Hyper Japan Christmas 2012 Event Report
Date: 2012 December 2nd Sunday [13:56] | Posted By: Azure
Hyper Japan is a regular event in London's Earls Court featuring a variety of stalls, activities, events and food. I attended on the Sunday of this year's Christmas event.
The food stands were one of the most popular features with some stands having massive lines. There was a variety from noodle stands, to shaved ice and Omu rice. I decided first of all to stop by the Eat Japan tea shop where I bought a cup of tea and a cute little Rudolf snack. The prices seemed comparable to a central London Japanese restaurant so while I wasn't cheap, the quality and service was great and it was nice to sit down and relax for a moment before I hit the event proper.
There were a variety of stalls with regular event attendees such as Japan Centre, Manga Entertainment and United Publications all present. Most stands were charging their normal rates, with there being very few deals like you see at larger comics events. The quality of the stands were all pretty high though, and there were no stalls blatantly loaded with fake items like you see at other larger events. There were also a few dealers you don't normally see such as Square Enix, but again they weren't cheap. There were also a number of stalls selling food, anime cells and prints, clothes and even a separate pay to enter sake section. Being so close to Christmas I spent more than I have at any event for a long time, having felt reassured the dealers there were selling authentic high quality goods. I was also tempted to make use of some of the more unusual services such as gift wrapping and haircuts.
Another personal draw were the gaming stands. Nintendo were showing off the Wii U, the stand whilst cramped was run efficiently and I got to try a round of the Zelda mini game from Nintendoland (I lost). I also then tried Tank Tank Tank and Tekken for Wii U on the Namco Bandai stand. There was relatively little wait on both, and again I have to praise the positive feel of the event as a young attendee asked me politely if he could have a turn rather than barging in. I also had a fun if rather confusing two player game of Naruto with another random attendee (I won).
Throughout the day there were events running on the stage, these tended to get full fast with there being almost no standing room left to watch the Gothic Lolita fashion show. Before I left I grabbed some Omurice and managed to grab a seat in the crowded communal seating area. The Omrice stand took a while to get my order right, but once I had the food it was very filling.
Hyper Japan is not a cheap event, but there's a definite feel of you get what you pay for. The staff and attendees are friendly, and there were a lot of families with children in attendance making the event ideal for fans with children who might feel other events aren't suited to them. The lack of pirated goods was encouraging as I feel other larger events have let dodgy dealers overwhelm them a bit in recent years.
Hyper Japan may be modestly sized, but it's pre-Christmas date meant I got a huge chunk of my Christmas shopping done without the massive headaches such events normally induce. Hyper Japan is probably the most chilled out event I've been too.