Hyper Japan more than lived up to its billing as one of London’s favourite alternative Christmas markets last weekend.

The first part – favourite - was clearly evident, with thousands of people packing out Tobacco Dock in Wapping during the three-day event.

And the second part – alternative - also delivered thanks to the wide and varied range of activities on offer that separated this from other more traditional festive markets.

Celebrating Japanese culture in a big way, the event was a showcase for fashion, food and drink, crafts and bizarre (to western eyes and ears anyway) entertainment.

I attended the middle day with my teenage daughter, who’s a big anime and manga fan, and we came away impressed by four things in particular.

Firstly, I was slightly less baffled by everything than I was at the main Hyper Japan festival in London earlier in the year. Picking up a little more knowledge since the event at The O2 in July meant I could appreciate this day out a bit more and wasn’t completely confused by the second thing to impress us, the performance by Mirai no Neiro.

This fan group, whose name translates to Sound of the Future, are all about Vocaloid singing sensation Hatsune Miku.

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Vocaloid is computer technology that allows songs to be created without an actual singer being involved. Melody and lyrics are put into the system, which then uses fragments of voice samples to produce songs.

Songs made using the software have been a huge cultural hit in Japan, as have the artificial animated characters known as Vocaloids born out of the process.

One of the biggest successes is ponytailed teenage girl Miku, who has ‘appeared’ in front of huge crowds at concerts, been the star of video games and generated millions of views on YouTube.

The Mirai no Neiro show at Hyper Japan saw Miku ‘perform’ several popular Vocaloid songs - you can see a sample of what it was all about in the video above.

A non-existent singer singing computer-generated songs in the kind of thing you’d ordinarily only expect to see in sci-fi flicks so to see it 'live’ first-hand was a surreal experience. A lack of anyone physically being on stage didn’t stop the audience cheering and clapping just as if a real-life pop star was present, and this just added to the oddness.

My daughter is much more familiar with the Vocaloid phenomenon than me, so she was in heaven. I wasn’t in quite so much awe but the electro-pop songs were strangely entertaining and it was definitely the weirdest gig I’ve ever been at, so I came out pretty impressed.

It was also hard not to be impressed by the shopping opportunities. There was a whole host of things you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else in London, or at least not all under one roof. Products ranged from traditional Japanese tableware, ornaments and puzzle boxes to more pop culture merch such as kawaii (cutesy) toys and fashion accessories.

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I was in my own personal heaven in the gaming area where there was a great selection of retro titles to browse through. I got myself a couple of gems for my Nintendo 64 and Sega Mega Drive.

Finally, being Hyper Japan, there was a large numbers of cosplayers in attendance. Many impressive dress-ups based on favourite characters were on display, prompting my daughter to frequently dash off with the camera to snap these photos.

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The Hyper Japan Festival 2016 will take place at Olympia Grand from July 15 to 17.