Event: Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2016 In Pictures
Photo feature by James Fielding.
This years’ Hyper Japan Christmas Market took place at Tobacco Dock between the 25th-27th of November. Although it was three day event, sadly Diverse Japan could only attend on the Saturday.
As usual at Hyper Japan, a wide range of activities took place over the weekend along with some great stage performances.
Enka singer Misaki Iwasa (formerly of AKB48) performed alongside with 1970’s style male group trio Hayabusa in a 30 minute set. A mix of enka and pop, it was an entertaining 30 minutes of feel good music. As an enka performer, Misaki has a strong vocal voice, with a very nice range of emotion. In between songs she was waving at the audience and didn’t stop smiling, as she was clearly surprised by the enthusiastic reaction from the crowd. Hayabusa were very energetic, singing a mix of ballads and pop. Like Misaki, they already seem to have a fan base judging from the crowds reaction to them.
Being the first time seeing The Tomboys, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began to photograph the four piece girl band. They started their 30 minute set with the iconic 5,4,3,2,1 countdown from Thunderbirds. They then ran on stage, grabbed their guitars, and from that point on, it was a blur of amazing rock’n’roll. Lots of jumping, guitar swinging, leg kicks, leaping off stage, yelling vocals and really good songs! When they finished, I walked outside still buzzing from their energy and purchased their album straight away. They were that good and worth checking out if you get the chance.
NeoBallad are a two piece act, Sachi Wakasa on vocals and Wataru Kamiryo on drums. A mix of traditional Japanese folk music, rock & techno, NeoBallad performance was enchanting. Their Christmas flavoured song used a nice backing track with the shamisen which was very nicely done.
BANG‘s dance performance felt rather underwhelming. Even though he is a very good dancer, there was a lot of video clips in-between to sell his self produced merchandise. Was this to provide him with a rest or to make his act to fit the 30 minute slot? It got boring very quickly.
Tobacco Dock as a venue for Hyper Japan is an interesting choice. I can understand the logic of being on two levels with everything evenly spread out. It didn’t feel so over crowded as before. However, it did feel rather maze like with no clear directions when trying to find a particular location. Maybe it will be easier next time.
The following gallery includes a varied selection of photos I took that day. To see more, click here.