Last week I made a whistlestop visit to Manchester for its Japanese festival, Doki Doki. I spent less than 24 hours in my home city before dashing back to London, which was pretty knackering, but it was worth it. You can check out my photos from the event here.
Having done my fair share of Japan conventions over the years, I was impressed by the range of activities and stalls at Doki Doki. From the martial arts, musical and dance performances, film screenings, fashion and cosplay shows, and panel events – there was something to suit all tastes. I attended the first Doki Doki back in 2011 and was surprised by how much it had grown – it now takes up two rather than one halls in Manchester’s Sugden Sports Centre, conveniently located close to Piccadilly station.
Some of my personal highlights of the day were – Thunderdrummers Taiko, the Awa Siren Japanese dance, the shamisen guitar and koto performances, and Circle Dojo samurai arts demonstration. I’ve picked out some of my favourite photos below, but you can find the rest on Facebook.
This was the second time I was a panellist at a convention – on the Japanese pop culture panel – which was a bit nerve-wracking as I’m not used to public speaking. Along with three other panellists, we talked about a range of subjects from film to anime to literature to men’s fashion to music. The main areas I covered were anime and literature, and I actually got a few ideas for new blog posts next year while listening to other panellists, so watch this space. The experience wasn’t so daunting by the end of the panel, so I may start putting myself for more of these things in the future…
And of course, a Japanese festival wouldn’t be complete without cosplay and traditional costumes. Unfortunately, I had to leave Doki Doki before the cosplay masquerade but here are a few of the photos I took. Feel free to tag yourself on Facebook if you were there!
Doki Doki was a fun day out in Manchester and I recommend it for any Japan fans living in the North West. I hope to be back for the next one. A big thanks to the organisers for having me!