On any given day in Tokyo there are a ton of events for every kind of taste and hobby. One of the most diverse and anticipated events is none other than "Design Festa" held in Odaiba bi-annually. The building itself is known as "Tokyo Big site" and is more well known for holding manga events such as "Comic Market" and epic car shows, the floor plan is absolutely huge and the building itself is immense and worth travelling too just to see the architecture.
Design festa is an event purely for Indie artists and designers, who come to Tokyo big site to showcase and sell their wares. If its handmade, you can probably buy it at design festa, there are stals for absolutely everything; from the strikingly kawaii down to the completely obscure and ridiculous.
The best part is you can often pick up a one-of-a-kind item that no-one in the world has, or just knowing that each item was made lovingly by the artists hands.
The products themselves range from 100yen (about 50p) all the way up to 500,000yen (2,500 pound) and beyond, as a lot of items are made painstakingly from scratch over a course of weeks. One such example was a dragon head made completely out of wood and mounted on a plaque that was going for 100,000 yen.
One of my favourite things about Design Festa was that there were many huge murals erected around the building and you could watch artists paint or draw wonderful creations from scratch. It was interesting passing by hours later and seeing this man go from a few paint splatters into a wonderful masterpiece.
The floor plan was so huge, with an upstairs too, even though we were there for about 5 hours, we probably didn't see every stall. There was also a stage with alternative dance and other artistic performances, there was so much to see and do. Thankfully the event is over two days so you can see everything. The stalls are slightly different on both days though, so make sure you go on the day of your favourite stalls!
There were a lot of manga-style artists who drew in many different kinds of styles, it was really inspiring for me to see how diverse these medium could be. There were also artists who would, for a small fee, take a picture of you on their camera and draw your face! I didn't do it myself as we didn't have a lot of time but I saw the results of other customers and they were incredible.
There was a lot of old European Lord of the Rings inspired artwork, with dragons, elves and fairies being in abundance at design fest this year, maybe due to the popularity of The Hobbit last year.
Of course there was no lack of creepy dolls laying around, as well as a lot of stalls who specifically made clothing for ball-jointed-dolls which was very charming. There were so many gorgeous, tiny outfits I wish that the designer would make in my size!
I also ended up buying a poster from "Dreamland" from the stall pictured at the top of this post. The owners of the store were an adorable couple who drew themselves as little Chibi fairies and sold various dreamy, pastel goods. You can find them on intagram as @imyoko724 and @ryosuke.dl
Design Festa is held twice a year in summer and winter in Japan, if you are planning a trip I totally recommend visiting this event. The ticket is only 800yen, and it opens from 11-7pm.