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Brighton’s best cafes: The Lanes

laines

The Lanes, not to be confused with the North Laine, is the historic heart of Brighton and a major attraction for visitors. It is also home to many of Brighton’s coffee shops, including a few Shimaguni favourites.

ザ・レーンズ(ノース レーンではないのでご注意を!)は、昔からブライトンの中心地であり、ブライトンを訪れる人にとって、とても魅力的な場所の一つです。

ブライトンの一番いいカフェはどこにあるのか分かりますか?

Do you know where the best cafe in Brighton is?

ご存知なら、教えて頂けませんか。
If you know, would you mind telling me?

一番素敵なカフェを決めるのは難しいですが、ザ・レーンズに人気なカフェが多いのは確かです。
Although it is difficult to decide which is the best, one thing is for sure that there are many popular cafes in The Lanes.
ここで、僕の好きな店をご紹介します。
I will introduce some of my favourites here.

Marwood

marwood2

独特な雰囲気でとてもユニークな内装で若者に大人気なカフェです。
Marwood has a unique atmosphere, distinctive interior and is very popular with young people
2階建てで結構広い。
The 2 floors of seating are very spacious.
僕の大好きな紅茶は手頃な1ポンド50ペンスで頂けますのでいつも大満足です。WIFIもあるので暇つぶにピッタリです。
My preferred cup of tea comes at a very reasonable £1:50 which makes me very happy. They also have Wifi.
火曜日から土曜日までは夜の11までやっています。 夜のお勉強にオススメできます。
From Tuesday-Saturdays, it is open until 11pm – great for late night study!

Cafe Coho

coho

MARWOODカフェの隣にある、これも2階建てで2010年からブライトンにしかない店舗で地元の人に愛されています。
Cafe Coho is next to Marwood and also has 2 floors. Since 2010 the store is only in Brighton and is loved by the locals.
食べ物が美味しい、コーヒーも格別。WIFIあり。
The food is good and the coffee is excellent. It has Wifi.

Blackbird
ここのクリームティーがとても美味しいと何度もジャパンクラブメンバーから聞いたことがあります。そう聞いていながら実は食べたことがないです。食べたいけれど、いつも満席か満腹です。こじんまりした店でサービスがいい。
WIFIはいらないでしょう。
要注意:現時は工事中なので一時的に閉店しています。
I have heard from a few Japan Club members that the cream teas here are absolutely delicious. Having said that, I have actually never eaten them. I would like to, but either the shop is full or my stomach is. A cosy little shop with excellent service.
You surely won’t need Wifi here
Warning: The store is currently closed for refurbishment.

That Little Tea Shop In the Lanes

little-teashop

これもこじんまりした昔ながらの感じのティーショップです。
This is a cosy, traditional tea shop. I love the traditional tea pot which they fill to the brim with tea. There are many varieties of cake and scone here.
You surely won’t have time to use Wifi here.
有り難いことに伝統的なティーポットがあってそれに紅茶を多めに入れてくれます。バリエティに富んだスコーンやケーキを楽しめます。
WIFIを気にする時間もないでしょう!

Two months in Japan

By Tom Orsman, Teacher at Shimaguni Language School, Brighton.

A couple of weeks ago, I returned from 2 months in Japan. I am using this blog to record my lasting impressions of the trip.

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A Jizo, a protector of children and travelers – and a personal friend.

The number of tourists in Japan is at record-breaking levels.  Booking decent hotels is hard. Booking one in Kyoto during hanami season is next to impossible – especially if like me you only start hunting the night before. For a moment, I thought I had uncovered an absolute bargain hotel at just 5,000 for two nights. Then just  before clicking book, I noticed the price was in pounds not yen – I was a click from bankruptcy.  I ended up lodging at the cheap and central, コミカプ Comicapu (‘comic capsule’ –  basically a bunk bed in a library)  sleeping under a shelf of manga and surrounded by a dozen snoring tourists.

New encounters everyday. On a trip to one of the most densely-populated countries in the world it is hard to avoid people, and I promise you, on some days I really tried. But it was these surreal 一期一会 (ichigo-ichie) once in a lifetime meetings that made the trip so special. Some of the most interesting characters were naked when I talked to them – we were soaking in an 温泉(onsen) hot spring bath at the time.

Generally, baths and bars seem to be the easiest places to talk to people – perhaps humans need to be either drunk or naked before we can really relax. On this trip, I enjoyed reunions with old Brighton Japan Club members over beer and smoked radish in Nagoya, sitting at a sleek 日本酒 nihonshu bar in Hiroshima, and chewing yakitori at a 屋台 (yatai) stall in Ueno Park.

Forests and fresh air. The contrast between the city and countryside is incredible. Parts of Tokyo and Osaka are a swamp of advertising; the eardrums get no rest either from constant jingle-jangle tunes. The crowds around Dotonbori in Osaka are amazing but the best was the total isolation of the Kumano Kodo World Heritage trails further south, where we couldn’t see out of the wood for the trees, and all we could hear was the 鶯 (uguisu) bush warbler. I felt constantly reassured by the fact that I was never far from this Japan, one with far less people, many more trees and no programmed musical accompaniment.

Japanese food versus food in Japan.  Most of my time on tour is spent in traditional accommodation where the food (breakfast and dinner) is cooked fish, colourful pickles, miso soup and bowls and bowls of sticky white rice – what we think of as traditional Japanese food. This is served along with local delicacies like イタドリ(itadori) Japanese knotweed, 高野豆腐 (Koya-dofu) freeze-dried tofu, and potentially fatal raw slices of ふぐ (fugu) blowfish.

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Nothing like beans on toast. Dinner on the Kumano Kodo Trail.

