Known as the best-loved celebration of Japanese culture in the UK, HYPER JAPAN will take place in a full three-day celebration set up to welcome J-culture enthusiasts or three-generation families looking for inspiration to the curious connoisseurs of creativity. The hotly anticipated event, where tickets are already selling fast, will bring together the best Japanese food, music, shopping, live entertainment, cosplay, anime, and fashion to Evolution London in Battersea Park.
Having launched in 2010, HYPER JAPAN is an opportunity for fans of J-culture to meet and discover more about the country’s modern and ancient traditions. Across stalls, stages and workshops, ticket holders will be able to experience authentic Japan with chefs, designers, musicians and craftsmen showcasing the best new trends and traditions under one roof:
Feast on the latest Gyoza, experience the best matcha in town or salivate over finger-licking Chicken Karaage, HYPER JAPAN’s bustling food court will allow visitors to sample classic traditional Japanese dishes, as well as shop for ingredients and snacks from exciting Japanese brands. Festival-goers can tuck into okonomiyaki, a Japanese savoury pancake dish at the Otafuku Sauce stall or chow down on Takoyaki battered balls from PekoPeko.
Although traditional Japanese confectionery specialist Chieko Smith’s one-off session on how to make Wasanbon Sugar candy has already sold out L, tastemakers will have access to a special Sake experience. Here, they’ll sample 23 varieties of sake and liqueur, allowing them to taste, compare and vote for their favourite. This year, eight breweries from around Japan and even the UK and France will be showcasing a selection of premium sake varieties, including junmai daiginjo, sparkling, nigori (cloudy), nama (unpasteurised), and fashionable yuzu and matcha liqueur.
For the first time, HYPER JAPAN will host its J-music festival called HYPER Live with two nights of exclusive performances from incredible artists. Once the main festival event ends for the day, attendees will have the chance to see artists from Japan up-close and personal on its dedicated live concert stage. Artists on the bill include electronic duo FEMM (who have been featured in Wonderland and Notion Magazine), house, vocal trance, and J-pop singer-songwriter MIKUROMIKA, and pop-punk act Double And.
Japanese street fashion has become iconic around the world with Japanese designers gaining international followings. As well as a sprawling fringe market featuring one-off garments and accessories from independent Japanese designers, HYPER JAPAN will host a glittering J-Fashion show with designs from some of the country’s most exciting new fashion talent. For fans of cosplay, there will also be the opportunity for attendees to don their best costumes in an attempt to be crowned the winner along with receiving high-value prizes at HYPER JAPAN’s hotly contested cosplay competition.
Games, manga, anime
Continuing from previous years, HYPER JAPAN will host dedicated zones for gaming, manga and anime with the latest exhibitor selling visitors the chance to buy their own anime figure character heroes.
The festival’s main visual artist INKO will also host regular 45-minute manga drawing workshops for beginners who want to give the detailed art style a go. Stall holders will also be selling a vast range of merchandise for manga and anime fans.
Culture and tradition
When it comes to culture, Japan is one of the richest countries in the world. Alongside browsing stalls from traditional and modern Japanese craftsmen, guests can have a go at making their Japanese masks and perfecting their outfits for the HYPER JAPAN festival in a special workshop hosted by Japanese artist Aya Burbanks.
There will also be workshops on calligraphy origami and ‘itajime shibori’ (a type of Japanese tie-dye technique). Popular tea ceremony teacher Yuko Boff will also host a session to teach attendees the manners and traditions of the famous Japanese tea ceremony. Guests will enjoy matcha tea prepared for them with a traditional handmade Japanese sweet at the end of the class.
HYPER JAPAN Festival event manager, Mika Ando says: ‘This will be the 17th edition of HYPER JAPAN, after the event was put on hold for 2 years due to the Pandemic plus undertaking one online event in 2019 attracting over 200k visitors worldwide, we are excited to be producing an in-person experience that is interacting with all five senses; food, music, hand-crafting, beauty and live performances. Whilst we want people to encounter ancient and traditional Japan, we know so many of our guests also come for escapism, to be inspired and get that otherwordly experience. We have amplified this, even more, this year!’
HYPER JAPAN prices start from £15 for a day ticket or £45 for a three-day pass and can be booked via Eventbrite. Children aged 10 years and under can attend free.