Japanese Manhole covers T-shirts from 47Regions
Japan is a place of so many different and wonderful things to do and see. A lot of times when we are planning our trips to Japan we decide not always to have our whole day Read more
Kizuna Japanese subscription box
This is a promotional post.
We were offered the opportunity to try a new subscription box from Kizuna Box from Japan. Of course we jumped at the chance. We were given the option of two different boxes, Read more
Sakura Matsuri Stockholm – Cherry Blossom Festival
On April 22nd was the annual cherry blossom hanami festival in Stockholm (“Körsbärsblommans Dag”), Sweden. It's an event organized by the Japanese Association, and we were very happy to see that they - once Read more
Top Japanese places to visit in London
In this post we have collected our top Japanese places to visit in London. The city has so many places that are connected to Japan in one way or another. In our top Read more
Best art, crafts and stationery shops in Tokyo
As a person who love all things art and crafts I've hunted down the best shops that I could find during my travels in Tokyo. Here's a guide to my personal favourites. Read more
Yesterday the annual Swedish Cherry Blossom Festival in Stockholm took place in Kungsträdgården. We got lucky this year, because the cherry trees were actually still in bloom. The weather was fantastic, sunny and warm, and the park was filled with loads of people.
On stage, they had a lolita fashion show, a cosplay show, dance performances, choires and more.
A company called KIKI was there, selling tenugui, beauitful hand printed Japanese hand towels made of cotton.
First Leaf Ikebana, an ichiyo ikebana school, had mini lessons, taught people how make flower arrangements the ikebana way. They have courses and workshops throughout the year.
Mangakai was there too. Thery’re a manga and anime association where the members meet up and draw manga, watch anime, play games and socialise together.
And then there were many other sellers there. Yuko Ono Sthlm was selling beautiful tea caddies and lovely Japanese tea, like gyokuru, yame sencha, fukamushi sencha and kaoribo hojicha. You could also find stalls selling clothes, food, snacks, cute items (Totoro!) and more.
Other stalls included igo (a game, pictured above), origami (paper folding), Blueberry (study Japanese in Japan), Japanspecialisten (arranged trips to Japan), Japanska Skolan and more. It was a great event, and we are already looking forward to next year!
The cherry trees are currently in bloom in Stockholm, Sweden – it’s hanami season! To view them you have to hurry up, because they dont bloom for very long. If you are in the Stockholm area at the moment, make sure to visit Kungsträdgården, because this is a beautiful sight that you don’t want to miss.
Cherry Flower Day / Sakura Matsuri
Like previous years, there will be a Cherry Flower Day celebration in Stockhom this year as well. It will take place on April 26 in Kungsträdgården. The Japanese Society (Japanska Föreningen) is arranging it and there will be a drum show, cosplay, lolita fashion show, dance shows and lots more. Last year was pretty awesome, our report from it can be found here: Hanami in Stockholm
Hanami (flowers viewing, 花見) is a very special time of the year in Japan, where everyone goes out to their local parks to celebrate the blossoming of the flowers, also known as cherry blossoming. We have posted about hanami before, click here to read.
Hanami big Business
Hanami is soon to start in Japan, and a lot of the Japanese companies are taking the chance now to drum up some extra trade around this time of the year. You can find lots of different food products that will only be available around the time of hanami. McDondals is one of those companies to take the opportunity to sell some food that is specially made for this special time.
McDondals is selling a hanami inspired burger, the “Sakura Teritama” burger. What makes this so hanami is the cherry-blossom-colored bun and the sakura daikon radish mayo on a pork patty with ginger teriyaki sauce, an egg, and lettuce. There is also a Sakura Cherry Mac float which looks very tasty too. YouTuber Sharla (Sharla In Japan) tried the burger and the float together with fellow YouTuber Mira (kanadajin3). Watch the video below:
Kitkat is another company that always has a special limited edition sakura green tea product, which is available around the time of hanami. Fanta has also had a hanami themed drink around the beginning of spring. I’ve also seen on the KFC Japan website some specials just for this time of the year.
Apple is using hanami in their app store to advertise different apps that are available to download. Some that are very much to do with hanami and some are more indirect, like Pizza Hut, which could be something a lot of people would need to order the pizza for their party in the park, or maybe not.
