21st Oct2018

Preview: Hyper Japan Winter 2018

by Phil Wheat

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Immerse yourself in all aspects of Japanese culture, from food, art, music and fashion to award-winning anime, the latest high-tech gadgets and cool cosplay at this November’s Hyper Japan at London’s Olympia. Hundreds of exhibitors, along with tens of thousands of J-culture fans, will gather for the event.

This is your chance to dive into creative activities, join pop-up performances and be amazed by spectacular stage shows. See incredible calligraphy, get the heads-up on trendy outfits and dance the weekend away to Japanese punk rock. For foodies, there will be all sorts of Japanese bites and beverages to enjoy – classic dishes like tako-yaki, old favourites like dorayaki, fresh-from-the-chef katsu curries, even Japanese-style macarons. And lots of sake, too!

But in the meantime, here’s a quick peek of what’s in store:

Traditional & Modern J-Culture

Explore and discover the ‘Pride of Japan’, past and present. This unique exhibition and auction represents more than 3,000 years of Japanese heritage. Catch a live demo of the ancient art that is Japanese calligraphy, with links to the UK dating back almost 150 years. Japanese artist Sankei Amo will recreate her famed ‘Japan Blue’ handmade ‘Washi’ paper at the Hyper Live! Stage on Friday and Sunday. As an extra touch, Utaniwa Collabo will energize the HYPER Live! Stage with a fantastic mash-up of opera and gardening. Hear the melodies of classical opera sung by soprano Marina Okamoto as master gardener Fuyuki Tabata transforms the surrounding scenery to the beat.

Are you a huge fan of Japanese craftsmanship and novel design? Pop by the MIYABI Pavilion to find the Japanese art you crave. Authentic cultural space – MIYABI will be stocked full of their top handicrafts this year, and you won’t be disappointed. With a vast variety of creations that are rarely available outside of Japan, it’ll be well worth a visit. And great news for cosplayers out there – the COSTest is your time to shine. Strut your stuff in front of a cheering crowd. Strike a pose and share your passion with others. The only question is will you be best dressed?

Auctions, Anime & Awesome Tech for Kids

Name your best price at the first ever HYPER Auction, where products from over 14 centuries of Japanese history will be up for grabs. Bid on a range of beautiful artworks, fascinating sculptures, original designs and world-class products, all sourced from Japan. Up for a flick? Get a front row seat to a special screening of 20 anime films from the CG Anime Contest – the longest running competition touting the best of Japanese independent films. 10 films each will be playing on Saturday and Sunday, selected from CG Anime Contest finalists through the years. While you’re at it, bring the children to the Kids Zone. Watch as their imaginations appear in 3D right before your eyes, thanks to some clever tech from the Aichi Institute of Technology ‘Sketchbook’.

Authentic Tastes of Japan

Don’t forget to bring your appetite to the Eat-Japan Food Court. Dozens of catering exhibitors will help you get your fill, among which are Zennoh, Minamoto Kitchoan and Wagashi Japanese Bakery. Fancy a heavenly bowl of ramen? The Ramen Experience is sure to go down a treat. Dig into bowls of tasty noodles, broth bursting with flavour, plus generous helpings of your favourite toppings to boot. Make your meal extra special with namazake (unpasteurised sake), flavoured sakes, craft beers and strong liqueurs. Back by popular demand, the Sake Experience offers the finest beverages Japan has to offer. Sample premium brews, buy the sake that stands out to you, and vote for your favourite.

Visiting Japan for yourself?

With all the fun packed into a weekend, it can be tempting to plan your next holiday. So a strong group of travel agencies, government tourism boards and tourism service providers will fill you in on travelling to various destinations within the country, together with travel-related presentations and a travel media event.
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On top of that, a Japan vs. England rugby match will take over the big screens of the Hyper Live! Stage on Saturday 16th November, 3-5 pm, along with half-time activities and tourism promos. Of course, you’ll have an abundance of merchandise to put on your Christmas wishlist or take home as a souvenir. Hyper Japan Winter 2018 hits Olympia London from Friday 16th – Sunday 18th November 2018.

Get your tickets for Hyper Japan here now.

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