kimono World will take the audience on a tour through the seasons of Japan, with music on the shakuhachi bamboo flute, shamisen guitar and koto harp.

The show also features a performance of the tea ceremony by Japanese masters, and a traditional dance by troupe leader Emiko Kajino. There will also be martial arts and a kimono catwalk show.

Tickets for the evening event are £10 or £8 concessions and are available from and the Forum on 01609-776230.

Organiser Katie Chaplin of Romanby-based business Japan Crafts said:“Emiko and I wanted to share our love of Japanese culture with the people of Yorkshire, whilst allowing the Japanese performers a chance to experience Yorkshire’s culture as well.

“Before we knew it, we had 10 people coming from Saitama near Tokyo, paying for their own flights in order to take part in this special day.”