Have you ever been to Japan? Well, I have – and let me tell you, its like visiting another planet! Running around in Tokyo was such an amazing experience for me, and I would love to go back . But… bringing a newborn to Japan is probably not the best idea, so I was quite pleased to get invited by Harro Foods and have press access to “a taste of Japan” also called Hyper Japan last weekend! Hyper Japan is a huge cultural festival which features shopping, entertainment, cosplay, fashion and food from Japan. This summer it took place in Olympia, London and these are my memories from the crazy, fun, historic and adventurous experience

We brought Clara to Hyper Japan! My advice… Don’t bring babies, because it was quite noisy in there and a little overwhelming for her

It was a big and colourful event! 

– and very popular too (especially amongst the younger generations. At the centre of all this excitement we found the HYPER Game & Anime Park (an action-packed area dedicated to otaku merchandise and activities)

The best part? A lot (and I mean a lot…) of the visitors were dressed up for the occasion, and I am not talking about putting on a silly hat… Nope, they all looked like superheroes, manga-figures and erhmmm…

Britney Spears from her music video “Oops, I did it again!”

Yes, there were indeed many cosplayers at Hyper Japan! (Bonus-info cosplay or costume play is a hobby in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes to represent a specific character. Favourite sources include anime, cartoons, comic books, live-action films, television series and video games.)

Even though some of the cosplayers looked a bit scary in their costumes, I did manage to find some new friends….

Not bad to have friends like this… Just remember to keep it that way!

Sometimes you couldn’t tell the difference between what was real – and what was not!

Fans of Japanese pop-culture really had a shopping-party here! There was nothing you could’t buy!

I love Kokeshi dolls!

Kokeshi dolls originate from the Tohoku region of Northern Japan.  These handmade wooden dolls goes back to the early 19th century when kijiya (woodworkers) began using their woodworking skills to make simple dolls to sell as toys and souvenirs to visitors. The dolls are said to have had a spiritual significance with the kokeshi representing a wish for a healthy child (I love that idea!)  Today, Kokeshi are mostly bought by Japanese as mementos. In addition to being ornamental, they are also seen as charms to prevent fires or even ward off evil. Mizuki, the wood often used to make the kokeshi doll’s face, literally translates as “water tree”. It is a very moist wood and some Japanese believe that having a kokeshi in their home helps prevent fire.

This was our favourite store… Both Frenchie and I are big fans of kimonos

So of course we had to try some on! Frenchie went all Shogun/ The Last Samurai

 – and I felt like the most beautiful Geisha in this vintage kimono! It was love at first sight! 

You can’t become a real geisha without beautiful butterflies in your hair!

Hello Kitty was as always very popular 

It was hard not wanting to buy everything from these lovely ladies from Artbox 

Cuteness overload!

Maybe I should consider getting into this whole cosplay-thing… I love the grey/pink look on her!

There were lots of Karate-Kids (or Jiu-Jitsu) – but no Mr Miyagi 

We couldn’t find him in the beautiful Bonsai-tree area either! 

Maybe he was hiding in the naughty corner (wink,wink)

Upstairs we found the Harro Food Japan Food Show

Some of the food was just too beautiful to eat!

I didn’t get to taste the very popular Tsuya (sweet red bean paste sandwiched in Japanese-style pancake) Have any of you tried it?

Fragile and beautiful Kohakuto sweets aka edible jewels!

On the hunt for traditional Japanese tasting treasures

Unfortunately a late Sunday is not the best time to arrive as most of the stalls had run out of food and the line for those who still had something to offer was too long for a couple with a baby

So we decided to take a look at the beautiful traditional Japanese tableware instead

As Clara was getting tired we didn’t get to visit the food court. So we took a short stroll around to get a few last impressions! 

For a real connoisseur, I am sure this would be a mekka of treasure troves!

I would like to thank Harro Foods for inviting us to Hyper Japan! Would I go again? Yes, definitely – but not with a baby! You can easily bring older kids, but for the very young ones, the whole thing is simply too overwhelming. Hyper Japan takes place twice a year. The next event will be held in November 2018. Maybe this time I should come dressed up like a Pokemon figure!

X Louise