This year’s HYPER JAPAN Christmas Market got off to a flying start today, with a whirlwind of Japanese food, culture and entertainment to keep visitors entertained.
One of the biggest draws was the first ever UK concert by the visual-kei virtuoso, HIZAKI. Having originally come to fame as the guitarist in the band Versailles, HIZAKI made a further bid for global domination by wowing fans seeing him perform in the UK for the first time. Don’t worry if you missed out today, however; HIZAKI’s second and third ever UK concerts will be taking place here at the HYPER JAPAN Christmas Market on Saturday and Sunday!
Also very firmly on the agenda of today’s market-goers was shopping, and lots of it. Many made a bee-line towards Tofu Cute’s stall, to get their hands on a variety of kawaii items including plushies and stationery. Also flying off the shelves were everyone’s favourite Japanese confectionary, including an array of Pocky, but also more hard-to-find items. As always, the Tofu Cute Lucky Bags have proven very popular, especially the exclusive Christmas Edition. If you didn’t get yours today, be sure to come on Saturday or Sunday.
After all that excitement, many people needed to refuel, and a popular location to do this was the Izanai Izakaya space. Here, visitors could relax with a beer or sake and a tempting array of savoury nibbles. By far the most prized beverages on offer today, however, were those being served up at day one of the Sake Cocktail Awards. Here, three leading mixologists from some of the UK’s hottest bars and eateries wowed guests with cocktails specially designed to showcase the flavours of various premium sakes. Three more bartenders will be competing on Saturday and three more on Sunday, so you’ve still got a chance to join in the fun!