Last weekend was my favourite show Hyper Japan, at it’s biggest venue yet: Earls Court 2. It’s a show about everything cute and cool from Japan, with food stalls, fashion, anime, kawaii bits and pieces, cars, martial arts and a particularly excellent stage programme this time, with artists from Japan.
The Cakes with Faces stall was in the fashion section, which was right at the back (with a strange big gap before the other sections), next to the stage. The lighting was a bit odd, which is why my photos look strange (they were even more yellow before Photoshopping!).
This was my third time having a stall at Hyper Japan and the spacious venue made it less crowded than previous times. So far the event has been held periodically throughout the year, but the organisers seem to have settled into a pattern now and next year’s show will be in July again, at the same venue. On Saturday the queue to get in got really long during the middle of the day, so let’s hope they sort that out for next year.
On Sunday the Cakes with Faces stall had a celebrity visit from Jarvis Cocker, which was really exciting as I’m a 90s Britpop girl at heart. I think I did a pretty good job of acting like a normal person and containing my excitement when he bought a t-shirt (All the Best Stuff is from Japan!). Rumour has it that Pixie Lott and Gok Wan were also there, but I didn’t see them – it seems Hyper Japan is quite the celeb hangout…!
NHK World dropped by the stall and filmed the t-shirts for their show Tokyo Fashion Express. I *almost* got an interview but they must have got distracted by something else on the busy Saturday. The show’s going to be aired at the start of September, so look out for it if you have NHK World; they were also filming the fashion show so there should be more of Hyper Japan on the programme.
It was great to see so many people dressing up creatively, and there always seem to be lots of lolitas at Hyper Japan! I was really happy to wear my dress from Harajuku, from my Tokyo trip last month (it’s got waffles on it!) and at Hyper Japan, a huge bow is never a faux pas. Dreamy Bows were selling dresses from Angelic Pretty, and I was opposite Rococo Daze, a stall selling beautiful lolita dresses (I wanted the one with the strawberries on it!).
As you’d expect for a show about Japan, the most popular t-shirt was All the Best Stuff is from Japan! The chopping boards also got a lot of attention, and I spread the sushi love with my How to Make Sushi gift sets. Some people had already got their sushi food kits from the Yutaka stall, so with the comic recipe book they were completely ready to roll! I picked up some sushi rice for a very reasonable price from Yutaka, and some Yuzu seasoning, which I enjoyed that night on some chirashi sushi – it was yummy with a strong citrus flavour.
One of the great things about doing shows is that we get to stay with our friends, who treated us to some delicious home-made okonomiyaki, with everything in it, including Quorn, tofu and plenty of sesame seeds! The okonomiyaki I had from the food stalls for lunch the next day seemed tame in comparison (cheese and sweetcorn) but was delicious nonetheless.
It was great to finally meet Soapasaurus, who commissioned some illustration work from me recently, and good to see my drawings “in the wild”! She specialises in geeky soaps, and I’d drawn characters for the labels of a set of 3 Japan-themed soaps: Japanese plum, green tea and sakura. Surprisingly the green tea one was my favourite, and got me thinking…. could there be cake-scented Cakes with Faces soap?? What do you think? (Comments below please!)
It’s hard to see much of the stage programme when you’ve got a stall to run but I caught some of Yanakiku’s performance. Love their kimono-inspired outfits! Phil watched Siro-A, a Japanese version of the Blue Man Group, and was really impressed, so we’ve got tickets for their London show. I didn’t watch any of it so there are no spoilers! There was also a fashion show, a talk and performance from a geisha, a cosplay masquerade and the headline performance from Yun*chi.
You can see the rest of my photos, including lots from the rest of the show, on my Facebook page.
And if you came along to Hyper Japan, leave a comment below and let us know what your favourite part of the show was!