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event

Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2016

whysojapan hanami Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom korsbarsblommans dag kungstradgarden

Sakura Matsuri Stockholm – Cherry Blossom Festival

It’s hanami season and the blossoming of the cherry trees is sweaping across Japan. For the past couple of weeks we’ve been enjoying seeing photos and videos from Japan, of the pink and white flowers on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Now it’s finally our turn here in Sweden to do some cherry blossom viewing. To kick off the season we attended Körsbärsblommans Dag, Sakura Matsuri, which is the annual cherry blossom festival day in Stockholm, arranged by the Japanese Association. You never know if the trees will be in bloom during the festival, and this year they had just started coming out. We will try and come back later in the week, to see them in full bloom.

whysojapan hanami Sakura Matsuri Stockholm cherry blossom korsbarsblommans dag kungstradgarden

The stage

There were performances on stage throughout the day. Wa-Taiko drums, a fashion show, dance performances, choirs and more. Even Hello Kitty made an appearance. Here is Satoko Salme doing a traditional Japanse dance performance.

whysojapan hanami Sakura Matsuri Stockholm cherry blossom korsbarsblommans dag kungstradgarden

The stalls

There were also a lot of stalls spread around the area. You could find Japanese food, like teriyaki, and lots of different pastries. One stall was selling Belgian waffles, but with a Japanese touch for the day, matcha or azuki waffles. Here’s a matcha waffle with whipped cream and cherries, perfect to eat during a cherry blossom viewing festival.

whysojapan hanami Sakura Matsuri Stockholm cherry blossom korsbarsblommans dag kungstradgarden

whysojapan hanami Sakura Matsuri Stockholm cherry blossom korsbarsblommans dag kungstradgarden

Other stalls had merchandise for sale. We were very happy to see FUKU iro Pierce ear rings available for purchase. After the Fukushima earth quake and the Nuclear power plant incident, local women from the area started making these ear rings to have something to focus on and to feel hopeful about the future. They ear rings are made of Aizu cotton from Aizu, a safe area in the Fukushima prefecture, and acrylic resin.

whysojapan hanami Sakura Matsuri Stockholm cherry blossom korsbarsblommans dag kungstradgarden

Hans and Yoko Kimono Boutique had a stall. You can find them on Etsy too: HANSandYOKO on Etsy

whysojapan hanami Sakura Matsuri Stockholm cherry blossom korsbarsblommans dag kungstradgarden

Other stalls had cute stuff for sale, like lots of Totoro, accessories, makeup, stationary and more. J-Fashion Sweden were also there, an association for people interested in Japanese street fashion.

whysojapan hanami Sakura Matsuri Stockholm cherry blossom korsbarsblommans dag kungstradgarden whysojapan hanami Sakura Matsuri Stockholm cherry blossom korsbarsblommans dag kungstradgarden

whysojapan hanami Sakura Matsuri Stockholm cherry blossom korsbarsblommans dag kungstradgarden whysojapan hanami Sakura Matsuri Stockholm cherry blossom korsbarsblommans dag kungstradgarden

Every year I enjoy looking at the wonderful bonsai that the Swedish Bonsai Association has for display. We used to have a little bonsai before, but it died during the winter months. Mangakai, for people interested in manga and anime, also had their own stall at the festival.

whysojapan hanami Sakura Matsuri Stockholm cherry blossom korsbarsblommans dag kungstradgarden

whysojapan hanami Sakura Matsuri Stockholm cherry blossom korsbarsblommans dag kungstradgarden

Hello Kitty was on stage, and when her appearance was over and she was walking away from the festival, she stopped for anyone who wanted a photo or a hug. She was adorable and made a lot of people happy.

whysojapan hanami Sakura Matsuri Stockholm cherry blossom korsbarsblommans dag kungstradgarden