Here in Sweden we will be celebrating hanami around the end of april. Here the Japanese society will have one day of celebration in the middle of the city, this year 2014, on April 26. There are a lot of other countries celebrating hanami, so check Google to see what’s going on in your the part of your country.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu has just published her world tour dates for this year. After her world tour last year (which was a success, with tickets selling out for shows in London and New York) I’m sure that this time the tickets will sell out just as fast or even faster, in line with her becoming more and more popular around the world.
This year her world tour will start off with shows in the US, with five shows dotted around the states, and then a show over in Canada. She is also playing a bunch of shows around in Europe – UK, France and Germany. Same as last time, but at different venues. This time the venues in Europe will be bigger ones than her last shows, so now more people will get to see her. Which is great for all those that missed out last time she toured in this part of the world.
This tour is said to be an even more engaging and exciting event than her foreign dates from last year. What I would love to see is more of a setup, like she has on her Japanese parts of her tours, with lots of dancer and costume changes and big stages. But of course that would be costly to transport all of that over the world, so maybe it would take a trip to Japan if I wanted to see that. With her new album that came out last year (our review from the album is here: Nanda Collection) I think we will get to hear lots of songs from the new album, and of couse songs from her early stuff. Im sure when and where ever you see KPP, it will be a great show.
MCM Comic Con London and Japan EX is held two times a year at the Excel Centre in London. Comic Con is spread out over two and a half days, from Friday afternoon and through the whole weekend. Early-entry tickets were available on the weekend, and they got you into the convension two hours before the on-the-door tickets where admitted to the convention.
We visited Comic Con on Saturday 26th October 2013 and we had bought early entre tickets. We made our way up to London early in the morning. Once we got close to the Excel Centre it was just a sea of people in cosplay, all walking to the convention. Every where we looked we saw people dressed in cosplay, from movies and anime to comics and manga.
Once we arrived, we had to stand in a a que for about 30-40mins. When we got in we heard that around 66.000 had bought early entrance tickets, so we knew it was going to be very busy. Once we got in, we found the the section named Japan EX, our main reason for visiting Comic Con.
Japan EX is like its own convention within Comic Con. Most of the Japanese stalls ate all placed in one section of the main Comic Con hall. While walking around the Japan EX section we founds loads of stalls selling lots of different products.
One was selling lots of Japanese sweets. They had a great selection of Japanese KitKat boxes, something that’s very popular in Japan. They had many different flavours, like green tea, wasabi, cheesecake and more. You could either buy a box or buy the small individual packs that you find in the box . We did find them to be a bit expense tho, so we decided to wait until the next time we are in Japan.
Other stalls were selling lots of kawaii products, from plushies and other cute stuff to lots of stationary, which seem to be very popular. Tofu Cute had its own stall, selling lots of kawaii products. There was also several food stalls selling different sorts of dishes, like Takoyako, Yakisoba and Korokke. We tried the Yakisoba with Takoyaki, and the Takoyaki was delicious!
We found a couple of stalls selling Japanese figurines and there were a few stalls that sold manga. Some stalls sold more traditional Japanese products, like chopsticks, clothes and small bowls. We bought a couple of cute bowls (see photos below). Theyre actually rice bowls, but we decided to use them for sweets instead.
There was a small stage set up where they showcased different things, like music, culture and fashion. We found other stalls in the rest of Comic Con that sold more Japanese products. One of them stalls was run by Art Box, a shop that is in London, and they sold a mixture of kawaii products from Japan.
Game Expo was another section of Comic Con. There we found of most of Japan’s biggest video gaming companies showing off their new games that are to hit the markets. Nintendo, Tecmo Koei, Namco Bandai, Square Enix, and Konami were all present at Game Expo.
MCM used one of its theatres to showcase some new up and coming games. They had a lot of guests that worked one way or another with video games. They talked about their games they had worked and they also did an Q&A as well. Most of them had come over from Japan to give their talks and most talks were in Japanese with an English translator on stage with them.
By the time we had seen all this, the crowds were becoming more and more and it was a bit hard to move around. It was still great to watch all the great cosplayers walking around. Most people had spent so much time on designing their outfits, it was quite amazing to say the least. If you are just going for the Japanese stuff of Comic Con (like Japan EX and Game Expo) you won’t be disappointed. Comic Con has a lot to offer. I do recommend that you do buy the early entrance ticket online. It will save you so much time when you get there. No one likes standing in queues, but at least with Comic Con queues you get to see all the cosplayer outfits.