This year’s Hyper Japan was the first back at London’s Olympia, following suit with the Summer Festival. A noticeable downsize had occurred, with the entire festival covering just the ground floor of one of Olympia’s halls.
The way of festivity wasn’t strong this year, with the high glass ceiling of Olympia rendering the occasional Christmas light pretty much useless, even when the sun had set, which is a shame compared to the truly festive feeling you got from Tobacco Dock last year.
Hyper Japan is always one of my favourite festivals because of the food options, but sadly even that seemed lacking this year. The usual suspects were there, Donburi, Bubble Waffles, Wagu Beef and the usual noodle stand, and although there were multiple staff hard at work, the queues were still as long as ever, with even less space to move throughout them.
This year’s sake experience had increased in price, just like everything Hyper Japan, although despite that, tickets did not seem to go begging, as there were always people wandering in and out of the closed off area, smiles on their faces.
As with every year, Hyper Japan smashed the entertainment. All throughout Saturday and Sunday there were various activities both on the main stage and event stage, with volunteers being allowed to take part! One particular event saw me clacking two sticks together, joining in with a traditional Japanese dance.
I had the opportunity to sit down and enjoy the evening entertainment at the main stage, and as usual I was pleasantly surprised. From bands to traditional Japanese instruments being infused with DJ decks, Hyper Japan certainly never fail to provide entertainment, especially for Saturday’s afternoon session.
Overall, Hyper Japan is certainly fun as a one day event, as the atmosphere is empty enough to cosplay and not get overcrowded. It also provides plenty of entertainment for children and adults alike, and has even started introducing retro games into the event which we can all enjoy for free!
One thing I will say about Hyper Japan is that I certainly noticed the fall in attendance after the price rise of their tickets, especially as they had reduced the size of the event. People would stay for a few hours before moving on elsewhere, which, when you’re paying £50 for both sessions on the Saturday, is rather a lot of money.
I hope that Hyper can reconsider moving back to Tobacco Docks for their winter events, as it is both nicer to travel to from various points in London, and you are able to get a lot more of a festive feel than that which was felt at Olympia.
I do, however, look forward to what Summer 2019 brings for Hyper Japan at Olympia, and if they decide to renegotiate their ticket prices to match the overall value of the ticket.
Check out some more photos of the event below! I am looking forward to what 2019 will bring, and what more content I can help The Geek Lyfe produce over in the UK!