My love for Japan hasn’t diminished even if my epic trip to Japan was a while ago so when the Excel Centre in London played host the incredible annual event that is Hyper Japan, Sister and I had to go. We had tickets for the Sunday event and from what I had heard of past events the queue is really long and that we should be prepared to wait for a while before we can actually get in. So we made our way to Excel knowing and accepting this fact. We were armed with bottles of water and patience. However when we turned up there at just after 10 in the morning (the day began at 10am) we saw no queue, no line of people and walked straight in.
Both Sister and I have been inside the Excel centre before (I once met the incredible author Kate Mosse in there and we have been to LFCC multiple times. There was also the annual Bookfair which I frequented one year) so we knew what to expect in terms of size and layout. What we hadn’t expected were the individual stalls which would be housed in the centre. Fashion, food, jewellery and everything in between.
One of the first things we did was get a picture with Domo before heading further inside. We also met Totoro (which made my heart sing).
We also did some browsing and shopping and while we didn’t buy these ears, this is my favourite picture of the whole day and the one thing I wish I did buy. But where would I wear them?
The Nintendo stall also had this massive blow up doll-like thing. Mascot? Logo? Anyhoo I stood underneath it and it looks like I am being reborn.
There were various stages throughout the centre, all of them hosting different things.
This included wrestling, which has to be one of the best acted sports around.
There was also an introduction into Japanese puppetry going on. Incredible.
We got to try delicious Japanese teas and cocktails which took me right back to Japan.
I had the chance to dress up as a Samurai and of course I pulled the angriest, meanest, most battle ready face I could.
There were also plenty of exhibitions one of which was of bonsai tress and the other created by a charity raising money for survivors of the tsunami.
While all of these were created by well known artists, we could also create our own and all money was donated to the charity.
There were also the annual Sushi and Sake awards going on. These cost extra and we decided not to try any samples from these but it looked amazing! If I ate fish then we would have definitely participated in the Sushi Awards. As I don’t eat fish it would all have been wasted on me. Smelt amazing though!
One of the highlights of the whole day was seeing Siro-A perform. They fuse live entertainment, mime and amazing visual effects in their show and watching them perform was amazing.
I also met one of the members and got a picture with them!
The whole day was all kinds of brilliant. Both Sister and I had such a good time and even though this was our first visit to Hyper Japan, it definitely won’t be my last!