On Saturday, my friend Sara and I headed off for fun and food at Hyper Japan Christmas Market at the Tobacco Dock, London.
The event involved more stalls/pop-up shops than you can shake a stick at, all selling goods relating to Japanese culture.
One thing I wasn't prepared for was how insanely busy the event would be! Tofu Cute's shop was utterly swamped, but we still braved it in order to squee at cute animal plushies and buy random-flavoured snack food and beverages!
They had an area set up where attendees could take a selfie with a giant cat or alpaca plushie. (I did both, but have a creepy face in the alpaca picture, so that one stays offline!)
When it comes to photos with big cuddly things, Sara and I also stopped by the NHK World stand for a picture with Domo-kun! Domo-kun is NHK's mascot, who has his own comic.
NHK World is a Japanese TV channel that broadcasts English-language programs about Japanese news and culture. I used to watch it a lot, but they switched to HD-only broadcasts and our Sky subscription doesn't include HD channels. Boooo.
However! NHK World were doing a 'free Domo-kun bag' promotion, the only catch of which was downloading their app, which is a free streaming app for the channel. Problem solved, cute eco shopping bag gained!
A shopping bag is definitely necessary at Hyper Japan, too. I didn't go overboard with my spending, but still ended up buying a few things:
My first non-edible purchase was this phone charm of Naki, my favourite character in the manga/anime Tokyo Ghoul. He's a side-character so I was surprised to see it there (thanks for spotting it, Sara!)
...just as I paid, more people came along and saw it and had the same reaction as I did: "NAKI!!!!"
Cue brief yet enthusiastic conversation about what a 'precious cinnamon roll' Naki is!
After some wandering, we found The Dealer of Happiness. Better known as United Publications. They're the dealer of happiness because they sell anime and manga cheaper than the others, and are generally awesome people who care about the stuff they sell. I bought just two manga from them:
Merman in My Tub vol 1, the first of a comical series in which a serious teenage boy ends up with a whimsical merman living in his bath tub.
The Devil is a Part Timer! vol 3, also comical, in which Satan ends up in modern-day Tokyo following a battle with the Hero Emilia. Unable to properly use his demon powers, he ends up taking on the name Sadao Maou, and working at a fast food restaurant in order to support himself and his general, Alsiel.
Both also come in anime form, and are really amusing. I'm looking forward to reading these!
Since this post is getting rather long, I'll write about the food and the entertainment in separate posts. Until then, here's a sneaky peek at what is to come...
|Om nom nom...|
Finally, here's a snap I took from the train station on the way home. Goodnight, London!