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Business of the week: The Japanese Gallery, Camden Passage’s doorway to the Land of the Rising Sun

PUBLISHED: 17:15 12 September 2017 | UPDATED: 11:39 13 September 2017

David Wertheim, owner of Japanese Gallery in Camden Passage. Picture: Catherine Davison

David Wertheim, owner of Japanese Gallery in Camden Passage. Picture: Catherine Davison

Catherine Davison

In a weekly feature, we profile a fascinating company doing business here in Islington. This week, we visit Japanese Gallery, an archetypal Camden Passage shop.

Your doorway to the Land of the Rising Sun is nearer than you might think – in fact, it’s just behind Upper Street.

The Japanese Gallery in Camden Passage was established in Islington 39 years ago. Today, it has a second London branch in Kensington – and a shop in Japan itself.

These days, David and Eddy Wertheim – sons of gallery founders Chris and Mieko – are its directors. And David told the Gazette he still has a soft spot for the borough where the chain was established.

“Islington used to be very famous for antiques,” he said, “and it’s still the same now, so our business works well here.”

The gallery sells unique pieces, from antiques to postcards and greetings cards. Its displays attract both neighbours and tourists visiting the historic street.

But unlike other tourist hotspots such as Oxford Street, David reckons, small boutiques have a good shot at making it big in Islington, where there are still plenty of independent shops.

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