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Japan Con - part 1 [May. 24th, 2018|12:25 pm]
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[Current Location |Antwerp, Belgium]
[feeling |cheerfulcheerful]

Japan Con

Last Sunday, May 20th, was the first edition of Japan Con.
Japan Con is organised by the same crew that does Elftopia, as well as Comic Con Antwerp, Gent and Brussels, so we were sure that at the very worst, it would still be decent.
Keep reading to see if our expectancies matched up with reality :)

First of all, Lora is doing the review for BCM, so this post is just my personal review of the event and will be an altogether different text than what you’ll be able to read in the next issue.
For those wanting to see steampunk, click here for my small photo post on Never Was Magazine!

All of that said, Japan Con was even BETTER than we had expected from a first time event, even by a veteran organisation with a track record that good.

First of all the venue. Park Loods Noord is actually really easy to reach by public transport (well, I suspect there’s changing trains involved at some point, but there IS a station around the corner. I’ve not quite figured out which one yet, though). The website of the venue (not the event!) was utterly rubbish when it came to informing us about public transport, so Lora drove to ours, and then Bert drove all three of us to the venue. Which is the point where we realised that we might as well has taken the train…
That all aside, it’s a lovely venue. It’s a lot like a smaller version of Tour & Taxis, the same kind of industrial converted storage with a lot of natural light. This meant that pretty much everywhere we had great light to take photos, bar right at the stage because there were these far too bright spots there. Bert had a lot more issues with that as me, because the more professional your Canon DSLR, the more manual you have to work and it’s just far hard to get a shot properly sorted out with lights like that. I just put mine on auto and let it sort itself out to save myself the headache (contrary to popular belief I CAN shoot on manual, I just choose not to most of the time).

Japan Con

The organisation had done an absolutely brilliant job of making use of the space. The set-up was done really well, making sure that everything was well spread out, and there was plenty of area to move. And despite it being a first time con, there was quite a lot of people. But even despite that, the venue never felt crowded at all. It did get very hot because it was a hot day and there’s lots of windows. This does make it ideal for a winter event as at least, we won’t be freezing like we were past edition of Made in Asia :D.

Japan Con

Even though it was a J-culture event, and they did mainly focus on Asian pop culture items, they also had some vendors selling regular pop culture things. Which really worked, as the majority was still Japan and Asia centric in general, but you people that just tagged along with friends still found bits and bobs to their interests, even if those weren’t necessarily Asiamania themed.

Photo of the day: 20.5.2018 (day 140)

Japan Con

By the time I took this photo of Bert's lunch, he had eaten at least half of it. So it was a much bigger portion.

matcha taiyaki

For a convention that small, there was a really good variety of food. Not just the stands selling Japanese and American candy (the latter I still refuse to touch on the principle that most US candy is toxic waste), but also Japanese hotdogs, proper noodle dishes, taiyaki, onigiri and more good stuff. AND the food was really decently priced! They were still food truck prices, but they were reasonable, rather than the prices you see at most conventions, which are ridiculous.


The drinks can still be a bit steeply priced, depending on what you want, but you can just bring your own and then there’s no issue.

Japan Con

Japan Con

I really liked how they did so much effort to ensure variety. Not only were there traditional Japanese workshops, where people could get dressed in real Japanese traditional garments, and taiko drums. But there were also bento making workshops,

SFX make-up tutorial

a live SFX wound tutorial for cosplayers and SFX affectionados and much, much more. Not all of them were free, which is totally understandable because many of them require quite a bit of products provided by the people running the workshop.

Whilst Bert mainly parked himself in front of the stage to shoot things happening there, which you can see on his flickr page, Lora and I mostly wandered the floor.

At Japan Con

instax wide photos

instax team at Japan Con

Luckily, Bert was with us when we ran into the instax crew, who were kind enough to take our photo with an instax wide camera (aka the only instax format I don’t own myself).

Japan Con

I also loved how you could go upstairs where you had an overview on the convention, that balcony was really cool.


Lora and Magicarp


Japan Con

Cosplay at Japan Con

This girl won the cosplay competition. She was so, so friendly, and her costume was pretty rad!

It was a great afternoon out. The weather was nice, the event was great. Literally everyone we spoke to: vendors, stand holders, visitors, crew, was so, so friendly and relaxed. People were happy to hang out and talk, pose for photos (if you see a photo of yourself, this is how you get it! It’s just, this way I actually know who you are and what photo you’re talking about ;) Don't hesitate to drop me a line!) and it was awesome to be at such a chill and fun event.

My one complaint (if you can even call it that, ahem) is the lack of photobooth (which is just me, and not an actual complaint, I just really love photobooths). Wouldn’t it be amazing if the organisation had purikura at the November edition!? Surely I can’t be the only one that thinks that! Even if it’s one you have to pay for. I’d pay for it (within reason, not €20 for a go).
Also, and this isn’t a negative at all because literally no one does this, I just like gachapon. How amazing would it be if there were a row of gachapon machines!
Gacha and puri, a free photobooth and an instax booth (because the one at Imagine Days was love) and omg: PERFECTION.
And there could have been a little more seating space, but aside from that it was absolutely brilliant.
I’m totally looking forward to the next edition!

All my photos are here.
And all of Bert’s photos are here.

Outfit: 20.5.2018

My outfit for the day, photo by Bert.
I sure was glad I was dressed for warm weather!
Hat: vintage/thrifted
Glasses: Theo
Blouse: ASOS
Bags: Angelic Pretty and Tokyo Disney Sea
Skirt: made it myself
Petticoat: Dear Celine
Socks: ebay seller
Shoes: Secret Shop


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Japan Con