Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Anime, Cosplay and a Bit of J-Pop; TRENDS London Is Turning Japanese over the Next Few Weeks. Victoria Stewart Looks at How You Can Be Part of the Cultural Swell of Food, Music and Cartoons

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Anime, Cosplay and a Bit of J-Pop; TRENDS London Is Turning Japanese over the Next Few Weeks. Victoria Stewart Looks at How You Can Be Part of the Cultural Swell of Food, Music and Cartoons

Article excerpt

Byline: Victoria Stewart

ARE YOU up for some anime? Or perhaps you're in the mood for a spot of matcha afternoon tea? Actually, while we're at it, have either J-Pop or cosplay reached your radar? The reason I ask is because over the coming weeks London is playing host to a vast number of Japan-related events.

Japan fever begins tonight at Icetank Studio in Covent Garden where, to celebrate its 20th anniversary, fine food company Clearspring will be launching its new range of tofu and matcha tea. Until 8pm, there will be cooking demonstrations, Japanese cocktails, mini geisha makeovers and kimonos to try on.

Tomorrow evening about 1,000 people will descend on The Rocket Complex at London Metropolitan University to join an anime and gaming convention. It originally began life in a bar but, this year, has grown bigger than ever, with Japanese pop singer Yama-B, right, and dance acts Kimono Time on stage, professional voiceover workshops and anime screenings of High School of the Dead and Death Game.

"Japanese culture is becoming increasingly popular within Western society and there are so many fascinating elements, most noteably its anime, gaming and cosplay (costumes from your favourite comic or anime)," says Michael Towers, the event's organiser. "We have hit a tipping point where the British mainstream is starting to open up to many aspects of this culture and the different perspectives it can offer."

If you want a bigger bite of the J-pie, take a trip to Dalston Junction where, until Sunday, you can queue up for the last few tickets at Matsuri at the Roof Gardens opposite. Here Masterchef-winning chef Tim Anderson hosts a food festival as a preview of what will be his restaurant Nanban. With the help of street food traders, there will be pancakes and fish-shaped cakes to eat while watching Japanese films.

This Japanese foodie fever is partly down to the fact that today many people are searching for "new exciting tastes, allergy solutions and healthy diets", says Christopher Dawson, chairman of Clearspring. …

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