November meant it was once again time for HYPER JAPAN Christmas Market! Nowadays HYPER JAPAN is the only convention I go to, so I always look forward to their events twice every year (Festival in July, Christmas Market in November).
This year’s event was 25 – 27 November at Tobacco Dock, the same venue as last year. As I said last year, I don’t think this is a good venue for the Christmas Market, because many areas are open-air, so it’s dark and cold there in the winter. Although this year they had set up some heaters in those open-air areas, but it didn’t help that much. HJ have announced next year’s Festival will be taking place at Tobacco Dock, so it’ll be interesting to see what it’s like as a summer venue!
I went with Steph again, and we arrived at the venue a little before 1pm. I picked up my press pass – I was very proud to be representing Love Japan! (If you didn’t know, I’m the Online Features Editor and also a writer for Love Japan magazine!)
Steph cosplayed Chise from The Ancient Magus Bride. I was going to cosplay casual Yuuki, but I had so many problems with wigs! Wig number 1 wasn’t very good quality, so I got a refund. Wig 2 was ordered from a Japanese cosplay shop, but my card was rejected, so I had to cancel the order. And with Wig 3, I messed up when cutting & styling it ><
We got takoyaki and gyoza, two of my favourite Japanese foods!
We explored the stalls – a lot of the regular stores were there, but there were some new ones that I really liked, including Mooglears & Stuff, who make really cute character Christmas decorations. I loved the Japanese-themed ones!
Sanrio had a Gudetama photo area, lots of cute items for sale, and a gorgeous My Melody kimono!
Giant Totoro plush!
Aoi Clothing had many wonderful items for sale, and some gorgeous kimono on display. Their clothes are all pretty expensive, but I was tempted by this cool skeleton print kimono!
Aoi also had their usual selection of cute tabi socks and ornaments.
While we were looking around at all the stalls, I totally forgot about the fashion show at 14:15, and completely missed it! >< But Tobacco Dock’s layout is a bit like a maze – everything looks the same and it’s so easy to get lost!
Tofu Cute & Dreamy Bows had a cute Christmas tree and photo area
The Gallo has become of my favourite bands, so of course I also did JoJo poses like they do! XD
Stopped by the JPU Records to say hi to my friend Kei, who works at their stall. We went again a little later and saw some more friends.
Then we went back to the main food area and ate yakitori, but I forgot to take a photo ><
I bought some wagashi from Minamoto Kitchoan, and dorayaki from Wagashi Bakery
There was an area with traditional Japanese crafts. I thought the tiny framed kimono (left) were really cute! And the work by Nobue Watanabe (right) was so detailed.
Calligraphy artist Yuka Suetsugu and the guy translating/helping her run the stall were both really nice, and I spoke to them about Love Japan
Megumi Sugiyama was also really lovely, and her work is so cute!
We took photos with Sugiyama-san’s daughter(s)! (I’m not 100% sure if they were both her daughters, or her daughter & her friend). They were really nice too! I said they looked cute, and they called me “kawaii onee-chan” (cute big sister)! That made me really happy!! (＾ω＾)
These ladies had a stall with ikebana made using obi, and had a live performance where they made special Christmas and New Year themed arrangements.
Fans with matching mini parasols, and a display of geisha photography.
HIZAKI was at HYPER JAPAN this time. I’m not really interested in his solo work, I’ve never been really into HIZAKI Grace Project, I don’t like Jupiter anymore, and I’m not super into Versailles anymore. So basically, HIZAKI isn’t one of my favourite artists, and I wouldn’t have gone to HJ just for him, or gone a different day/more days.
He was performing at 8:15pm on the Saturday, and because HJ closes at 9pm on Saturday, he’d probably finish about 9pm. But because it would take us about 1 hour to get home, Steph and I said “we’ll see how we feel and maybe we’ll stay to see him”. HIZAKI also had a meet and greet at 6pm. We didn’t go to that, but we did go to the meet and greet area around 6:30 and watched him a bit while he was doing the meet & greet! A few years ago when I was a big fan of Versailles, I would have been so excited to see him, but at Hyper Japan I saw him and wasn’t at all.
So we didn’t stay to watch him perform. I wanted to go to Shoryu Ramen for dinner, because Emily (my editor) had very kindly given me a voucher for there! But sadly Steph wasn’t feeling very well, so we left HJ about 19:00 and headed home.