This time next week I’ll be getting my geek on at the HYPER JAPAN Christmas Market! The event will take place at Olympia in London from Friday 14th November – Sunday 16th November. Here’s some more information about the event…
HYPER JAPAN is back for the festive season to deliver another instalment of crazy, cute and creative Japanese culture to Olympia London in the long-awaited Christmas Market 2014. Themed around ‘unique and interesting Christmas gifts’, the market will feature a higher proportion of shopping booths and gift experiences than in previous HYPER JAPAN events (see this Top 15 list of Christmas gift ideas). However, it is by no means exclusively a shopping experience – guests will be treated to a wide variety of stage performances, martial arts and cooking demonstrations, and will of course be able to wine and dine at our ever-popular food and drink stalls.
Exciting features of HYPER JAPAN Christmas Market 2014 include:
This year’s Christmas Market will showcase quality Japanese alcohol, with particular emphasis on sake. Guests will be able to receive free samples of beverages ranging from umeshu (plum wine) to stronger Suntory and Nikka whiskies, while the Premium Sake Shop will offer a grand selection including popular sparkling sakes and fruit liqueurs. Exclusive seminars from the curator of the Museum of Sake will inform visitors on the traditions, flavours and different ways to enjoy this quintessential Japanese drink. In the food department, thanks to a new team-up between Tofu Cute and HYPER JAPAN, visitors will be able to feast on Japanese sweets at the ‘candy festival’, where special tokens can be exchanged for a range of treats and snacks. Stalls selling adorable MeowMeow cookies, green tea chocolates and Japanese-style macarons will ensure that shoppers with a sweet tooth find something unique and delicious to give their loved ones this Christmas. Finally, street food stalls selling favourites such as Japanese curry, ramen (noodle soup) and takoyaki (octopus balls) will brush shoulders with booths selling high-end Japanese pastries and sushi. Such a large-scale festival of Japanese food and drink cannot be found anywhere else in the UK. Demonstrations such as Sozai cooking school’s temari sushi (sushi ball) rolling, and Hideki Kimura’s giant tuna carving show and tuna cuisine booth will inspire visitors to taste new and exciting flavours, and even try their own hand at Japanese cooking.
Guests & Stage
For the first time in the UK, volunteer organisation ‘Mirai no Neiro’ (Sound of the Future) will be running a Vocaloid (voice synthesizer) concert featuring the globally famous android girl Hatsune Miku. Fans can enjoy watching a projected 3D image of Miku singing and dancing along to her songs, and will also receive an exclusive talk on Vocaloid music and culture, which has achieved extraordinary popularity in Japan. Singer/songwriter Inoue Joe, best-known for his song ‘Closer’ which was used as an opening theme in the anime Naruto; American J-Pop singer Diana Garnet; Harajuku-style model and singer Yano Anna; and famously fun-loving pop idol Koike Miyu will light up our stage with their musical performances, while smash hit techo-troupe SIRO-A will delight guests with their playfully creative fusion of light and sound. Traditional Japanese folk music will also be a highlight.
The HYPER J-Style Collection fashion show will showcase a range of modern Japanese trends from “Lolita” to “Visual Kei”, and will feature stylish outfits from J-style fashion retailer Dreamy Bows. A whole host of designers selling ‘kawaii’ (cute) merchandise will also be on hand to provide visitors with the most adorable Christmas gifts to be found outside of Japan. Fans of cosplay (dressing up as a character from film, games or anime) will be able to participate in the UK preliminary of the World Cosplay Summit, which attracts dozens of costume-savvy candidates every year. Creative minds can also participate in the cosplay workshop and activity area dedicated to Japanese handicrafts, calligraphy and origami with a festive twist. There will of course also be a multitude of booths dedicated to gaming, manga, anime, figures, and other otaku merchandise, including Square Enix and CAPCOM products.
Tickets cost £12 for the Friday and Saturday sessions, and £15 for the longer Sunday session
To book tickets and for more information visit: www.hyperjapan.co.uk
(All images and most words courtesy of HYPER JAPAN)