Monday, 12 December 2011

Kimono de Jack at the Christmas Market

Hello Everyone,

Kimono de Jack group in the UK loves the Christmas season, because it means the start of many Christmas markets, abundance of mulled wine, hot chocolate, and the opportunity to dress up kimono with all kinds of winter accessories. This year we went back to the Frankfurt German Christmas Market over at Birmingham.

Monday, 21 November 2011

19 days left till December meetup at Birmingham!

Only 19 more sleeps till that last KDJ UK meetup of 2011 so lets make it a fun one!

Like last year, we will be visiting Birmingham Christmas Market where we will me eating and getting merry with the mulled wine.

Come in kimono if you like but whatever you do make sure you are dressed warmly, you can't rely on the mulled wine to keep you cosy!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

November Mini Meetup at Doki Doki

Hello there

So November KDJ was a last minute get together because none of us knew where to go however a suggestion of Doki Doki was made and since I lived relatively close to Manchester I thought I might give this convention a try.

Doki Doki 2011 is a convention that celebrate both the traditional and modern side of Japanese culture so I hope there was going to be a good mixture of stalls and demonstrations.

I meetup with Mike in the queue (the one who suggested Doki Doki) and while we were wondering around, we then meet Bec Deacon who was a fellow kdj member which I hope to meet.  

Now the convention itself, it was at the Sugden Sport Centre which meant the event was held in a nice spacious gym so it didn't get too hot and there was a reasonable number of stalls selling anime, lolita, manga and art.  

There were also plenty of demonstrations being shown on time to keep people interested.

Here is Jill Clay doing her kimono demonstration.  

And then there was some koto being played and some traditional dancing.  

Doesn't the dancer have a pretty kimono!

However, at £14.00 on the day or £10.00 in advance, it is a little bit pricey in my opinion and although the demonstration were mainly cultural, there wasn't many stalls selling traditional items which was what I was hoping for.  

Now time to apologise.  My camera decided to die on me just as I started to stake pictures so I had to use photos taken by Mike.

The next meetup will be on 10 December at Birmingham to see and sample the delights of the Frankfurt Christmas Market.  We will probably organise ourselves at Birmingham Train station just outside the ticket gate before moving off to the Market.  I think we might be even be going to the Lace exhibit at Birmingham Museum because there is only so much food and drink one can consume at a market.

See you all there I hope!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

We are ONE Year Old Already!

Hello Everyone,

Time sure flies because our little UK Kimono de Jack is one year old already. It seems it was only yesterday I've decided that we gotta have Kimono Jack in UK, and started planning it. Then we met up at Trafalgar Square with only 5 of us. I'm proud to say that now I don't even have to think about meet-ups, because all my wonderful friends in the group come up with such great ideas. So when I leave UK in couple of years, I know that Kimono de Jack will continue without me.

This time we've decided to meet at Trafalgar Square again, since it was THE place that started it all. I have a feeling that every October we will be going to Trafalgar Square from now on.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Kimono de Jack Anniversary Meetup October 29, 2011

Hello Everyone, 

October marks a major milestone for us because KDJ will be exactly ONE YEAR old! 

To celebrate, we are coming back to the city that started it all, London, and going out to the celebratory lunch at Nizuni.

Once we had lunch, the day will be open for us, as always. There is a pretty good chance that we will go to Haagen Danz afterwords, since it's a traditional of sorts now. If not, there are plenty of things to do and places to see in London.  

Meeting place is at Trafalgar Square, and we need to make sure to take photos there since this is where our FIRST meetup happened! :) 

October 29, 2011

Trafalgar Square, London

11am - ?

Wear your kimono and come to hang out with us!

~ Lyuba @ Kimono de Jack UK

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

September KDJ Meetup!

Tomorrow it will be another month and you know what that means, Kimono de Jack meetup time.

We are back in London people for the 3rd annual Japan Matsuri which has moved from Spitalfield Market to the Riverside Building.

Last year's Matsuri was brilliant, with lots of stalls to spend money and free tasters on various alcohol beverages. Not that I'm encouraging drinking by the way, I'm just saying that if you like trying new stuff then it is a must!

Another big change to Japan Matsuri apart from the location is the date. This time the event will be on a Sunday rather then a Saturday so I'm afraid I will not be able to attend because of the long train journey (3.5 hours!) but we have plenty of kimono wearers closer to London who will be attending so if you are planning to come then let us know!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Birmingham Botanical Garden KDJ meetup

So it is summertime and that only means one thing, PICNIC!

Actually picnics are a dangerous affair to plan in the UK because of the unpredictable weather and although we had a poor start in the morning, by early afternoon the sun came out for us.

