Japan Expo at the Parc des Expositions in Villepinte
from 1st – 4th July 2010

If your knowledge of Japan stretches only slightly further than Sudoku, here’s your chance to catch up with Japanese tradition and pop culture in all its forms, even themost bizarre: cosplay, J-pop, manga, karaoke, martial arts, video games… a voyage halfway around the world without even leaving Paris…

photo de magic-spoon utilisée sous licence cc

After having celebrated its 10th anniversary in style last year, Japan Expo is back in force this year with a few surprises. For exmaple, did you know that baseball is the national sport there? Or that they love car tuning? You’ll see both at the Expo, as well as:

Fashion. With a wide range of Japanese influences, all the big Japanese brand will be there, plus small designers too. Anything goes!
Anime. Exclusive, pre-release showings! World premieres!
Culture. Demonstrations of Kimono, Ikebana, conferences, Nihon Buyô, tea ceremonies…
Shopping. Mangas, objects, a rare chance to find something a little different.
Videogames. The Japanese love them even more than the French! All the main companies will be present, and you can even take part in a tournament of your favourite game.

Sports and Martial Arts. Kendô, Jûdô, Karate, Aikidô, Viêt Vo Dao, Wu Shu… lessons for beginners and demonstrations. Over 4000m²!
Games and Activities. Traditional Japanese games like Go, Othello, Shôgi and – of course – Mah-Jong.
Traditional Culture. Time for a rest with soem origami, Ikebana (Japanese floral displays), calligraphy, painting, plus the French Shiatsu Institute, a Yoga space and tradition asian massages.
Special guests. You might not know their names (I didn’t) but the fans will be lining up to meet Hideo Kokima, Morning Musume。, Noriyuki Iwadare and Tsukasa Hôjô, plus X Japan et a lot more (including the group Root Thumm, below).

But let’s not forget one of the most important aspects of the event: Cosplay has taken over Japan Expo, and you’ll people in all sorts of wacky attire, supposedly looking like their favourite videogame or comic book hero. Unmissable!

photo de flexgraph utilisée sous licence cc

So get ready for a huge (but agreeable) culture shock. A fun day out for both adults and kids!

photo de Jamiecat * utilisée sous licence cc

Japan Expo is at the Parc des Expositions at Villepinte (here) from 1st – 4th July 2010. Open every day from 11am – 7pm (or from 10am if you’ve bought your tickets in advance).

Admission costs between 9 and 14€ depending on which day you go (see here).

Official site: www.japan-expo.com