Londoners get the opportunity to experience a Japanese Christmas Market.
Hyper Japan, a Christmas market that celebrates the Japanese culture in the Tobacco docks in London was back this November for its 6th year running.
With so much to do, Londoners get the opportunity to shop authentic Japanese merchandise, eat Japanese food as well as get the opportunity to meet their Japanese idols.
Most importantly, Hyper Japan gives Londoners who love the Japanese culture the opportunity to “be yourself without judgment.” Said Maisy Crossland who attended the festival.
With London being a city of straight-laced business with its quirks here and there, it can be seen as a bit daunting for those ‘Otaku’ fans who love to dress up in a ‘Lolita’ style.
The definition of Lolita has many different interpretations. It comes from the inspiration of the old fashion elegance of corsets and frilled skirts with a childlike innocence and purity influencing the style. In Japan, it is common to have ‘innocence’ and ‘purity’ seen as an idealistic image for women to dress.
In this environment, no one bats an eye at cross dressers or cosplay costumes (Cosplay being when a person dresses up as a character played in a film or movie or even animation). Everyone seems to get a sense of acceptance towards one another that is hard to come by in the hustle and bustle of a busy city.
Fans of the Japanese culture could really let loose and be themselves. “I’m a bus driver, and I’ve been a cross dresser since I was 29. I loved anime as a kid but then realized that my obsession with the Lolita style became stronger when I grew older. I didn’t just idolize them…I wanted to be them! (…) And being able to come to this festival is the highlight of my year because it’s the time when I can wear what I want and not get weird looks or double takes.” Said David* dressed in full Lolita style at aged 46.
Hyper Japan accumulates every year to celebrate in all things ‘Tokyo’. Which gives the Londoners the opportunity to experience first hand, how the Japanese celebrate Christmas. With hundreds of stalls in the market, one of the most popular ones giving festival goers the opportunity to be dressed up as a classic ‘Lolita’ girl.
There is no wonder that Hyper Japan has such a huge following of 25 thousand people attending every year with 45% of them, taking the opportunity to dress up in cosplay for the occasion or even pay for it to be done for them when they arrive.