We had a small turnout of four people with one of them being a new face. It is always nice to meetup with other kimono lover so say hello to our newbie!

As normal, we all turned up with too much food but it is always better to have too much food.

And although the real Lyuba couldn't join us, her little kokeshi doll could and here she is eyeing up a huge piece of sushi. You can make up the the caption if you like.

After a very long lunch where we all pigged out, it was time to work off our lunch with a good walk in the garden. As we were walking around the garden we noticed that we were not the only ones out. There were a lot of bees, busy collecting the nectar from all the flowers.

We couldn't visit the a garden without seeing the Japanese garden where I hope they had a particular bamboo water feature or as one of us called it "the bamboo bongy thing" but they didn't but they had a nice bonsai collection. I don't think I have the patience to tend to one.

Something that was surprising to see was a male peacock!

He didn't find any of us attractive so no peacock display.

So despite the low turnout we all had a fun time! Oh here is a picture of what you can do in a kimono if you are feeling very childish.

Hyper Japan KDJ meetup!

Phew having two Kimono de Jack meetups within two weeks of each other meant that I didn't have a chance to write up the July meetup.


July KDJ meetup was at Hyper Japan in Olympia Two, London on 23 July. It was billed as being bigger and better then Hyper Japan 2010 so we were very excited! To make it better we were able to secure a table for Kimono de Jack goers to meetup and allowed to organise a mini kimono fashion show!

So what happened on the day?

I turned up around 10.20 to drop off my stuff for the show at the press office and I was glad that I had a performers pass to the event because the queue to get in was huge! Then I went to find our table which was in the manga and origami area. This was a little disappointing because if I didn't ask for help from the press office then I wouldn't have found it. Next time, I will need to ask for a table off to the side!

Now about the event, it was a mix of modern and new Japanese culture. On the ground floor there were the big stalls were the big companies were plying their trade. There was food and drinks on the left hand side while the right hand side had clothing, gadgets and other bits and pieces. Also the main stage was on the ground floor. I didn't get a chance to see any performances on the main stage because it was far to crowd for me to get a good view.

Then the lower ground floor had the independent traders and the game booths/stations for people to entertain themselves with.

There was one big name here and that was Square Enix and they were selling merchandise for their various games like Final Fantasy.

Such as this cute moogle.

However the event was incredibly busy and crowded, in fact I'm pretty sure the organisers where surprised by the turnout. As such people had to queue for 2-3 hours just to get in which was very frustrating for a lot of people who brought advance tickets or those who just popped out for some fresh air.

As for the Kimono Fashion Show, Liz and I were run off our feet organising it but we managed to pull it together.

Sorry for the lack of pictures, I spent most of the day stressing out about the fashion show that I didn't get a chance to take pictures.

I hope next year Hyper Japan improve on the venue and organisation because the UK needs more conventions!

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Just a reminder folks!

Because we had so much fun in April with our sakura picnic in London we have decided to hold another picnic. However this time at Birmingham Botanical Gardens!

So get out your yukata and bring your food and drink and lets celebrate the sunshine!

For more information and to let us know if you want to come then follow the link below!

Monday, 20 June 2011

June Kimono de Jack in Stoke on Trent!

We have been very lucky with the weather for our kdj events however this good fortune could not last and this weekend we had the forecast of rain!

And sure enough, as all our trains rolled into Stoke on Trent the heaven opened! It was good that we all wore kimono that would withstand the rain because the walk to the taxi was wet.

However that enough about the weather, what about the event?

For this KDJ, we visited the potteries museum and art gallery in Stoke on Trent as they were holding a Japanese day. The event was split into three parts. At the entrance there was the sushi, calligraphy and Japanese armour display. Then there was was a performance area where there was the koto, shamisen, taiko drumming and traditional dancing. Finally there was the ikebana demo. We didn't participate in this as none of us had the ability to arrange things nicely.

However there was the sushi demo at 12.00 and dancing at 12.30 which we were interested in. Therefore we had to whittled our time away by looking at the rest of the museum.

This was a good museum as it had a lot of different items on display from lots of stuffed animals to the famous Staffordshire Hoard. We even found some costumes but they were only for children :(. However this didn't stop us from having fun!

Of course all this walking made us tired so after visiting the gift shop we decided to have a rest in the coffee shop before watching the sushi demo. Somehow we managed to turn up a bit late so we only managed to catch the chef making nirigiri. Even so, he made it looks so simple!

Then after that was the music and dance. It was wonderful! The lady who played the koto and shameisan was brilliant with her explanation and the dancer was a familiar face from another event we visited back in London. I didn't recognise her because she was in full make up but April did and used her blackberry to find the photo to prove it. However I don't think she recognise us.

