The London based festival reconvened for its eleventh year bringing fans together for a celebration of Japanese culture.
From manga and anime to food and fashion, Hyper Japan offers something for everyone.
The festival this year ran from 14-16 July and was hosted at the Tobacco Dock a huge venue with surprises round every corner. As soon as you entered you were greeted by the smell of freshly made yakisoba and takoyaki, enticing you further to truly experience what this festival had to offer.
Food and Drink
Hyper Japan delivered fully on the raw selection of food on offer from the aforementioned takoyaki and yakisoba. There was also the chance to sample the famous wagyu beef, known for being the most expensive beef in the world obtained from cows that some could say live better lives than many of us, and it did deliver on taste! Sushi a staple of Japanese cuisine freshly prepared to feed the hungry festival goers had a queue that never seemed to end.
One of the highlights of the festival was the sake tasting session having a £15 entry fee this area offered samplings of sake from 10 breweries across Japan. If you weren’t a fan of sake before you would have found one out of the twenty five varieties on offer. There was of course the option of purchase a bottle to take home and how could you not?
This year also brought with it the urban food festival, seven gourmet vendors took over the Quayside food court offering alternate options to the already vast selection of Japanese food. Normally held on Shoreditch High Street is known as a mecca for food enthusiasts in the capital.
Fashion and Kawaii
Hyper Japan embraces all aspects of Japanese fashion from the style of Harajuku with bright colours, glitter and pastel dresses to the more traditional sale of kimonos and yukatas. Live fashion shows were hosted on the main stage showcasing the sheer range of garment designs. With many attendees wearing clothes that punctuated this kawaii (cute) styles.
The kawaii culture of japan encapsulates all things cute in the world, from plushies to Hello Kitty all were present for this years festival.
You can’t mention gaming in Japan and not cover Nintendo who were there showcasing the latest and future titles for the Nintendo Switch including Splatoon 2 and Arms. Nintendo was also offering hands-on demos of the much anticipated new title for everyone’s favourite Italian plumber Super Mario. The next game in the franchise is Super Mario Odyssey sends our adventurer to travel across many worlds in his cap shaped ship accompanied by his new companion Cappy the sentient hat, looking forward to see this game when it is released.
Virtual reality gaming has been becoming on in leaps and bounds over the past few years going from a gimmick to a more well-rounded gaming experience. Here at Hyper Japan there was the chance to enter the well known anime worlds of Death Note and One Piece through the power of VR. Retro gaming was also represented with a comfortable seating area containing consoles and games to relax and enjoy, including N64 and Super Nintendo.
Anime and Manga
Anime and manga have had a large boost in popularity in the western world over the past few years with an increase in accessibility through streaming sites and digital manga. A wide variety of titles were on offer to browse through and purchase with many of vendors happy to make recommendations to experienced and newcomers to the anime and manga world.
Stalls offering a selection of memorabilia to excite any anime fan. Including work from one artist that reimagined famous works of art by van Gogh with the addition of Pokemon.
There was not a moment during Hyper Japan where something exciting wasn’t happening somewhere. Several stages were located throughout the festival presenting visitors to a diverse collection of acts including live karate and kendo demonstrations on the festival floor. The main stage held host to some sensational acts including returning performers from last year Broken Doll as well as TOREINA performing chiptune music composed using a gameboy. You were never far from a live performance as several cafes sported spectacular music acts such as a unique combination of shamisen (traditional japanese guitar) and beatboxing was something you could have easily missed.
All in all, Hyper Japan held an extremely successful event this year appealing to many people who all share a different love in Japanese culture. If you want a fantastic day out to enjoy everything Japan or just to experience something new then Hyper Japan is the event to watch out for.