We’ve once again been to check out Hyper Japan, the London exhibition celebrating all things Japanese. The event is now in its sixth year and London Hotels Insight has gone along to several of them. Having had so much fun in previous years, we just had to return and explore everything the exhibition had to offer.
Food is a big part of the festival, so of course we had to try some of the delights on offer as part of the Eat Japan section. It had been a range of delicious delicacies in previous years, and it didn’t disappoint this year either. The takoyaki (octopus balls) were superb, as they are every year, and we also had some fantastic vegetarian sushi. The words of the day were definitely “green tea” when it came to the food stands, and we bought several treats containing it, including chocolate and ice cream.
The Food Court served up all manner of foods, from seemingly simple street foods, including ramen noodles, to exquisite professionally made sushi. Drinks, snacks, sweets and even ingredients for cooking were available too.
As well as learning all about sake brewing and tasting 20 different varieties of the rice wine (which is technically a beer) at the Sake Experience, attendees could watch and learn from the food and drink demos on offer. There was a pretty big award up for grabs for Eat Japan too. The Sushi Awards saw five UK restaurants battling it out for the Sushi of the Year accolade.
It wasn’t all about food though. The Game and Anime Park provided a place to do everything from swapping trading cards and playing Nintendo to buying manga and anime. Cosplay is greatly encouraged – that’s the art of dressing up as your favourite characters. At the Fringe Market you could buy anything and everything inspired by Japan and Japanese culture, with hand-made goods aplenty on offer. And for the fashion conscious, the Hyper Kawaii section is dedicated to Japanese street fashion.
The highlight of our visit was a spontaneous sake investigation we decided to carry out at one of the stalls, where we were expertly advised on how to taste several varieties by the glass, each with contrasting characteristics, from which we emerged refreshed and slightly merrier!
If after Hyper Japan, you haven’t had enough of the country’s eclectic culture, check out our list of hotels for Japan addicts, where you’ll find great places to stay before, during and after the next running of the exhibition – or any time in between. We can’t wait for next time!
Photo credits: Hyper Japan, Silvia Iacovelli.