It might sound like a bold ambition to squeeze into an exhibition centre in Olympia.
But considering this festival has cosplayers, manga artists, live bands, market stalls, street food and something described as ‘a modern version of robot dancing’… it begins to make sense.
It’s a regular on the London scene, and it’s back this year, and still firing on all cylinders. There are samurai showcases. There are J-pop concerts, and goth heavy metal groups like FEMM. There are sake tastings, and retro gaming arcades, and enormous cuddly mascots strolling around.
To address the nine-tailed fox in the room: a lot of people come for the cosplay. You’ll see some pretty incredible handmade costumes in the crowd. But Hyper Japan’s not just about anime and kawaii culture – you’ll also get to try on (and maybe treat yourself to) traditional kimono; meet the brewers of some of the country’s finest sake; learn to paint calligraphy and make your own wasanbon sugar candy; listen to blues music and hear Japanese folk stories (told in English); attend a tea ceremony; peruse handmade ceramics and chat to travel companies that can help you plan your big trip to Japan.
In short: it lives up to the hype.
NOTE: Hyper Japan takes place on 21st-23rd July 2023. Tickets cost £17.50-£55, and are available right HERE.
Hyper Japan | OLYMPIA London, Hammersmith Road, London W14 8UX
Like Japanese stuff? Check out Japan House…