Right then – HYPER JAPAN CON SURVIVAL GUIDE – This is not a review (it is a little bit), it’s part of the Coaching for Geeks Convention Survival Guide, to help you get the most from any convention. Going to a con? Want to contribute? Get in touch.
What is it?
Hyper Japan is “the UK’s largest celebration of Japanese culture and cuisine”. If you like japan, J-Culture, and J-Pop/Rock Hyper Japan is the place for you!
Now taking place twice per year, the summer event falls during half term, is a lot busier, and features much more cosplay. The Winter event is calmer, and takes on more of a winter market vibe.
Both events have food, music, shows, activities, and a great many stalls selling anime, clothes, art, comics, replica weapons, music – if it’s in any way related to Japan (even tenuously!) it’s at Hyper Japan, with the bulk of the show being the markets.
A main stage features acts from Japan; the most recent including big names such as FEMM, Mutant Monster, BOO, Lovebites, and Katsura Sunshine, to mascots such as Nishiko kun and Shinjo-kun, plus cosparades and more.
Meanwhile the street stage offers an opportunity for anyone to get involved.
Where is it?
This year it was hosted at Tobacco Dock inh, East London, but has previously taken place at Earl’s Court (RIP), Olympia Two, Olympia, and the O2.
Tobacco dock presented challenges in the summer with overcrowding being a common complaint, while in the winter much of the event is outside.
The move to Olympia will remedy many of the issues.
Food and Drink
OK this is where it gets silly, queues can reach two hours in length at peak times. Again this may be addressed in the move, but be aware that leaving for a local shop or cafe may be your best bet, so if you want to try that ramen go away from lunch/dinner time.
Most places WILL sell out of certain items.
Summer was very hot and saw a lack of water available.
You can leave and return, make sure you stay hydrated.
Take ample cash. Dependant on venue the machines will charge and while most vendors accept cards, you’re better off with money.
A tough one to address, dependant on venue. Summer at Tobacco Dock was hellish, winter was lovely, and they’re on the move again.
Plenty of cosplay at Hyper Japan, of course many come from anime due to the nature of the show. Cloakrooms are available.
OK, let’s do a review.
Hyper Japan is a lot of fun. From sake sampling, to exploring the various unusual (to us) activities, eating delicious food, to watching the bands and acts. If you like Japanese culture this is a must see.
Do note, that the majority foteh show is a marketplace, so be prepared to shop, or at least be happy window-shopping.
The location clearly makes attracting big stars difficult and the team does a great job of getting a mix of acts to perform.
It is one of the more commercial events in terms of what happens once you’re inside and that’s not a dig; personally I’d like to see some more talks and activities included.
Hyper Japan is a fun day out and one you can probably tackle in a day.
We’ll see you at Olympia in 2018!
Robin Bates – Got to play Super Mario Odyssey at the Summer event before it was out.
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