We might have reached the final day of HYPER JAPAN, but the energy was still going strong. The day started with fantastic performance by SIRO-A, a technodelic contemporary performance troupe from Japan. Blending modern choreography with projection and light trickery, the group appeared to literally become at one with their set props. Throughout the weekend the members of the group had been wandering around the event in their custom white suits and towering hats, providing entertainent and more than a few surprises for unsuspecting visitors.
For those with more traditional tastes there were plenty of activities to get stuck into. Over in the Japanese Gallery exhibit, visitors had the chance to purchase beatiful works of traditional wall art, or even genuine anime cells. on the Main Stage, Hibiki Ichikawa and his fellow musicians entertained the crowds with traditional Minyo folk music. As the evocative sounds of their instruments drifted across the venue, the spirit of the Japanes countryside was brought to life.
Gaming was still going strong. The Namco Bandai area had a constant flow of visitors across the three days. Especially popular was the Tales of Xillia area, where fans had the chance to get a play of this yet-to be launched new game. Older gaming fans could enjoy reliving their youth in the Play Retro zone, where they could find old favourites like Taiko and Street Fighter.
Fashion fans were delighted to find an Onitsuka Tiger exhibit stocked with funky retro sports shoes. One happy visitor commented that they were very excited to be able to add a unique Japanese element to their wardrobe. The accesory stalls around the event were also very well visited, with exhibitors such as Flowerie88 catering to sophisticated tastes, and Punky Allsorts and Co. adding a more offbeat, quirky edge, with fun design elements such as pizza and cookies incorporated into their pieces. AOI Clothing and Roxie Sweetheart were also stylista hot spots.
Over in the Kimono De Go area, Japanese traditional styling came beautifully to life. With the help of the booth’s experienced dressers, visitors were able to dress up in authentic Japanese kimono, which they could then model in a special souvenir portrait. Those with an interest in pop culture could also have their own makeover in the Tokyo Style Transformation Area, where they had the choice of trying out a Lolita. Shironuri, or Gyaru look, complete with eye-catching wigs and costumes.
And the pop culture didn’t just stop with the clothes. With stalls heaving with sweets, snacks and cakes, there was more sugar at HYPER JAPAN than even a hungry sumo could manage. Sushinoms.com did a roaring trade in unique Japanese Kit Kat flavours, and over at Tofu Cute and Cyber Candy, visitors had an overwhelming selection of novelty confectionary and drinks from Japan to nibble on. Savoury food was also in abundance, and exhibitors like Sasuke Ramen and Yaki were rushed off their feet with the demand for street foods such as takoyaki, okonomiyaki and taiyaki.
The day flew by, and all too soon it was time to wrap up the event for another year. Rest assured, plans are already underway for the next event, and HYPER JAPAN will be back next year, bigger, better, and more exciting than ever. All that leaves is for us to say is, thank you so much to our visitors, incredible volunteers, exhibitors, and performers- we couldn’t have done it without you. See you all again, 25-27 July, at HYPER JAPAN 2014!