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london

Japan EX MCM Comic Con London

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MCM Comic Con and Japan EX

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.

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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.

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Japan EX

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Game Expo

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.

 

Comic Con

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.

The next MCM Comic Con in London is on May 23-25, 2014. Check their site for more info: http://www.mcmcomiccon.com





Posted on by Paul in Events, Shopping 2 Comments

Hyper Japan Shop London

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Hyper Japan London

Hyper Japan is a well known exhibition fair held ever year in London. The fair celebrates everything Japanese, from the traditional to ultra modern, all can found at the fair. The fair has become very popular and if you have a love or just a little interest in Japan, it’s well worth a visit. The next fair is to be held in the summer of 2014.

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Hyper Japan shop

Hyper Japan has now opened it’s first shop as of the end of oktober 2013. Its located in the Camden stables market area in London. The shop, being its first, is a small shop. But content is growing. Since its a very new shop, I’m sure the stock will grow and try the market to see what sells. On our visit the shop had a lot of kawaii goods. A lot of stuff we had only seen in Japan or on the internet before, and rarely found in local shops around London. Some of the stuff we found was a collection of the J-pop princess Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – a mixture of her CDs, DVDs, t-shirts and more. We also found stuff from Tofu Cute, a selection of Japanse sweets, a selection plush alpacas (the ones you see all over Tokyo), t-shirts and bags too.

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As you see, the shop has a good selection of products which I’m sure will improve even more as time goes by. Walking into the shop gives the feeling of walking in to a little Japanse shop in Tokyo, seeing all the goods available for ourchase. Nowadays when we are in London we jot from shop to shop, like Japan Centre, Art Box, China Town and now recently we have added the Hyper Japan shop to our list of some of the shops we will keep visiting in the future. If you are in London and love things from Japan, then this store is well worth visiting.

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Shop Info

Finding the shop took us a little time at first, since we always seem to get lost around all the small shops in Camden. But after looking on a map we ended up finding it. Please check out the map and shop information below, and also check with their site for the up to date information on opining times and more.

******* From the 24th jan 2014 the shop has closed down *****************

Adress: Stall 713, Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8AH
Opening times: 10:00am – 6:00pm, Wednesdays to Sundays (times are on trail)
Websitehttp://www.hyperjapan.co.uk (for shop info klick tab righthand side of page)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hyperjapan

whysojapan hyper japan shop london





Posted on by Paul in Shopping, Visiting Leave a comment

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – Live in London – Part 3

The show started about 20:15. The first song she started with was “PON PON PON” – the song that made her a world wide hit via YouTube.

She would sing about two songs, and then have a chat with the audience and so on. Since KPP does not speak English she had a lady translate for her, which was fine since it wasn’t about understanding the language, it was about understanding the happiness of the music. Along with all the hits and songs from her album, she also sang her new song, Invader Invader,  before the song had been released.

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Between costume changes there were different videos being shown on a large screen. One was from a TV show she has back in Japan called TV John, and other videos were facts about KPP. Even a mascot of hers came out and danced and entertained the audience.

KPP fans are dedicated and a lot of people in the audience knew the lyrics to her songs and sang along. People were dancing and clapping along to the music. It was a great atmosphere!

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The show ended about 21:45 with a encore of one more song or so. After that it was a rush for the tube and change for our last train back home.

If you are a fan of KPP I would recommend the chance to see her live. Do so and you won’t be disappointed.

Here is a video with clips that we filmed at the show:





Posted on by Paul in Music 1 Comment

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – Live in London – Part 2

img_2349We arrived at the O2 Academy in Islington about 18:20 and the queues were already very long. This show was billed to start at 20:00 and the doors where to open at 19:00. So we started to make our way to the back of the queue, while passing all of the fans that had dressed up as KPP, and others who came in cosplay and Harajuku style of clothing. It was a mixture of all ages, waiting to get in for the show. A lot of people passing by stopped and asked what everyone was queuing for. With all the cosplay and Harajuku clothing, the queue sure did look spectacular.

We found the end of the queue and took our place. It was a long and cold wait, it even started to snow! While we were waiting there were different TV crews from Japanese TV shows interviewing those that stood and waited in-line. Here is the video:

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In the end the queue started to moved. I think we got inside around 19:50, and even though we had been waiting that long, it seemed worth it. It’s not every day you get to see a Japanese pop star on the other side of the world! We felt like we were the lucky ones. We found an ok place to stand in the venue, so we could just about see, since everyone in front of us were tall for some reason. Why is it always like that when you go to concerts? You always get the tall people in front of you!

 

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – Live in London – Part 1

Part 3 coming soon.

 

 





Posted on by Paul in Music 1 Comment

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – Live in London – Part 1

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu London ticketTicket release for London show

I thought I would share how it was to see Kyary Pamyu Pamyu when she did a live concert in London in February earlier this year.

We were one of the lucky 800+ people to get tickets. It was pure luck that we got the tickets, really. I was searching her name on Google to find more about when her up and coming tour would be, because I knew that she was coming to Europe to have two show in Belgium and France, and we had decided we wanted to go and see at least one of them. But by luck, I found out via Google that she was to have a show in London, and I found that out only the day before tickets went on sale. So I got up early to buy the tickets the next day and I got a hold of two. It was only after the tickets went on sale that the KPP Facebook page had made a post about it, and by then it was too late for a lot of people, because even though there were no real adverts for it, they sold out quick. I dont think they were expecting that!

Getting to London

Travelling over from Sweden  to London was not a problem, since we have family there. No need for a hotel, plus we got to have a mini holiday in the UK, which was nice.

The day of the show we travelled up to London by train. We decided to have a mini Japan day, so we went around few of the different Japanese shops that we know of that sell all things Japanese. We also had Japanese lunch in china town. After that we spent the rest of the afternoon just looking around some of London’s shops before heading to Islington o2 Academy…

Part 2 coming soon.

 

 





Posted on by Paul in Music 3 Comments