Live Event: J-pop Summit Festival 2011

It's been a bit quiet on the blog this week, but I promise it was for a good reason!

Last weekend (Aug. 27-28) was the annual J-pop Summit Festival in San Francisco. Since I live close by, I figured I'd hop on a train and take the ride up to check it out. After getting in touch with the Summit organizers, I also managed to get a press pass, which meant entry into shows that otherwise meant I'd have to pay for (h.Naoto fashion show, anyone?).

All in all, it was a pretty fun festival. This is the 3rd annual Summit, so I wasn't too worried about how fun it might not be since the festival obviously was popular enough to continue on for 3 years.

I got there early on Saturday morning with my brother at around 9am, and even though it was early, Japantown was already bustling with plenty of people setting up their booths and the Summit organizers running around and speaking into their walkie-talkies in a mix of Japanese and English.

After staffing at AM2, I'll just say that I was pretty happy to experience the fest as a press pass holder instead of a staffer. It's nice to relax once in a while, even if AM2 was awesome, y'know?
And by relax, I meant explore the food trucks. In case you didn't know, to be a part of Michido, you kinda have to love food. Like, really love it. Love it to the point you dream about buffets. So it made plenty of sense for me to make a beeline for the food trucks (which I had researched thoroughly, by the way) and ponder the options.
I'd have to say that my favorite (but most pricey (;´Д`) ) food was from the Brass Knuckles food truck. We got the Snoop Dog, which was actually not worth $7, in my opinion, but still pretty delicious. For those of you who knows of the infamous Vancouverian Japa-dog, this was probably the closest you'll get down here in San Francisco.

While stuffing my fat face eating my food, I also went around to the other stalls to get a look at other attractions. One of the major draws was the fortune telling booth, hosted by diviner Hoshi and Juno. I felt a bit shy about asking for a photo (because he was pretty good looking in person, haha), but he was happy to give it to me. The booth was pretty popular, and as I passed by it both days, there were people who were constantly going to find out what they could learn about themselves from Hoshi.

One of the other awesome things to see was Hechi-ken Hamazaki's "you aRE goD" tea ceremony. To those of you who don't really know about this (I didn't), I'll explain it in a way to make it easy for you.

Take the Blueman group. Switch the blue makeup for white. Wear bright red clothes. Set up a tea ceremony. Voila, you have "you aRE goD".

And what made this exhibit even better than any other tea ceremony I've ever been in was--yes, you probably didn't guess it--a lolita. I don't think you get the chance to see things like this very often, even if it was in Japan.

At some point, I wandered over to the New People building, where there were plenty of other fun things going on. Nico Nico was doing a live broadcast when I stopped by, and there were also free tshirts (more news on this later! Stay tuned!). The Nico Nico guys were quite a cute bunch, and after chatting with them, I headed up to the third floor for the h.Naoto fashion show.
This was my first time attending and shooting a fashion show, so now my admiration for fashion photographers skyrocketed after this. Even though there were awesome outfits, it was hard to take a clear picture. At the fashion show, h.Naoto introduced his outfits and explained the inspirations behind each outfit. For those who couldn't see the fashion show, there was also a fashion contest the next day with h. Naoto and wonderful Cynthia Anderson (of Style Wylde fame). I got a chance to chat with Cynthia before the fashion show and came to the conclusion that fashion bloggers = incredible. Hope to see her again someday!

h.Naoto also had a pop up shop that was only open for that weekend. When it closed, fans would have to wait until October to get a chance to start purchasing his goods for real at the official h.Naoto store in the New People.

Other events included a fashion show by Sou・Sou featuring traditional and modern Japanese fashion fusion as well as screenings of various animes and movies (Gantz!!! Which I missed...). The Vocaloid themed activities also got a lot of attention along with the air band concert performed by K-On's voice actresses. One of my personal favorites was watching the Jazz musician, Emi Meyer, perform on stage.

For those of you who didn't get to attend this year, I'd definitely check it out next year! The food is good, the attractions are great, and the people are nice--all the factors to a great festival. And, to my surprise, there were a lot of awesome cosplayers--one of whom was my high school classmate!!

All-in-all, thanks Japantown and J-pop Summit Festival organizers! I had a great first year with you all, and I'm hoping you'll be back for 2012!

Meanwhile, how was your experience if you attended the J-pop Summit Festival? Tell us in the comments! And did you cosplay? If you did, show us pictures, please!
There will be more photos on our Facebook, and of course don't forget to check out our Twitter and Tumblr for other secret goodies!

Another thing to keep an eye out is for free tshirts............but that's news for another time! If you want to make sure you get the news, be sure to follow all of our channels!


Well, interesting post, thanks!

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