Happy New Year! Or should I say 明けましておめでとうございます! It’s the first week of January, but it already feels like the year is well underway. With Christmas behind us, I’m looking forward to all the Japanese fun we can have in 2016. Here’s a little round up of what I got up to last year. Whilst I wasn’t able to travel to Japan, I did manage to cram a lot of Japanese themed events and places into 2015. Perhaps my most proud moments were managing to publish the first 2 issues of Love Japan Magazine.
Publishing is a totally new area for me, and although it was hard work, and we still have a long way to go, I’m really proud of the fact that I managed to put 2 issues together, and got so many amazing contributors on board, including NHK World TV, Author Michael Booth, Travel Blogger La Carmina, and The Japan Centre. The next issue is on hold for a short while, whilst I finish my photography degree (just 6 months to go!) and look for sponsors.
I completed my Photography HND, and my final major project focused on people who have a passion for Japanese culture (Shinnichi) – you can read more about this here.
Event wise I was lucky enough to be asked to do photography for two Japanese fashion events; Street Fashion Europe’s ‘La Vie en Rose’ in Paris, and ‘Regalia’ at the Institute of Directors, for The Tea Party Club in London.
Hyper Japan, is a must-see if you’re a fan of Japanese pop culture, and takes places twice a year in London. I go to every event, and always enjoy taking photos and chatting to like-minded people. The martial arts and music are always the stand-out attractions for me.
Japan Day (or Japan Tag as they say in Germany) was the first Japanese festival I’ve attended outside London, and takes place in June each year, in Dusseldorf. Read more about my experience here.
Festival Asia takes place in London. and whilst this wasn’t just focused on Japanese culture, there was plenty to keep us Japan fans occupied, including martial arts, taiko drumming and some delicious food. Read my full event report here. All these events will be back in 2016.
I also discovered two very special places this year. The peace pagoda and Japanese house and gardens in Milton Keynes (of all places!) Thanks to the mag’s graphic designer Emma Prew for taking me there.
The EKO House of Japanese Culture in Dusseldorf is magnificent, and really transported me back to the gardens of Kyoto.
I also went back to the Japanese gardens at Kew. Such a tranquil place to wander around and have a picnic. I can highly recommend going here during spring cherry blossom season, when the sakura will be in full bloom.
Lets see where 2016 takes me! If you’ve got any suggestions of places to go, and things to do, in the UK or Europe, do let me know.