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Ashana Lian's Fantasy Lab

Fantasy and Fantasy Writing from every angle: fantasy and sci-fi novels, films, artwork, superhero cartoons, children's and YA books, manga, anime, video games and comics. Put the microscope on 'Geek Culture'.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Event: Hyper Japan CHRISTMAS MARKET 2014

As always, images were taken with permission, but if you are mistakenly featured I can remove them on request.


Howdy! I haven't done an event post in a while, due to the whole trying to save money thing. I did go to the Japan Matsuri in Trafalgar Square a while back, but that was cool because I didn't spend anything. I decided to check out this Christmas Market version of Hyper Japan, in case it had something new to offer.

By the way, BE WARNED. Ticketweb is one MAD rip-off; there's a 75p "delivery fee" for getting the ticket SENT TO YOUR EMAIL (wtf?!) and also a 95p admin fee, which is understandable as Ticketweb themselves do need to get paid. Fine. Whatever. But that meant even though tickets were £12 apiece, the total was actually £26.45, which was a bit annoying. I gritted my teeth and got over it. After all, there was no other option.


HJ is usually in Earls Court Exhibition centre but this time it was in Hammersmith Olympia. That surprised me - Olympia is smaller. It turned out to be perfect though, it was busy but at no point overcrowded.


This is now the third time I've been to a HJ, and the third time I've turned up an hour early to get inside in ten minutes. Queuing for Hyper Japan is by far the MOST painless and stress free experience I've had compared to comic cons, so TRUST ME, you don't need to get there an hour early, or even on time. Everybody always gets in so quick, you might as well turn up whenever you want.

This was useful to realise, because I got up at like seven (and still late) to try and get there for like eight, but it wouldn't have made the slightest difference if I'd got up at a sane time like 9 and rolled up in there at like eleven. Like. :3

Experience Once Inside

Ahh, this one was great. As I said, busy but not overcrowded, which kept my stress levels low. For the first time, the event had two floors, which was cool because my friend Jellybean could take pictures of the stall from above. =D

For anyone who things it'll be different to a normal HJ, it's not. There is NO DIFFERENCE between Hyper Japan and Hyper Japan Christmas Market, in fact if you wanted you could buy your gifts in July and put them away so you won't forget. Which is pretty smart, I guess, unless you forget you bought it.

We actually finished looking at all the stalls after two hours, so at about eleven we sat down, then visited some stalls twice, then watched SIRO-A at 12 noon (they are AMAZING, I've already seen them in theatre twice. The projections weren't as good at this event though, it was too bright), and then Jellybean wanted to walk around again in case we'd missed any stalls, which we had. That's when I bought my J-Style magazine from the Hyper Japan stall, so I'm glad I listened to her. XD

Capcom stall!

Great view of Aoi Clothing.


Now I've been several times, I can list my favourite stalls, which I visit every time.

ARTBOX. Cute, geeky and novelty stationary. I always have to resist picking up a 'vitamin' pen or a 'syringe' pen or a cute notebook. c:
SOMETHING KAWAII. Where I got my cat pen from. Must stop spending there. Must. Can't!
JAPAN CENTRE. I always get my pocky and plum wine from here. This time their stall was much smaller than usual.
WAGASHI JAPANESE BAKERY. Where I buy dorayakis from. Beware though! Make sure you read the packet (or ask if you can't read hiragana LOL) because last time I picked up red bean paste instead of chocolate by mistake D= Not. Nice.
NIPPON HAM Foods. I always intend to try different dishes - that was the point of not bringing my own lunch - but always end up eating the same meal from the same stall. Chiken Katsu Donburi, £5. Delicious.

Moon Bunny Stall

Other stalls:
  • japanese food
  • japanese travel, airlines and package holidays
  • tableware and china (LOL, is that a pun?! I know it's not ABOUT China but...)
  • sake tasting
  • japanese candy and chocolate
  • authentic katanas
  • Lolita dresses and accessories
  • jewellery
  • kimonos
  • Capcom center to play demo games
  • retro style arcade
  • manga and anime collections
and much much more.


1. The CAT. Image: pinterest.
I have been search online for the last twnety minutes and I have FINALLY found the huge flat grey furry  cat kitten plush toy cushion haiiro neko and it is called Nemuneko. It is twice as adorable in real life as it look here and I wanted it so. MUCH.

Here's a whole bunch of them! The fat grey one I fell in love with is top left. :3
Chalk blue is pretty cute too.

Kelsey Ellison, who we saw just before we left. She was amazing. She did her cutsey kawaii dance so well and she had great rhythm for it. (An earlier act wasn't so good.) It was so annoying though because halfway through her piece the CD skipped back to the beginning so she had to improvise. I was impressed at how she dealt with it. Then she took a break and I kinda wanted to sneak up and go "It didn't matter, you were great." But then somebody else started speaking to her and for some reason (??? I am stupid.) I lost my edge and was like 'Meh, I'll hunt around for ehr online and send her a message or something.'

I saw these stunning steam cosplayers. One in particular wore a beautiful black and gold dress (far right), and when I saw it I kind of followed her like a puppy hissing to my friend, "SHOULD I ASK FOR A PICTURE?! LET'S ASK FOR A PICTURE!!"

There was a girl (I think worked at Tofucute?) who wore the nicest white lace platform heels. I don't usually like platform heels and rarely wear heels at all. But I love gorgeous outfits and they matches hers perfectly. Then again, most shoes are adorable on small feet.

Macarons, cupcakes and slices of cake. They looked incredible and I wanted one, but I really didn't like that that everything was just open on the table, it wasn't very hygienic. They really should have had a clear plastic cake cover or a screen in front. I guess people didn't care though because they were selling fast!

GOODIES!! (The best part! )

I couldn't even be bothered tagging this picture this time e_e
  • Freebie leaflets - who doesn't love free advertising?
  • Freebie pack of tissues from Japan Airlines o_O Okaaaay then.
  • Japan Centre pocky and some Panda thing I've never tried, £4 altogether
  • Kyoko Tea that Jellybean said smells and tastes like cleaning chemical (I haven't tried mine yet), £1
  • Dorayaki (2, I ate one. =] ), £2.40 for the two
  • Artbox Syringe Pen, 90p
  • another Syringe Pen, green, for my brother, 90p
  • J-Style Book, the only actual useful and non-edible thing. (LOL.) £5.

Aftermath + What's next?

I came in at about 2 and went straight to bed. It kinda depressed me to sleep through the last daylight hours, but never mind. When I woke up it was dark, and I was really drowsy like, 'W o a h, it must be like ten o'clock!' actually, it was six o'clock. Epic fail. e_e

I don't think I'll go to any more fantasy events this year, unless it's like a book signing or super awesome Christmas party. I have got my eye on Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, though. Surprisingly, I have never been.

Read about other geeky or fantasy events in Londonlike MCM Comic Con,
London Film and Comic Con (LFCC) and London Super Comic Con (LSCC)!
Click to read other posts about Geek Culture.

Have you been to a Japanese or geek culture event before? Doooo shaaaare! Until next time. x

Ashana Lian .

P.S. Jellybean was a lifesaver - she took more pictures than I'd ever usually think of taking/be bothered to take! So below are the rest of the HJCM'14 pictures. Please enjoy!

Amazing corset-like hoodie on the Aoi Clothing mannequin

authentic katanas O_O



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