Anime, Travel Writing

A Hyper Japan Journey! (2017)

 

This Summer I had my first ever journey to Hyper Japan, an event that I had been highly anticipating for over a year, and it most definitely lived up to my expectations.

For those who don’t know what Hyper Japan is, it is a festival held in London, it is the UK’s largest event that celebrates Japanese culture and cuisine. It is held twice a year, in summer (Summer festival)and winter (Hyper Japan Christmas market.) At Hyper Japan you can experience live concerts by Japanese celebrities, and experience Japanese food, anime, Japanese gaming and clothing.

The day was the 14th of July. My Sister and I woke up especially early that Friday Morning so as to iron our outfits, put on our contact lenses and be super extra and kawaii for the day. The journey began as I ran to the train station with my sister and bought my London day travel card. Whilst waiting at the station we took cute selfies and then headed towards London. We got off at Limehouse and then took the DLR to Shadwell.

It was at this point that google maps told us to to walk to the venue and that it would take 4 minutes or less, however since my sister and I are hopeless at directions we had no idea which way google maps was taking us until I saw people that were dressed in cosplay or just had that ‘I-am-going-to-a-japanese-convention-vibe’ around them. We were so hyped we practically leaped on them, asking them whether they were also attending ‘Hyper Japan’ and we were delighted when they said ‘yes’.

We began exchanging names as we walked, two of the people we met there was a lovely girl that I’ll call C and a tall boy with green hair that I’ll call S. They both seemed so much more composed then my sister and myself that I assumed that they were older than us. So you can imagine my face when they told us they were 16. They were such wonderful people, so much so that we became instant friends and ended up spending the entire day together.

When we eventually reached Tobacco Dock we lined up, and I must tell you that in comparison to other events which I’ve attended the line for Hyper Japan went very quickly and smoothly. I think we barely stood for 10 minutes before the line started moving and even when it stopped it was brief.

The first thing that you’ll see when you get into Hyper Japan are the super Kawaii merch stores. They sell Japanese influenced designed shirts, anime posters, hair pins, accessories, pins, DVD’s you name it. Also as you walk around you can also see a lot of decora fashion trends and Decora girls and boys. I love Decora girls I think they’re so cute, I myself have never had the time try out the fashion trend, and I’m not sure if I could do it as successfully as I lack the experience and my make-up skills still have a long way to go. I am quite annoyed because I only attended Hyper Japan for the Friday session and I really wanted to meet Kurebayashi (an instagram star and famous Decora girl) however as much as I searched for her on Friday I wasn’t able to meet her.

There were also many cute cosplayers and general people milling around that came to enjoy the culture of the event which I met and had a great time with.

I myself bought a lot of posters, t-shirts, sake, chopsticks, pocky and some CD’s of some of the Japanese artists that I like such at the Gazette, The Age of Civil wars, and Toriena. I was especially excited that I got to meet The Age of Civil wars and Toriena at Hyper Japan, they performed live and it was so amazing, in the pictures above you can see me posing with them. I also met the lead vocalist for a band I like named Broken Doll, Sachi was so lovely and she took a group picture with myself and my friends.

Then there were the Tokyo Rickshaws!!!! They were the kindest people ever, they were so talented at singing, dancing and they were all so handsome (taking my mind out of the gutter) they were so awesome and lovely. The Hyper Japan official website describes them as— “Visit the traditional neighbourhood of Asakusa in Tokyo, and you’re sure to see rickshaws rolling around, snug tourists being pulled along by strong young men known as β€œshafu.” Tokyo Rickshaw is made of of four such men, who have taken the art of being β€œshafu” to a whole other level. Combining exciting music and acrobatics, this dance/music/acrobatic unit presents an unforgettable stage show embodying the spirit of Japanese-ness! “

Then there is also Toriena, I am mentioning her again because I absolutely love her, I don’t listen to trap or dubstep music often but when it comes to her I am all over it. Her music is just so fun to listen to and she is so kind!!! When she autographed my CD she said she liked my hat and that I was ‘kawaii!!’ I nearly died.

Then there was SHIN, former vocalist of the Visual Kei band ViViD. I was really looking forward to seeing him there on Friday, and I not only got to see him live I also got to get his autograph and he is amazing. I didn’t get a clear video of his performance but this is a very good one that an amazing human uploaded.

You know that moment of tranquility you have when you’re at home, you’re heart is at peace and you feel like you found the destination you truly belong. That is how I feel every time I attend a Japanese or anime-related event. When I am surrounded by people of like-minds, where you can freely express your interests without being judged, where you can have a good time and embrace a new culture. That was the thrilling tranquil part I loved about Hyper Japan.

And as I went home with the new friends I made that day (and my sister) I found myself determined to enjoy such an event again. When the sun set on July 14th it also set on a satisfying and fantastic day.

This was supposed to be a more controlled piece of writing, but as I’ve been busy working lately I didn’t have much time to post lately or spend writing this, so it has ended up being more of a fun post listing the great things about Hyper Japan. But I hope these list of experiences show you how fun Hyper Japan is, and you can put it on your list of festivals you want to attend.

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