Hello all you lovely blog readers I hope you are all well,
Most of you will know that I went to an event in London recently called Hyper Japan.
This year the event moved location due to the closure of Earls Court to the O2. Now they had so many amazing Japanese performers and guests and all sorts of things were going on that I thought it would be an amazing location and the best HJ so far. Sadly that’s not quite what happened. There were quite a few issues this year but I will address this at the bottom of the post.
I travelled down to London via Virgin East Coast 1st Class. No I’m not rich or super fancy, it was only £10 more than standard for some reason. Due to the time of the train I got to pick from the complimentary breakfast menu. I opted for a bacon roll with a glass of orange juice. I could also have had a croissant but I don’t eat too much in a morning. I also had 2 cups of tea and was given a bottle of chilled water before leaving the train. I could totally get used to that kind of service!
I forgot to take my camera with me on the Friday but I spent most of the time with my friends shopping anyway so I wouldn’t have had much to share anyway. You had to queue to swap your ticket for a wristband but I didn’t have to queue long and as I bought a 3 day wristband I only had to queue on the Friday. It was nice on Saturday when i arrived to see these queues and I could just walk straight in – bad for them though. It was a super hot day too!
I rushed there Saturday morning to see One Note who were on at 9:45am (too early!) but just didn’t make it in time. I arrived just as they were going off stage. So sad. I decided to hang around in building six though and enjoy the bit of air-con that there was and drink some cold water. They made people bin any food and drink they had before entering, which given how hot a day it was and that the bar isn’t cheap, I didn’t agree with it. Luckily i hadn’t been organised enough to take anything with me.
I then watched Dempagumi.inc as they were the next to perform. I didn’t know much about them other than they were a J-Pop/idol group. They were certainly a surprise. Their music was much more powerful and upbeat than I expected. It certaily wasn’t the cute soft pop I was expecting. They work so hard, I don’t know where they got all that energy from but they stayed super bouncy and happy the whole time. Made them hard to photograph! The whole thing was really catchy and I stayed to watch the whole set even though it’s not really my thing. They also had a group of fans dancing along with glow sticks too.
Honey Spice performed next but I only saw a bit of their performance.
I then caught the end of the Hello Kitty Bento box demonstration, I only really saw the three people having a go at doing one – I’m not sure what else happened.
Randomly as I was walking through the HJ area looking at stalls I was stopped by a stall holder and asked if I knew who One Note were and if I liked them. I was like yes and he was like ‘Oh good, they are having a photo shoot session now, join the queue’. So I managed to get a photo with One Note again this year but it’s not blurry this time thanks to this wonderful Cosplayer who took the photo for me.
On Saturday they split the session in two parts with an hours gap between 3 – 4 pm. I actually had bought tickets to attend a lolita tea party with Coco & Mocha from the Gothic Lolita band Die Milch at 4pm so I missed a bit of HJ. I didn’t take any photos at the tea party but we had a few mini cake slices, biscuits and tea and could talk to and photos with Coco & Mocha. We were also all given a raffle ticket and I won the main prize! It was a bit embarrassing as I had just been talking about how unlucky I am and I never win – oops. This is the skirt I won, it’s by The Snow Field. So pretty! This event was run by the Tea Party Club for lolitas and not by Hyper Japan itself. It also meant that I missed X-Japan sadly.
X-Japan‘s drum kit:
Here are some random Hyper Japan photos:
Beautiful Bonsai trees:
ILU GRACE (a Japanese R&B duo) performing:
I also watched Tomoca (Wa-Pop artist) perform, she had an amazing voice, really beautiful. I’m glad I watched her performance:
I love Visual Kei so I was very excited that LOST ASH were performing at Hyper Japan. I managed to see them on Sat and Sun and they were awesome. I hope they come to the UK again.
The gaming/manga & anime section (I didn’t really spend much time in this bit so I’m not quite sure what they had going on)
Food court area and yummy food:
More general photos:
Last, but certainly not least, was the lovely One Note, who I made it in time to see on the Sunday morning.
So, there were a few issues this year with Hyper Japan but it had a lot of positivies too. The way it was split up in parts ruined the atmosphere and due to the O2 being open to the public lots of Cosplayers and J-fashion wearers felt like they were on display. Apparently some staff were openly mocking people and being rude to Cosplayers. They usually have Cosplay competitions at HJ but they held none this year – not sure why. They also struggled to find anywhere to get changed. The signs and directions to find things were really bad, I never found the theatre part as I just couldn’t figure out where it was. It was also really hot as the air-conditioning didn’t seem to be in the main HJ area – not great when wearing wigs and things. The stage and seating area was badly located, there was not enough room, if you didn’t get there early you couldn’t see what was happening at all. There seemed to be less stalls and food options. I feel sorry for anyone with young children or health conditions as there just wasn’t enough seating. Also, you did so much walking back and forth, most of the weekend was spent walking and standing. So tiring.
The guests at HJ were the best they have had so far and it was a really varied mix. Using building six as a live house was an excellent idea, it was really nice getting to see the performers on an actual stage. Most guests held meet and greets and these were really well planned. They had 2 members of X-Japan perform a special set – that’s pretty huge! The fashion show was much more varied this year, not to mention huge. Plus it was fun!
I’m not sure where they are holding the event next year but the Christmas one is at Tabacco Dock which actually sounds like a great venue. I think HJ struggled a bit this year due to the closure of Earls Court which is where they used to hold it. It was still good though and well worth going to.