Hyper Japan is a fun festival of Japanese culture. It’s grown in popularity over the last decade and now fills London’s enormous Olympia exhibition hall for three days in July. I went along to join in the celebrations and check out all the cool stuff. But now I really want to go to Japan. Maybe then I could learn to keep a bonsai tree alive.
Essentially it’s a one-stop destination for all things Japanese. You can buy stuff, see performances, meet artists, try out new games or just enjoy the atmosphere. There are dedicated areas for video games, anime and manga character goods, kawaii fashion, traditional Japanese culture, food & drink and tons more.
I arrived at Hyper Japan just as it opened on the Friday, and the queue was absolutely huge, snaking all the way around the building. Get there early if you want to get in first. However, once the initial rush had passed it wasn’t overwhelmingly busy and there was plenty of space to see everything that was going on.
The event is particularly popular with cosplayers of all ages. If you’re looking for somewhere you’ll feel at home dressed as a giant cat in a skirt, this is it. It’s very warm and welcoming and no look is too extreme. No I did not buy any big fluffy ears, but maybe next year.
As well as cosplay, gaming is a huge part of the festival, as is food. The dedicated Food Court was home to all sorts of delicacies. One thing there wasn’t was much in the way of Japanese skincare. I was hoping to see more of this and stock up on my Japanese sunscreen, but again, maybe next year.
Hyper Japan Event Details
Hyper Japan runs each year in the middle of July at Olympia, London. There’s also a Hyper Japan Christmas Market happening at the end of November. Tickets for 2019 started at £17. Children aged 11 and under go free, and other concessions are available. This is a very popular event, so whilst tickets may be available on the door, pre-booking is wise to guarantee entry. Find out more from the Hyper Japan website.
*Press ticket to this event provided for the purposes of review