Japan is one of the most beautiful countries in the world to visit, but many of the native Japanese trends have been adopted in different parts of Europe. If you can’t quite make it to Japan, you can visit certain places in Europe that have adopted certain trends from Japanese culture, so you can experience a small proportion of the country closer to home. If you’re travelling to Europe make sure to apply for a European Health Insurance Card at https://www.europeanhealthinsurancecard.org.uk/ to take advantage of the EU healthcare if you were to get ill or injured. With Japanese culture becoming ever more prominent in Europe, we’ve put together a list of the top 5 Japanese trends that the continent has adopted.
Japan is known for its unique style of music, in particular J-pop. This type of music has begun to take over the UK and other European charts with bands such as Crossfaith (who combine electronic music and metal) and Babymetal (who combine J-pop with heavy metal) becoming increasingly popular. These bands can be seen at some of the biggest festivals in the UK, such as Download Festival and Reading & Leeds Festival, as well as selling out big arenas on tour. Other Japanese bands such as Dempagumi.inc have even won internationally acclaimed awards, such as MTV Europe Music Awards for Best Japanese Act.
Sushi is the national dish of Japan, and it has now become widely available in supermarkets and restaurants in the UK and other countries in Europe. Originally in Japan the dish was a street food, but now in Europe, sushi is available on a conveyor belt in a restaurant and in shop refrigerators. The invention of the California roll (although not traditional Japanese sushi) became the international cliché for the dish and drew sushi out of Japan and throughout the rest of the world. Restaurants such as Yo Sushi really increased the potential audience for sushi and it has now become a popular snack. If you’re travelling to Europe then you can very easily pick up some sushi to replicate that Japanese experience.
Pokemon has been hugely influential for multiple generations across the world, and Europe in particular adopted this Japanese game, TV program and memorabilia with open arms. Pokemon’s 20th anniversary takes place this year, and many celebrations can be found throughout Europe. In addition to this, there are various competitions that take place in Europe such as the TCG Europe National Championships in Belgium, France and the Netherlands. With card collectors, memorabilia collectors and gamers that all share the same passion for Pokemon, it’s easy to find a Pikachu, Charmander or Bulbasaur in many parts of Europe.
Cosplay is closely related to Japanese manga and anime, and is where people dress up as their favourite characters from the comics and TV shows for events. Europe has taken cosplay extremely seriously and now there are many exhibitions and conventions across Europe such as Connichi in Germany, J-Con and Geekfest in the UK, and one of the biggest conventions Anime 2016 in the Netherlands. Anime 2016 is an international festival for fans of anime, cosplay, magna and other forms of modern popular culture. In addition to this, the European Cosplay Gathering is the largest Japanese pop-culture related event outside of Japan which started as a cosplay competition. Germany especially has embraced cosplay, so if you’re travelling to Europe and you want to indulge in some cosplay then you’re certain to find an event or convention that will suit you.
Japan has always been a world leader when it comes to the latest technology, having the most advanced mobile internet in the world in 1999 and contactless payment, and this is the same when it comes to Virtual Reality. A Japanese firm has created a full body virtual interface and IBM Japan also announced a Virtual Reality MMPORG, in which every day people can become their avatars through the virtual reality software. But this virtual reality technology is slowly becoming a more realistic gaming option with the likes of Oculus Rift being available for public sale. This new revolution of technology may soon be widely available in Europe, so you don’t have to travel to Japan to enjoy this futuristic gaming experience.
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