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!