We saw lots of people cosplaying, like the beautiful Nathy in this amazing costume. You can visit her page on Facebook here: Nathy on Facebook

whysojapan hanami Sakura Matsuri Stockholm cherry blossom korsbarsblommans dag kungstradgarden

All in all, it was a lovely event, just like previous years. Shame about the weather this time though. It was chilly and rainy. But still, a lot of people came anyway to enjoy a little bit of hanami.

whysojapan hanami Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom korsbarsblommans dag kungstradgarden

Previous posts about Sakura Matsuri in Stockholm:
Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015
Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2014
Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2013





Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Events Leave a comment

Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Sakura Matsuri Stockholm – Cherry Blossom Festival

Every year there is a cherry blossom festival (“Körsbärsblommans Dag”) in central Stockholm, Sweden, organized by the Japanese Association. For the public, it’s a lovely tradition to go there every year and experience a little bit of the hanami spirit even though Sweden is far away from Japan. This year the cherry trees were just beginning to flower and it was a nice sunny day. The festival was packed with people, it seems to become more and more popular each year.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

 A taste of traditional Japan

During the festival there were lots of stalls where you could see some of the traditional side of Japan.

Furoshiki – traditional wrapping cloth you use to wrap your gifts or goods in. Both sides of the fabric are decorated with beautiful colours and patterns.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015 WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Bonsai – Growing trees in small pots to make them grow into miniature size. The bonsai trees come from the Swedish bonsai association club, bonsaisallskapet.se. Even though none of the trees were for sale, the club members that had brought them along were very happy to talk about all things bonsai.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Origami –  Folding paper and sculpturing it into shapes.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Shodō –  Japanese calligraphy. This seemed to be one of the more popular stalls, where you could get your own zodiac animal sign in calligraphy, beautifully hand painted.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Kimono – A traditional Japanese garment. At the festival you could try it on to see what it’s like to wear. This was another one of the stalls that we had seen before which seemed to be very popular. We also saw lots of people walking around with kimono and yukata.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Ikebana – Flower arrangement art.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Karuta – A Japanese card game.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Food stalls, Japanese goods and more

There were also several food stalls where you could buy bento, onigri, kimchi, macha cakes, sushi, noodles and lots more.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Bon Aibon are Japanese sweet cakes made by Ai Ventura, who also sells her cakes at the cafe Kikusen in Östasiatiska Museet in Stockholm.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

The food stalls were really popular at the festival with some of the stalls having very long queues.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

The Swedish manga association also had a stall, showing off lots of different manga books.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Sunai Japan Shop had a stall with stationary, magazines and bento boxes for sale.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

Selmish was there, selling packets of Japanese treats and more.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

It was also great to see a lot of our favourite dog breed, the shiba inu, which were all walking around very proud.

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

WhySoJapan hanami cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2015

The Japanese Association of Stockholm is a great site to check for other Japanese events in Sweden.

We have posted lots of other articles about hanami over the years. They can all be found by clicking the following link: hanami





Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Events Leave a comment

Brighton Japan Festival 2013

whysojapan brighton japan festival

Brighton Japan festival

About a month ago the Brighton Japan Festival was held in seaside town of Brighton, which is on the southcoast of UK. The festival started about 5 years ago with just a one day event, but has now grown into a 10 day festival. This year the event ran from 13/09 – 22/09. The festival ran both in the daytime and in the evening too. The festival was mainly set out around rock gardens, which close to most parts of central Brighton.

whysojapan brighton japan festival

Festival

The festival is a mixture of all things Japanese – from music, culture and food to kawaii and more. If its Japanese, it probably could be found, one way or another, at the festival. The festival was first started by the Brighton & Hove Japanese Club, which once was a very small event, compared to now being one of the major Japanese culture events on the south coast. It is very parent now that Japanese culture is having a bigger and bigger effect on the rest of the world these days, with more and more of Japanese culture reaching to different countries all around the world.

whysojapan brighton japan festival whysojapan brighton japan festival

Events

The festival had a mixture of events, some you had to buy a ticket to get access to and some were free of charge. In the way of music, there were nights dedicatied to j-rock music, with bands like Esprit D’Air, Colors Of Fire and Fate. Most of the bands are based outside of Japan, but still brought the j-rock theme to the event. There was also a Harajuku night with artists No Cars, Erika and Kero Kero Bonito playing into the night.

