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