When not on tour, it is fun to discover the quirky alternatives. In Nagasaki I encountered トルコライス (Turkish rice), an international hodge-potch calorie-heavy combination of rice, spaghetti and deep-fried pork. In Kyoto, I tried 和ぱすた  (Wapasuta) a Japanese-style pasta – Range of surreal snacks メロンパン (meron pan) a sugar cooated melon-shaped bread, プレーンドッグ (purein doggu) a no frills hot dog, いちごサンド (ichigo sando) a crustless white bread sandwich packed with strawberry and cream.

Now, back in Brighton, I miss the forests, the hot baths and dicing with death at dinnertime but fortunately there are plenty of consolation about being home. I am now excited about the summer ahead with new Japanese language courses starting at Shimaguni in July and an exciting series of new events coming up at Japan Club.   I hope to see you at an event soon.

ブライトンで英語を学ぶ

仕事の都合で、というよりはイギリスの文化を体験したい、英語を学びたいと思ってブライトンにやって来る方が多いのではないでしょうか。しかし短期の語学学校(ブライトンには語学学校がたくさんあります)では日本人や他国の友人はできてもイギリス人の友人はできず、なかなか生きたイギリス英語を学ぶのは難しいかもしれません。そこでブライトンに暮らしながら英語を学ぶ方法をまとめてみました。

1.イギリス人の友人をつくる。
イギリス人の友人ができれば怖いものなし!彼らと一緒の時を過ごし話していれば自然とリスニング力があがり、扱えるイディオムも単語も増え、スピーキング力もあがります。幸いブライトンはイングランド南部で強い訛りはなく、はっきりしたイギリス英語なので日本人にも聞き取りやすいです。さて、そのイギリス人の友人をつくるには?

2.なにかのグループやイベントに参加する。
このMeet upグループでもFacebookでもたくさんのイベントが行われています。少人数のイベントでは仲良くなる機会が多く、大人数のイベントではたくさんの人と知り合える可能性が高いです。友達と参加するのも楽しいですが、新たな友人をつくりたいのであれば私は一人で参加することをおすすめします。一人でというのは勇気のいることですが、強制的にほかの人と話すことになるためより機会が増えます。友達と参加するとどうしてもずっと一緒に行動してしまい、イベントは楽しめるのですが新しい友人との出会いはあまりないのです。私の場合なのでもちろんすべての方に当てはまるわけではないのですが…

3.ホームステイをする。
イギリス人のご家庭にホームステイをすれば、英語を使う機会は自然と増えます。また家族ぐるみの友人に紹介してもらえたり、一緒にイベントに出かけたりと別の人たちと知り合う機会も増えます。

4.地域のお店で働く。
ワーキングホリデーや学生などでビザが許せば、地元のお店で働いてみるのもよいです。仕事に使う単語や例文から自分の英語が増えていきます。お店によってアジア人スタッフが中心であったり、イギリス人が多かったり様々なので、自分のニーズに合わせてお店を覗いてみてからCV(英語の履歴書)を提出すると良いかもしれません。

5.ボランティアをする。
ブライトンにはボランティアの機会がたくさんあります。毎週土曜日に炊き出しをしている教会もありますし、とにかくたくさんあるチャリティーショップ(中古服などのお店)でも店頭員のボランティアを募集しています。興味があればちろっと行ってボランティアしたい旨を伝えればよろこんで歓迎してくれるはずです。

以上、5つの方法でした。すべて私がやってみた方法です。このうちどれか一つでも試してみたい、合いそうなものがあれば、ぜひ挑戦してみてください。

Japanese Food in Brighton

E-kagen An established, much-loved Japanese diner in the heart of the North Laine – near Shimaguni. Friendly staff and great service. No frills and reasonable prices. A real authentic experience.

Kantenya The only specialist Japanese food shop in Brighton. In a great location opposite the big Sainsbury’s and 2 minutes walk from Brighton station. Runs great seasonal promotions, bento style lunches and is full of friendly Japanese staff

Sushi Garden On the popular restaurant-road of Preston Street, Sushi Garden specialises in a variety of noodles, rice and sushi dishes. Not cheap but gets good reviews.

Pompoko In the centre of Brighton and a few minutes walk from the station, Pompoko is known for it’s inexpensive yet satisfying and tasty mix of many Japanese dishes. Although quite popular and can get very occupied at lunch time.

Oshio Located on Trafalgar Street (very close to Shimaguni school!) Newly opened restaurant specialising in Japanese and Korean cuisine. Great reviews.

Cafe An-An Ok, not actually in Brighton, in nearby Portslade, but must be mentioned for its fantastic wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets), popular events and excellent lunches. Irregular opening hours so please check before you go.

Oki-nami Most exclusive Japanese restaurant in Brighton – right opposite the Pavilion. Part wwned by local celebrity Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim. Great sushi and bar apparently.

Sushi Mania On Middle Street in the middle of the The Lanes. Large chain-style restaurant with big menu suitable for big groups.  Offers half-price deal promotions.

Shogun On Prince Albert Street, Shogun is a popular ramen shop in Brighton. Very authentic in style and taste. Limited menu but very tasty.

Murasaki The most elusive, ninja-like of all the Japanese restaurants in Brighton.  The restaurant lurks up on Dyke Road near Seven Dials and the takeaway is up from Western Road on Montpelier Place.

Moshimo Located in Bartholomew Square, Moshimo is one of Brighton’s most popular Japanese Restaurants. Known for it’s building aesthetic imitating a traditional Japanese room and it’s authenticity. Handmade sushi and various hot Japanese dishes are available here. Very tasty.

Yo! Sushi Located on Jubilee Street close to the library. Yo! Sushi is a popular sushi chain across Britain. Known for it’s interesting conveyor belt style of dining and cute coloured plates. A great place to go for a unique Japanese experience.