The festival had a Taiko drumming performance (from one of the most well known taiko groups in the UK), cover songs from Brighton’s very own Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (Fume) and Kids Dancers too. There was a Japanese horror movie night (which was held on Friday the 13th), a big Japanese fashion show, lots of food and a big market selling all things Japanese. The list goes on. If you’re into Japanese cultureIm sure you would find something of your liking at the festival.
whysojapan brighton japan festival whysojapan brighton japan festival whysojapan brighton japan festival whysojapan brighton japan festival

The following video was found on this Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/HDViewin

Links to Brighton Japan Festival:
Offical homepage: http://www.brightonjapan.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BrightonJapanFestival?fref=ts

Photos courtesy of: Clarissa

 





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Taiko drum performance

A week ago I went to watch a Japanese drum performance. A man played on the traditional taiko drum together with a young man, who I believe was his student.

why_so_japan_taiko_drum_japanese_drums_2

The man said that he had visited Japan on several occasions and had been inspired by the music there, and now he played rhythms that came from different parts of Japan. Apparently he has been playing taiko drums for twenty years!

why_so_japan_taiko_drum_japanese_drums why_so_japan_taiko_drum_japanese_drums_3

After the performance, the audience was invited up to try out the drums, and drum sticks were given out to children for them to tap along with the drumming.

Here’s a closer look of the taiko drum.

why_so_japan_taiko_drum_drums

Here is a video of the performance. The sound of the drumming was a lot more impressive in real life, its hard to capture on film. Enjoy!

Read more about taiko drums at Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiko





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Japan-loppis: Japanese flea market in Stockholm

why so japan lolita dresses

Last week me and a friend went to a Japanese flea market in Stockholm, arranged by kimmiko.se, where both compaies and private individuals sold old and new items. Japan-loppisen, as its called in Swedish, was at Aggregate in Sundbyberg, where there are a lot of cultural activities for young people.

why so japan japan loppis queues why so japan japanese flea market queue

The queue to get into the flea market was very long, and even though we arrived only 30 minutes after the opening, we had to wait almost two hours to get in. People queing were mainly teenagers (and some parents), and a lot of them had dressed up wearing amazing lolita dresses, wigs and make-up. Some guys had also dressed up in ellaborate costumes.

why so japan victoria eriksson top model sverigewhy so japan P-10 k-pop dance group
At the last bit of the queue was a dance group called R-10 performing K-Pop dance routines on stage (video at the end of this post) and opposite were a couple of tables with pretty lolita clothes for sale. Special guest of honour was model and designer Victoria Eriksson, known for appearing on Top Model Sweden and Project Runway Sweden. She was there selling her clothes.

why so japan japanese flea market
Finally we got it, and we could find clothes, mobile phone cases, bags, accessories, manga and anime merchandise, soft toys and many other things. There was a mixture of handmade, second hand and new goods. The tables were very popular and sometimes it was difficult to to see what was for sale at the tables, because it was so crowded.

The youths shopping there seemed very happy, as we saw a lot of them leave the flea market with bags full of stuff.

why so japan japan loppis why so japan japan loppisen
The Japan-loppisen takes place a couple of times every year, and next time they have an event will be on 15 June, 2013.

Here is a video of R-10 performing at the event.

For more information about upcoming Japanese flea markets in Stockholm, check out their Facebook pages.

Japan-loppis sommar 2013: https://www.facebook.com/events/232099593596257/

Official Japan-loppisen Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Japan-Loppisen/181852625204076





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