INSiGHT: Hyper Japan London July 2019

By Neil Flynn 20.07.2019

INSiGHT: Hyper Japan London July 2019 on Nintendo gaming news, videos and discussion
 During any time of the year, London is bursting with international culture, but the summer is when the city is truly beaming with events. Hyper Japan Festival was held in the Olympia London during the 12th-14th of July, and hosted an array of things to see, try, play, and experience, including a large exhibition space for merchandise, J-pop and of course, Nintendo. Cubed3 attended over the course of the weekend to take in all of the delights of event.

Hyper Japan breaks out the exhibition into geographic areas of Tokyo that represent similar interests, for instance, Harajuku, a neighbourhood well known in Tokyo for its idiosyncratic clothing scene is the Harajuku Fashion zone at Hyper Japan, and Akihabara known as the gaming centre of Japan is the Game and Anime Zone at the event. Hyper Japan acts as a welcoming event for those thinking of visiting Japan or for those who haven't thought it was that possible to go due to work commitments, long flights, or prohibitive costs. Walking into the exhibition, visitors are greeted by the various tourism and culture stands which help describe upcoming events (Rugby World Cup), how to travel around Japan (JR Pass), and an introduction to Japanese cuisines including alcohol, deserts, and treats. These stands and stalls serve as an introductory to the types of activities, traditional Japanese culture and foods that potential tourists can partake if they get to Japan.

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Moving forward into the middle of the exhibition floor is a more modern take on Japanese culture with kawaii fashion and cosplayers strutting their outfits to other patrons. This area showcases how the community is so involved with all things Japan, as people from all walks of life participate in the art of dressing up as their favourite character, usually from an anime, manga, or videogame. Cosplayers were also invited to take part in daily COSTest's which pits colourful contestants against each other to see who is the best dressed. Along with COSTest's the Hyper Live! Stage contained performances from J-pop and J-Rock musicians and talks with famous manga artists.

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The Hyper Live! Stage also featured NintendoUKVS presenting Super Mario Maker 2 to large audiences, but Nintendo didn't stop there as they had a great presence on the show floor which actually made them the single largest exhibitor at the entire event. Nintendo were showcasing their E3 line up of games featuring; Pokemon Sword and Shield, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, Luigi's Mansion 3, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, among a few others. Nintendo also supported their ongoing releases including large support for Super Mario Maker 2 and Super Smash Bros Ultimate.

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This was a great opportunity for the public to get their hands on some of the biggest and most anticipated titles coming to the Nintendo Switch as well as to meet others within the gaming community or just to settle things in Smash. It does seem quite peculiar to not feature Fire Emblem Three Houses or Splatoon 2 given how enamoured the Japanese culture is with these two franchises - and while the latter is understandable given that Splatoon 2 support is coming to an end, the opposite could be said about Fire Emblem.

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The upper floors were a bit harder to navigate given that the walk ways were quite narrow, and organisers had tried to cram in a large number of stalls. These stalls were more opportunities to find niche Japanese items such as manga's, anime DVDs, clothing, figurines, plushies, posters, and much, much more. The best part about the upstairs was the rather large Japanese Food show, which had dozens and dozens of food vendors giving out free samples of food and drink. This was the perfect chance to partake in drinking green tea, trying Okonomiyaki, or slurping down some Ramen, all of which were heaving with customers looking to maximise a number of free samples. This was definitely the standout of the event as there was such a variety of food and drink to taste making the effort all the more worthwhile.

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 ​This should come as no surprise, but Hyper Japan is an absolute must attend for those that are interested in anything Japanese related. This was also the first opportunity that gamers in the UK had their mitts on hotly anticipated Nintendo titles such as Pokémon and Link's Awakening. However, gaming aside, Hyper Japan has a true variety of Japanese culture smattered all across the show floor that will appeal to anyone with a love for Japan. To find out more about Hyper Japan then visit their website - https://hyperjapan.co.uk/

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