If you want to get a taste of the East before Christmas, you should head east this weekend.

Specifically, head to Wapping in east London where you’ll find Tobacco Dock and the Hyper Japan Christmas Market.

Following on from the main Hyper Japan festival at The O2 in July, the event is another celebration of all things J-culture – and also a chance to pick up some fantastic gifts.

Here are seven highlights you won’t want to miss during the three-day Christmas market that begins on Friday.

Creative Studio

Be prepared to get hands-on during a series of interactive workshops that will focus on particular aspects of Japanese culture, including a ramen 101, decorative sushi, origami, tea making and flower arranging.

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Lady Baby

Music is a big part of any Hyper Japan event and one of the performances you’ll definitely want to check out is the extremely quirky Lady Baby group. A former wrestler as the front, erm, person, flanked by two Japanese idols, producing a crazy full-on metal sound – this trio have to be seen and heard to be believed.

Mirai no Neiro

If the word Vocaloid means anything to you at all the show by Mirai no Neiro will be a must-see. Sound of the Future, to give the act their English name, are a fan group dedicated to Hatsune Miku, the ponytailed teenage girl character who is perhaps the most famous persona of synthesised singing. Mirai no Neiro’s show will feature a large-scale Hatsune Miku singing and dancing to a selection of fan-made songs.


Geisha-like artist and fashion sensation Minori will be at the Christmas market showing off her elaborate handmade outfits on stage and also giving tips on the shironuri (white-painted) make-up for which she’s best known for.

Sake Cocktail Awards

If you’re in the mood for a warming tipple or want inspiration for something a bit different to serve over Christmas, you’ll be able to watch a selection of professional mixologists shake up original cocktails, then sample them and vote for your favourite.

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Sushi Awards

Similarly, the winning Sushi Awards entry will be decided by visitors rather than judges. Watch chefs from some of the UK’s best sushi houses create masterpieces that combine food and art, then you can taste each one.

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Gift shopping

It wouldn’t be much of a market without things to buy, and Hyper Japan shouldn’t disappoint if you’re looking for Christmas gifts that are a little out of the ordinary. Vendors will have odd gadgets and tech, unique crafts, crazy food such as sweet potato KitKat, and all manner of cutesy ‘kawaii’ clothes, jewellery and accessories.

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The Hyper Japan Christmas market runs from November 27 to 29 at Tobacco Dock. Go to hyperjapan.co.uk/tickets for ticket info.