Bokeboke Island
"Stuff" is a repository for all kinds of things that didn't fit anywhere else on the site. At the moment I only have a few photos in here, but I hope to add more content over time. Until then, feel free to enjoy what's here.
...and not much else for now
I visited Japan for just over two weeks in August of 2012, nine years after my previous trip to the country. Although this was primarily a Tokyo-based shopping trip, we also explored a little further afield, taking in Osaka, Nagoya, Shizuoka, Shiroishi and Sendai.
Our trip was timed to coincide with Comiket 82, the world's largest doujinshi fair, held at Big Sight in Tokyo bay, an event I had wanted to visit for some time. We were also lucky enough to be able to get tickets to a number of music performances taking place throughout the month of August.
While the majority of these photos were used in posts on my main blog, I have included 47 new photos in this gallery that weren't really blog-worthy but that I didn't want to discard.
The annual lunar new year celebrations in London fell on the 1st of February this year, so as usual I ventured into the capital to enjoy a more cultural weekend than I would have had at home. After last year's Olympic-themed bash, the organisers had decided to scale back the 2009 celebrations somewhat in an attempt to conserve funds. Nevertheless, there were still enough events on during the day to entertain and the street food stalls served up the usual array of warming, tasty snacks.
In order to enjoy a more leisurely day, my sister and I decided to stay in London on Sunday night so that we didn't have to rush back. Unfortunately, our carefully organised trip was disrupted by unexpectedly heavy snow, stranding us in the city for an extra day. Still, it was an experience walking around a near-empty, snow-covered London.
I attended the MCM Expo - a film/comic/animation exhibition/semi-convention - located in London's ExCeL exhibition centre. According to the organisers, in terms of visitor numbers, it was their largest event so far - and after spending the day fighting through the crowds, I'm not about to dispute that. Unseasonally warm weather meant that a large number of cosplayers gravitated outside, and so as the day wore on, the concourse in front of the main entrance began to resemble a scene one would normally only expect to see around Harajuku station.
All in all, it was an interesting event and reasonably good fun. Hopefully they'll consider renting an additional hall next time though; the space available this year was barely able to cope with the number of visitors, so goodness knows what it will be like if the popularity of the event continues to increase.
For the past few years, my sister and I have made an annual trek to London to enjoy the city's Chinese New Year festivities. The event, organised by the City and the London Chinatown Chinese Association, has been growing rapidly in popularity over the last decade. Hundreds of thousands of visitors brave the crowds and near-freezing temperatures to soak up the atmosphere.
This year, although it was still bitterly cold, attendees were rewarded with a day of unseasonably good weather and even bright sunshine for a time. The main stage in Trafalgar Square played host to a variety of musical and cultural performances while people packed into Leicester Square for the firework displays. A number of local restaurants had got in on the street stall act this year, doubling the number of eateries that graced the streets in 2007.
A photographic account of MinamiCon IX which took place at the Novotel in Southampton. Thanks to FrF for the photos.