HYPER JAPAN, the UK’s biggest celebration of Japanese culture, cuisine and cool returns to London’s Tobacco Dock from 25th – 27th November! Now in its 6th year, this event continues to bring a taste of Japanese tradition, modernity and the latest trends! This year’s Christmas Market boasts a variety of performers, special guests, exhibitors, food stalls, creative workshops – and most importantly – plenty of kawaii and kooky gift ideas for the festive season!
With less than 2 weeks to go until the main event, check out my guide so you make the most out of your visit!
5. SANRIO X ARTBOX AREA.
One attraction will be the Gudetama themed beach booth photo area, where you can pose on the deck chairs. It might be Winter outside and the nights are drawing in but at HYPER JAPAN the spirit of summer lives on! What’s more, if you upload your photo from the beach booth to social media using the hashtag #sanrioartboxuk, you’ll receive a limited edition Gudetama face balloon absolutely free with a host of other giveaways available, this is one area you won’t want to miss!!
At the Sanrio x ‘pop-up’ shop you can browse an amazing selection of rare and unique goodies featuring your favourite characters including Gudetama, Hello Kitty, My Melody, Little Twin Stars and PomPomPurin. Plus, get a limited edition Sanrio x ARTBOX notebook FREE with every spend over £30.00, featuring your choice of either Gudetama or Little Twin Stars!
4. DINE IN STYLE WITH THE ‘MAIDS OF ENGLAND’!
Here you’ll experience a level of pampering and attention that really has to be experienced to be believed and which will leave you in no doubt as to why maid cafés are such a popular phenomenon in Japan and elsewhere! For the uninitiated, maid cafés offer clientele the opportunity to be treated like royalty in an experience that is part hospitality, part performance. Maids – or the male equivalent, Butlers – don’t only serve delicious food and drink to their customers but also interact with and entertain them in character! As well as being immaculately turned out and charming, they are also very talented, providing unforgettable live performances along with a fab menu!
Although there will be many fantastic food stalls to explore during your visit (for when you need something quick and on the go), you owe it to yourself (and your feet) to enjoy a little ‘down’ time from the event and enjoy the entertainment and great food available from the Maids Of England. At the HYPER JAPAN Christmas Market, Maids of England will be offering a selection of treats including hot speciality teas, ramune and other soft drinks, as well as Japanese confectionery such as mocha rice cakes and dorayaki red-bean pancakes!
3. THE TOMBOYS.
PERFORMING: FRI 2PM / SAT 1.3OPM / SUN 4.15PM (MEET AND GREET AFTER THE SHOW!)
Live music has always played a key role at HYPER JAPAN’s events and the Christmas Market is no exception! This fab quartet were in London earlier this year with Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock, recording their second mini EP titled ‘Come Back to 19’. The Tomboys live show is not to be missed! Expect high amounts of energy, ‘sing-a-long’ tracks and huge amounts of audience participation! What’s not to like?!
2. THE HOOPERS.
PERFORMING: SAT 12PM / SUN 11AM (MEET AND GREET AFTER THE SHOW!)
J-POP sensations The Hoopers will be headlining the HYPER JAPAN Christmas Market! The group describe themselves as “eight girls dressed as beautiful boys”. Cross-gender performing has a long and distinguished tradition in Japan, from men portraying women as onnagata in kabuki theatre through to female performers taking on a male persona in the famous Takarazuka Revue. The Hoopers give this tradition a stimulating twist for a new generation. Their unique appeal lies in the way they combine boyishly acrobatic dancing with a sexy, feminine performance.
If you want to see the group in action (or just want to learn their dance moves), check out the clip below:
PERFORMING: FRI 7.15PM / SAT 8.15PM / SUN 12.45PM (MEET AND GREET AFTER THE SHOW!)
With almost 20 years in the visual-kei scene, HIZAKI is a well-known figure to most fans. A founding figure of the band Versailles (formed with ex LAREINE member Kamijo), HIZAKI also boasts a long career as a solo artist, composer and producer! As of August of this year, Versailles have officially reformed (performing at London’s O2 Academy Islington – 29th January 2017), but despite his busy schedule, HIZAKI continues to push himself to new heights and this will be his first solo performance in the UK!
Witness HIZAKI’s incredible guitar skills at the HYPER JAPAN Christmas Market and don’t forget to take advantage of the ‘Meet And Greet’ post performance!
There’s so much to enjoy at the HYPER JAPAN Christmas Market! Which items or live acts are in your ‘must see’ top 5?? Share your thoughts in the comments below!