Finding the ideal Christmas gifts can be a pretty daunting task, and as the big day looms closer no doubt many of you are feeling the pressure to wow friends and family with something a little bit special. Well, worry no longer! We at HYPER JAPAN are here to make the festive season a whole lot easier, with our fantastic range of gorgeous gifts and goodies. Whether you’re looking for eccentric J-culture gems for a secret santa gift, traditional handicrafts and exquisite artworks for more refined relations, or delicious treats and sakes to delight even the most discerning gourmands, our Christmas Market has got you covered. Here’s a sneak peek at a list of our top 15 must-buy items to get you well and truly in the festive spirit – HYPER JAPAN style!
A must-have for anyone aspiring to master the delicate art of Japanese cooking, or else impress dinner party guests with their mad sushi skills! This handy pack comes complete with all the ingredients and tools you need to start making delicious and healthy sushi rolls (maki) as well as nigiri sushi in your own home.
What better way to propose a toast on Christmas day than with a glass of premium Japanese sake in hand? This merry tipple comes in an outstanding assortment of delicious flavors guaranteed to satisfy every palate, from mellow sparkling sakes to full-bodied cloudy brews, to delightfully sweet sensations. Top recommendation for those who foster an appreciation for the finer tastes in life.
Nothing says ‘warm and cozy’ like your favorite plushie in an adorable little winter outfit! Give someone you love the gift of amazing snuggle time with the impossibly cute Alpacasso, or delightfully smooth and soft Rirakkuma. Alternatively, give in to the kawaii overload and bundle one of these cuddly companions home with you to take pride of place in your own stocking.
It is a little-known fact that in addition to being masters of stealth, endurance and all manner of assassination weaponry, ninjas were also avid umbrella users who practised daily with this essential tool. You too can guard yourself against pesky precipitation, ninja-style, with this ninja-blade handle umbrella complete with dragon-pattern sheath. Its collapsible design ensures maximum stealth when sneaking about on cloudy days, while its dual colour option enables the fashion-conscious ninja to accessorize appropriately.
Three words: ideal stocking filler. Aside from their cute and colorful packaging which makes them worthy as mini gifts in their own right, Japanese snacks such as Pocky, Koala March and Hello Panda are quite simply ridiculously moreish. Give a few of these out to lucky friends and family, and we guarantee they’ll be lining up to hop on the first flight out to Japan to gather more of these addictive treats!
We absolutely love the fantastic range of plates, bowls, tea ware and sake sets offered by quality Japanese ceramics (‘doki’) manufacturers. Imported directly from Japan, many of these seasonally-inspired products can’t be found anywhere else in Europe, and yet are remarkably affordable for all their exclusivity and authentic charm. A beautiful doki gift set would make a truly lovely present for anyone who takes pride in their kitchen and enjoys dining and drinking in style.
Invite your friends to channel their inner gardening guru this Christmas – yes, teeny tiny bonsai are here and they’re looking for a loving home. A healthy dose of pruning, misting and general TLC should be expected, but the sense of satisfaction that comes from tending your very own miniature masterpiece is positively tree-rific (ahem). What’s more, with the changing seasons reflected in their lovely spring blossoms, refreshing summer greens and dazzling autumn shades, these little guys truly are the gift that keeps on giving.
Elegant, stylish, and oh-so Japanese – the kimono has recently broken into Western mainstream fashion in a big way. Kimono-inspired prints and cuts can now be found in most high street clothing stores, but why settle for the spin-off when you can own the real deal? At HYPER JAPAN you can get your hands on vintage kimono and haori, as well as handmade bags and accessories made from high quality kimono cloth. Don’t miss this valuable opportunity to make a bold fashion statement by rocking a genuine traditional Japanese outfit.
Japanese Blu-Ray and DVDs
What better way to idle away long winter evenings than with a movie marathon featuring your all-time favourite Japanese flicks? Grab some popcorn, claim the comfiest spot on the sofa and introduce your friends to some Japanese cinema; perhaps the weird and wonderful world of anime, such as “The Wind Rises” and other masterworks of Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli. Japan’s masterpieces of TV and film are of course far too numerous to list here, but you’ll find a fine selection of all the greats at our Christmas Market to satisfy your festive shopping list.
Sozai Cooking Classes
Sozai is the UK’s very first Japanese cookery school – experience which shines through in the unfailingly excellent reviews and comments given by delighted participants of their classes. From sushi to tempura to vegetarian cuisine, Sozai’s highly-trained chefs deliver a range of cookery experiences in a friendly and professional manner, earning them the reputation as one of London’s top cookery schools. Class participants receive easy-to-replicate recipes, historical and nutritional information about the dish being prepared, as well as delicious samples of the chef’s own handiwork! Excited yet? Well there’s more! At our HYPER JAPAN Christmas Market 2014, you’ll get the chance to meet the chefs and experience taster cookery sessions throughout the day – after which you can get your hands on much-coveted gift vouchers for your friends and family to enjoy full-length classes on a date of their choosing!
Know anyone with a penchant for puzzles and hidden surprises? Confound them this Christmas with a himitsu-bako, a mysterious box which can only be opened using a specific series of pushes, pulls and turns. These boxes can take up to 128 moves to open – plenty of time to enjoy watching the recipient of your gift scratch their head over this little mystery. Hide something special inside for added suspense…
Japanese cuisine book: DASHI AND UMAMI
Just as the core of French cooking lies in its stocks and sauces, the heart of Japanese cuisine can be found in dashi – a simple stock made from water, konbu seaweed and bonito fish flakes. Learn all about this essential pillar of Japanese cooking, and discover the nature and history of its inherent umami (savoury-ness) in “Dashi and Umami: The heart of Japanese cuisine”. This book is beautifully presented, replete with gorgeous pictures, and features several dashi-based recipes for each of the four seasons, as introduced by four of Japan’s top chefs. A wonderful gift for anyone who loves Japanese food and traditions.
MeowMeow cookies have landed, and they’re here to bring smiles to you and the people you care about! These lovable cat-shaped cookies come in a wide range of designs from Santa Claus to bride and groom, and each one can be personalised with a little message tag for writing to your friends and family. Through baking these little fellas, creator Patsy aims to spread the message that ‘animals are our gift’, while providing cookie fans with fresh treats which are low in sugar and fat. We think these lovingly made kitties would make a purr-fect gift for your special someone this Christmas!
TOILET TISSUE COMBINATION DOLLS
Searching for a unique yet inexpensive gift for Secret Santa? Or perhaps a hilarious little present to tickle a loved one’s funny bone? Look no further than these cute (and practical!) toilet roll sets, which combine to look like Rudolph and Santa Claus dolls. These tongue-in-cheek fellows will brighten up your bathroom with a healthy splash of festive cheer, ensuring that the spirit of Christmas reaches even the most unlikely of places in your home. Give them out to lucky friends and family for appreciative chuckles all around.
Japan has been home to many outstanding artists over the centuries – including masters of ukiyo-e (woodblock prints), sumi-e (ink paintings) and calligraphy to name just a few genres. At our Christmas Market you can get your hands on gorgeous prints and originals of these classic styles from exhibitors such as the Japanese Gallery and sumi-e artist Yasunobu Shidami, in sizes ranging from small desktop cards to giant wall prints. So don’t be shy – ride that famous Hokusai wave and add some Japanese aesthetic to your own home, or else give a timeless piece of Japanese artwork to someone with a good eye for beauty.
You can download a copy of this list here.