I had the day to myself so thought it would be good to find something interesting to do. We have been in a spell of hot weather recently but today things are a bit cooler. A quick look at http://ianvisits.co uk came up trumps there was an exhibition all about Japan at Earls Court. I have become very interested in all thing Japanese since Helen and I spend a week there a couple of Yeats ago.
I dropped Helen and Gladys off at church then headed straight for Berkhamsted station, but my timing was not great as I was between trains so had to wait 20 minutes for the 09:39 which was on time. Earls Court is easy to get to BT tube, Google maps offered a couple of options I went for Victoria then Piccadilly. Despite being cooler it was still hot and getting hotter. Entry was £15 and there were no queues.
I was not sure what to expect but was quite surprised when I got into the hall. There was a food area which was expected, a gaming area, Japanese crafts and lots of demos. What really surprised me were the people taking part in Cosplay, lots of people (mainly late teens or early twenties walking around dressed as Manga/Anime characters. It was a bit like I imagined a Star Trek convention would be. I did a quick tour around to get the general layout of the place then started again but in more detail.
The games area was quite interesting seeing all the latest games from Nitendo and Sega, but that is not really my bag any more. There were some martial art demos and I hung around to watch some of the Kendo fighting, which was good. In another corner there was a professional wrestling ring which was fun to watch. Other spectacles weree Japanese pop artists singing their songs I was surprised at the number of your people singing or clapping along there is clearly a Japanese sub-culture going on in the UK I also so a Japanese male performer in a pink kilt, being very energetic on strange running up and down very enthusiastically which impressed me given the temperature in the hall,
There was a good amount of stall but most of them were of no interest to me : Swords and knifes, Cosplay accessories, games etc, of interest were some of the crafts, t-shirts, and food. Two stall in particular stood out the Bonsai stall which was next to a Bonsai exhibition, which had some trees that must have taken years of care to get them looking so good, and a Japanese puzzle box stall where you could buy wooden boxes that have panels that slide in various ways to eventually allow the box to be opened. I saw a couple of good t-shirts but noting that gave me the desire to part with money. I did buy some octopus balls or Takoyaki as they say in Japan, which I had some how missed when I had visited. They were very hot but tasted great.
By about 13:30 I had had enough so headed back to to Euston to catch the 13:54 back home to watch the Tour de France, but things did not quite work out well. When I got home I put on some washing then switched the TV on but we seemed to have no power or we had partial power I could not work out was was going on. Some appliances where on (or at least had a display) but other not. After some investigation I measure the voltage in a socket we only had 50V, and a quick check with next door they were out too. So I went up to Hillside for a coffee. It turns out the TDF was on live later as they wanted a time that suited TV viewing figures, so I got to watch it anyway.