If it’s July it must be time for Hyper Japan, London’s biggest Japanese pop culture show. Once again it’s at Earl’s Court, but bigger, better and taking over the main hall for the first time. Which is great, except it makes it much harder to bring you the flavour of this varied and popular show. But I’ll give it a go.
I went on Friday, opening day of the three-day show, when it’s a bit quieter and the cosplayers and Lolitas who flock to Earl’s Court have room to pose. I didn’t try and catch the constantly changing, heavily amplified stage shows; instead I toured the hall trying to capture the essence of what’s on offer – here’s what I came up with.
Kawaii – Hyper Japan is all about kawaii (cute) stuff, and some of the big vendors of kawaii style were there, like Tofu Cute and Dreamy Bows.
Plus, queen of kawaii style Kyary Pamyu Pamyu had sent one of her costumes:
For the more traditionally minded there were kimonos:
I caught some performances – the fabulously technodelic Siro-A, for example:
And this show by the Joshibi University of Art and Design. If you think the person standing behind the lady in the gold kimono has got a bit close, take another look – you’re looking at a puppet and their puppet-master.
A particular highlight for me was the display of bonsai by the British Bonsai Association. There was plenty of bonsai on sale from WindyBank Bonsai, but judging by the rate it was disappearing there won’t be much left by now.
There was food, of course, and long queues at the hot food stalls.
And all sorts of ornaments and knick-knackery, and some real works of art.
If that’s whetted your appetite, there’s still time to get down to Earl’s Court – the show finishes at 6 pm today. Tickets are £12 and kids go in free.