Hyper Japan Christmas Market / Tobacco Dock, London
Back in November, before all the Christmas madness kicked off, I headed down to London with my cousin Demi to check out the Hyper Japan Christmas Market. I always enjoy their summer events, but I had never been to any of the Christmas ones before. When I saw this time they were holding it at the Tobacco Dock though, I knew I had to go along, I couldn’t think of a more perfect venue for a Christmas event than here and it definitely didn’t disappoint. It felt so festive with all of the lights and wood, and I loved the way it was laid out too. With all of the different buildings or ‘shops’ it felt more like a shopping mall filled with Japanese goodies and it just made it all seem that little bit more special.
The shopping was as good as ever, and as usual we both ended up buying quite a lot. I love to check out the independent stalls when I’m here, even though most are a little too cute for my personal style, it’s still nice to see what people are creating and talk to the designers. I couldn’t resist the incredibly intricate Nico a-like wolf necklaces from SSTUTTER and Little Moose had the cutest selection of Alice In Wonderland jewellery, I may be biased because he’s my favourite, but I loved the Cheshire Cat pieces. Towards the end of the day I always like to stop by Tofu Cute and Sushi Noms to pick up a selection of my favourite chocolates (strawberry KitKat’s are the dream!) and sweets, as well as making a point of buying a bunch of random things I’ve never tried before to take home to taste. I also got my green tea fix from Ippuku Tea, picked up a few of Beschle‘s award winning matcha chocolate bars and it took all of my willpower not to buy one of the husky or shiba inu plushes they had everywhere this year too!
After missing a lot of the live acts and showcases last year due to a bit of a confusing layout at the o2, we wanted to make sure we caught them all properly this time around. The fashion show was first up, and as always I was seriously impressed with the level of creativity and variety on show. It makes me so happy to see people really go all out on their look, I definitely believe if you’re going to do a style like this you need to go hard or go home, and it’s so nice to see people walking around so proud to show their style and hard work off. Shironuri artist Minori was a special guest, one of only a handful of times she’s been here in the UK and she closed the show in awesome head to toe black. We went off for a little more shopping before coming back to the stage for the Cosparade, this is always such fun and just like the fashion show it’s clear to see the amount of hard work, time and creativity that has gone in to each and every outfit, there are no half-hearted costumes here!
We also were pretty excited to catch kawaii-core band LadyBaby, who were possibly one of the most weirdly enjoyable things I have ever seen in my life! A mixture of metal and cutesy pop, from a team of adorable Japanese teens and a bearded, pigtailed Australian in the most kawaii dresses, it shouldn’t work but it weirdly does and it was just so much fun. I don’t think a single person came away without a smile after their performance. Afterwards we stuck around for rock-opera group Lacroix Despheres, I didn’t know anything about these guys beforehand, so they were a really nice surprise – breathtaking vocals and so enjoyable to watch too, they put on a real show and were the perfect way to end the day.