With time still on our hands we wandered around the first floor where there was a lot of potteries which you would expect in a potteries museum. There were quite a few pieces that were clearly made for people who had more money then sense . Take this peacock, it is a lovely piece of work but where would you put it?

By the time was 14.00 so food! And this is when our day went downhill.

First the taxi was really slow in picking us up. This was a problem because we were getting hungry! When the taxi arrived, the driver didn't have a clue where the restaurant was even when we gave him the address. We were beginning to wish we got the bus!

When we finally made it to the restaurant we found it to be closed! Oh why us!

So since the restaurant was closed we though going back to the train would be a good idea. The train station must have a pub nearby surely. Guess what, we were wrong once again. We walked 15 mins in one direction only to find nothing that resemble a food establishment apart from takeaway pizza and kebab. So we walked back the other way to grab something to eat in Subway.

Oh well at least we spent our time having a good chat before going back home.

So this KDJ was a hit and miss. Hit, we had a good time at the museum but a miss with the provision of food.

Our next kimono de jack will be on 23 July at Hyper Japan in the Olympia Two. You will need to buy a £12 ticket (online) to gain entry for Saturday but the event will be full of things from Japan.

From cosplayer competition to the sushi championship award there is everything. The organiser have even given us a table at the event which we can use as a meeting point.

So I hope we will see you all there!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

June Kimono de Jack in Stoke on Trent

In our quest to unite the kimono wearers of UK we will be visiting Stock on Trent.

Stoke Museum will be holding Japanese Day and we are going to invade it!

The event starts at 10.30am so lets meetup at the train station at 10.30 and then we can make our way to the museum either by foot or bus.

June 18, 2011

Stoke-on-Trent Museum

10:30 - ? 

Wear your favorite summer kimono and we'll see you there!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Kimono de Jack UK May meetup in Norwich

Hello Everyone, 
In May, Kimono de Jack will be going where we haven't gone before, or Norwich in East Anglia.

Come dressed in yukata or kimono and hang out with us. We can go out for lunch, or possibly get a fun pedicure at Dr. SpaFist for those brave enough. That's where yukata will come very handy!
Everyone is welcome to come, even if you don't have any kimono or yukata. Just bring yourself and your enthusiasm for kimono and Japanese culture.
May 14, 2011
The Forum
Millennium Plain
Bethel Street, Norwich. NR2 1TF

11am - ?
See you there! 
~ Lyuba

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Kimono Jack Hanami Picnic in London

Hello everyone,

Last weekend Kimono de Jack UK attended a Hanami picnic in London's Hyde Park, right next to Albert Memorial under beautiful sakura trees.

 Everyone were very excited about the picnic, so we had a lot of food brougth by everyone!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Kimono Jack April meetup in London

Hello Everyone,

It is April and it is time to celebrate Hanami.

The Japanese Conversation Group will be holding their annual picnic at Hyde Park so what better place to promote kimono.

The picnic will start around 13.00 but we shall meet up before just in case we need to pick up some goodies on the way. We can't have a picnic without food and drink.

For more information about the group here is the website.

Once again if you have a kimono then this is a perfect opportunity but don't worry if you can't as it is not a compulsory.
April 16, 2011

Kensington Gardens
East side of the Albert Memorial

1pm - ?

See you there!

~ Lyuba

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Kimono Jack in Manchester

Hello everyone,

It's time for our next Kimono de Jack event! This time we will be going to Manchester Textile Antique Fair in Manchester. It is promising to be a fab event, with lots of things to see and buy.

March 6, 2011

Manchester Textile Antique Fair
Armitage Centre
Manchester, M14 6HE

10am - 4:30pm

I am not sure what time we will be arriving there because Manchester is a new territory for us, but if you're planning on coming then email me or leave a comment with your email and I will make sure to provide you with contact details.

Remember, wear kimono if you have one, but if not then just come and hang out! See you all there! 

~ Lyuba

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Kimono and Chocolate or Kimono Jack goes to Cadbury World

Hello Everyone,

For our fifth Kimono Jack meet up we went to Cadbury World in Birmingham. Can anyone imagine a better combination than kimono and chocolate? I sure can't :)  We saw chocolate through the ages and chocolate in 19th century London, as well as got to see how chocolate is decorated and even got to try some. At the end of Cadbury World tour we got ourselves some nice chocolate to take home.

After Cadbury World we went out for lunch and a nice chat. :)

Next Kimono de Jack event will be at Manchester Antique Textile Fair on March 6, 2010.

~ Lyuba