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Hyper Japan 2014

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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Everything From Bubble Tea to Gadgetry
Hyper Japan
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Have you ever known a country to have such contrasting cultures as Japan? Of course there are countries with radically different belief systems, but they tend to separate themselves from one another. With Japan the two cultures share a harmonious existence loved not only by the people who live there, but all over the world.

One one side you have ancient tradition: tea ceremonies, meditation, martial arts. On the other you have the mad pop culture world of video games, cosplay, manga, and the wackier inventions than can pop out of Inspector Gadget's hat.

Between the 25th - 27th July, you can experience it all at Earl's Court, which will be hosting Hyper Japan, the UK's biggest J-culture event.

Traditional Culture

Almost two hundred years of self-imposed isolation has given Japan's rich heritage a unique and strong national identity. Explore traditional clothing like the kimono, a long flowing garment worn for festivals, ceremonies, and other celebrations. Listen to contemporary music played by musicians using traditional instruments, such as taiko drums and flutes, and watch skilled martial artists perform various forms armed and unarmed self-defense, including judo, aikido, karate, jujitsu, and sumo.


Five Japanese restaurants will be battling it out to win the Sushi of the Year Awards. It is your chance to see how sushi is made, try new creations from top chefs, and have a vote in who ends up champ. To wash it down, take a Sake Experience; taste twenty varieties at different temperatures, meet the brewers, and attend seminars.

At the Food Court you can browse the stalls for ingredients, snacks, healthy dishes, and bubble tea.

Games, Manga & Anime

Visit the gaming zone for your favourite Nintendo video games, trading card tournaments, and more. Stall holders will also be selling a vast range of merchandise for manga and anime fans.

Fringe Market

admire beautiful craftsmanship at the Fringe Market, where exhibitors will have hand-made, custom-made goods, and one-off fashion accessories.


Kawaii translates to 'cute' in English, but has a much broader meaning in Japan, also encompassing the realm of 'cool' and 'stylish'. Harajuku Kawaii is a fashion project drawing on Tokyo's best street styles, and you can meet the models, watch them on strut down the catwalk. Want to try on some of the outfits? You can even apply to become a model at the show yourself.


Are you prepared for the European Cosplay Gathering? Hyper Japan will be hosting the preliminary round for the contest, so get your costumes on. If you're not quite seasoned enough to enter, then you can still join in the CosParade. There will be prizes for the best costume.

Entry to Hyper Japan is £15 on the day or £12 when booked in advance. Kids under ten go free.
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Why? Fun cultural experience
When: 25th - 27th July
Where: Earls Court Exhibition Centre
Cost: £12 - £36 adult, free for under 10s
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