Carrying on with my reviews of Hyper Japan, today I’m talking about one of my favourite topics – shopping! 🙂 I could have spent a fortune at Hyper Japan (if I’d had a fortune to spend!), as there were so many stalls selling colourful, curious Japanese goods. By the way, I won’t be mentioning any of the many food stalls in this post – I’ll save them for the upcoming post about food and drink at Hyper Japan.
In no particular order, here are some of the stalls I visited…
While living in Japan, I discovered Nanoblock at the shops Loft and Tokyu Hands. I’ve bought a couple of their smaller products before, and always wished I had enough space to buy one of these larger items:
I especially love the Sensoji “Thunder Gate” model. 🙂
Basically, Nanoblock make Lego-like structures out of teeny tiny blocks. They’re fiddly to make, but ever-so fun!
I’d also like to say “thank you” to Nanoblock for giving all their Facebook fans a special treat at Hyper Japan. If you were following Nanoblock on their Facebook page and told the staff that you “liked” them on Facebook, they gave you a little freebie! I got this cute dog:
Coolbit products were something I discovered while living in Japan, in the stores Loft and Tokyu Hands. Coolbit produce a range of products with unique cooling functions. You simply soak the item in cold water for about a minute, wring it out, and then wear it. They sell caps with cooling flaps, scarves, neck coolers and even back coolers. In the intense summer heat of Japan these items are a must!
Unfortunately, Coolbit products are not on sale in the UK yet (they were only available at Hyper Japan). However, the friendly staff told me that they hoped to be selling them online and in the UK soon!
JP-Books sell pop culture and fashion magazines from Japan, as well as an extensive range of manga in both English and Japanese.
Bows, headbands, cocktail hats and headpieces for all occasions!
Cute, glittery, fairytale-esque accessories – perfect for all you Lolitas out there, or anyone interested in Harajuku fashion.
I love the name “Tofu Cute” as much as I love the products! Tofu Cute sell everything cute, from Japanese sweets (Pocky!!) to stationery and accessories. I especially love the cute tofu plush toys. Everything they sell is kawaii to the extreme!
Anime, manga and video game related books, DVDs, CDs and plush toys!
Kitsch, kawaii, retro jewellery. I very nearly bought a Kit Kat necklace at this stall – and wish I had now! Might have to pop down Camden Market one weekend to find them again…
Artbox sell cute gifts, stationery, clothing and sweets – and they have a lot of Hello Kitty stuff, too!
I really wanted to buy one of these, but I just didn’t have enough money on me at the time. I don’t think Piperoid are available in the UK at the moment, but hopefully they will be in the future.
What are Piperoids? Basically, paper tubes which you cut up to make robots and things. They’re much cooler than that though – look:
Create your creativity!
For all your Japanese tableware needs – from cups to kettles, plates and bowls to chopsticks.
Based in France, Wasabi Records are your one-stop shop for J-rock and J-pop. They told me they hope to be selling online to the UK soon. At Hyper Japan, they were the official UK distributor for Kanon Wakeshima, so I think they were pretty popular (especially when Kanon was there signing her CDs).
I spent a while talking to the lovely Katie Chaplin at Japan Crafts about her interesting craft kits. I explained that I’ve always loved the idea of trying to be more crafty, but I’m not a natural. We talked through the various kits, and in the end I settled on this wonderful Christmas bauble kit:
I’ve promised to make and review the bauble before Christmas, so I’d better get started soon! 😉
Japan Crafts sell a range of different craft kits, including needle felting, silk painting and sashiko. They also run workshops, talks and retreats. You can even attend a retreat as an individual, and you don’t have to be in a group.
Run by Hyper Japan, I thought this Lolita Bring and Buy stall was a really good idea. Lolita goods are really expensive to buy new, and I know a lot of girls trade on eBay and other sites, so they must have been happy to get some bargains at Hyper Japan.
OK, not strictly shopping, but Shake-up Make-up provide a service which is very unique. As well as providing Japan-inspired looks at Hyper Japan, the Shake-up Make-up ladies told me they’re available for parties, hen nights, and all sorts of other non-Japanese-themed events.
Fantastically funny designs – I love Genki Gear’s T-shirts.
Third Window Films were selling some excellent DVDs at Hyper Japan, at excellent prices. They sell not only Japanese films, but also films from other Asian countries.
Bringing real socks-appeal to Hyper Japan, Tabio were there to provide the latest in Japanese sock trends. If you’ve ever been shopping in Japan you will no doubt have seen Tabio products in shops such as Kutsushitaya. I had no idea they were available in England, but it looks like they are on sale in at least seven locations across London (including Kings Road, Harrods and Selfridges).
Mitsukoshi, the famous Japanese department store, were at Hyper Japan selling this wonderful Kitty in London range, and I couldn’t resist…
Apparently this range is exclusive to the UK, and not available in Japan. I’m not sure if they are for sale in the Mitsukoshi store in London, but I expect they are.
Website (English page “coming soon”)
Anyone who loves Japan and lives in London should know the Japan Centre. It has a great Japanese atmosphere, and sells lots of fantastic goods. They sell a good range of food, but I’ll come to that in another post. As well as food and drink, they also sell a lot of household items, books, and gifts.
If you’re interested in anything mentioned above, please check out their websites. Most of them are UK-based, and a lot of them have physical shops as well as online. Happy shopping! 🙂