23rd Jul2018

‘Hyper Japan’ – 2018 Convention Report

by Xenia Grounds

It’s stating the obvious but Hyper Japan celebrates the best that Japan has to offer such as its food, drinks, video games, entertainment, fashion and culture. There’s a lot that Japan has provided for the world to enjoy and being able to enjoy all of it in one place is something that shouldn’t be missed for anyone who considers themselves a fan of Japanese culture.

This year, Hyper Japan happened at the Olympia which while it isn’t the size of the Excel (where Comic Con took place in May) it is still a big venue in its own right. To cover the multiple things to see at Hyper Japan, there was: The food court, live stage, food show, market and Nintendo section. The games on display for attendees to play was Splatoon, Super Smash Bros and Jump Force. From what I could tell about Jump Force, it was basically about getting anime characters to fight each other. Super Smash Bros on the other hand is a game I know all too well and you got to have to matches with seven other players which as you can imagine was a massive free-for-all.

The food court is where I spent the most amount of time. I really love Japanese food like takoyakis, sushi, the variety of noodles, teriyaki chicken and hibachi steak. All of which was available at Hyper Japan. The second you entered the food court, you were overwhelmed by the smell and I would dare anyone to spend more than five minutes there without being tempted to get something to eat. It was cleverly placed as all these options for food was located next to the live stage where all the performers were. So while you were eating lunch, you could enjoy J-Pop, dubstep, anime covers or dance performances.

As you may have noticed, there was the food court and the food show. The difference between the two is that the food show was mostly about trying free samples of different Japanese foods and drinks like udon noodles, ramen, miso soup, mocha sweets and health drinks that had the same benefits as green tea. As far as alcoholic beverages are concerned, there was a lot of sake on sale. There was also the sake experience event which was exclusive to people who bought tickets. Sadly, I didn’t but to summerise, that gave visitors the chance to taste premium sake and speak directly to brewers. However, for those who didn’t get a ticket, there was the MIO station which sold sparkling sake (I may have bought a bottle or two and tried three or four free samples while I was at it)

Lastly, there was the market. There were items of Japanese tradition to buy such as Bonsai trees and very gorgeous yukatas. I think I’ve made it apparent that there are many things to enjoy but there were also things to consider. Some of the stands were about living or studying in Japan which is something that probably a lot of people who went to this convention had thought about so advice like that can be priceless.

Overall, Hyper Japan is something that every fan of Japanese culture owes themselves to go to. There’s something there for everyone and it doesn’t matter if you’re just a gamer, anime fan or there for the food and drink. It appeals to everyone who has even the mildest interest in Japan and even if you don’t have that same love of Japan as I do then it wouldn’t make a difference. You would be able to find something to take from the experience of being there whether it’s just meeting really friendly people or buying a few bottles of sparkling sake


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