Hyper Japan has been picking up popularity for years, but what exactly is Hyper Japan? Well in short Hyper Japan is a twice-yearly exhibition celebrating all things Japanese! From the food, to the fashions, to its amazing culture, Hyper Japan aims to have a bit of everything for lovers of Japan to enjoy! I’d previously attended the Christmas event and had a really amazing day, but this was my first time attending the Summer event and after visiting Japan in October last year I was desperate to envelope myself in the culture once more.
So what is the Vibe?
The main difference I found between this larger summer event and the more intimate Christmas event is that the overall vibe felt much more like a typical con. It’s location on the Olympia Conference Centre definitely adds to this and it feels a little drier and business orientated than the Christmas event, but there’s still plenty to see and do. Here’s what you can expect from the Hyper Japan Summer event:
Harajuku fashion and Kawaii Culture
Before I headed to the land of the cute I already had an affinity for all things Kawaii and the trip only solidified my desperate need to cover everything in frills and cute stuffed animals. Kawaii culture is pretty heavily represented here with a good ¼ of the main convention space dedicated to various stalls selling all things cute.
This section 0f the event focuses on the more traditional elements of Japanese cultures, expect to find stalls selling homeware and traditional clothes as well as tourism booths.
The Eat Japan Live! area includes various food stalls if you can beat the crowds, sadly it was too busy for me to tell what was on offer. If you just fancy a snack many of the shopping stalls sell all kinds if Japnese treats.
One of the main things Japan is known for is its video game culture which I really fell in love with when I visited the many arcades of Akihabara. Hyper Japan has a dedicated gaming area with a chance to play on some brand new games from Nintendo and more.
Hyper Japan is getting increasingly popular as the years go by and that, of course, leads to inevitable queuing. We arrived half an hour into the second session and the queue into the venue stretched halfway around the outside of the conference centre, so be patient. This of course inevitably leads to…
With so many people trying to see what’s on offer at this event it gets very busy, getting to the stalls downstairs can be difficult, expect to wait to be able to get to the front and see what’s on offer, and sadly upstairs where the independent sellers were it is almost impossible. There are so many people passing back and forth I just couldn’t see the stalls at all and kept losing my friend as I got pushed along with the crowd. The thing I was most looking forward to was the food in the Eat Japan Live! area, it was one of the things I’d missed the most from my trip to Japan, but sadly the queues were so long I couldn’t even see what was on offer so we had to skip it. In this way Hyper Japan is a victim of its own success, I only wish more brands could join so they could open up more areas of the convention centre to alleviate some of the heavy crowding.
Shows and talks
There are multiple stages across the event, the main draw being the Hyper Live! stage where you can expect to find all the biggest performers. Some of the headline acts included Nerronomidol, Mitsuhiro Arita and Miura Ayme. We didn’t get much chance to see many live acts during our visit and I did miss having a stage dedicated to music in a separate area like at the Christmas event however.
Meet and greets
If you have a J Pop Idol or a manga artist you really want to meet make sure you check if they are on at the meet and greet area for your chance to see them in person.
The day I attended hosted the Cosparade on the Hyper Live! stage so there was plenty of Cosplay to be seen inspired by all kinds of anime, games and more. Some main steam, some more obscure; seeing the amazing efforts people put into some of these amazing costumes was a highlight of the day.
This event is basically just one big shopping opportunity! Whether it’s clothing, food, comic books or anything else Japanese, expect to need a credit card, a lot of this is hard to resist! You’ll see many named brands you’ll no doubt recognise however a real highlight for me was discovering a lot of the smaller, independent brands.
I believe this is a new addition to Hyper Japan and it proved to be a big hit. The cosplay area had a variety of backdrops which looked like they came right out of an anime and they were a great place to grab and Insta snap or two. The Kawaii area also had a mini photo studio setup with proved very popular.
I enjoyed Hyper Japan but I much prefer the vibe and flow of the Christmas event, especially as they have more live acts and so has less of a dry shopping/con experience. In future I think I’ll stick with the Christmas event to get my Japan fix.
Did you know about Hyper Japan? What was your experience?
Tickets were complimentary in exchange for a review, all words and opinions are my own.