Hyper Japan returned to London this weekend to a bigger venue at the Kensington Olympia after it out grew its location on the achingly cool Brick Lane, but the fact that it reached maximum capacity within hours of opening and greeted most patrons with a 3 hour queue alluded to the fact that they will be holding it somewhere even bigger and better next year.  So what was it that they were all so keen to to indulge in?  On one hand you would be forgiven for thinking that it was the typical anime / manga / cosplay focused fare that would usually exist in otaku isolation in Japan, but in the UK all of that rubbed shoulders with an altogether broader remit of fashion and cool culture, as well as the obligatory tea-ceremonies and “cultural activities”.  Maybe that is a testament to the neutrality that Japanese culture still enjoys in the UK, or more likely it tells us that this scene is still relatively young in the UK, but clearly capable of phenomenal growth.

Tokyo Telephone was out in force as one of the final engagements in the UK before we return to Tokyo and had a great time hitting up the various stalls, indulging in Japanese food (it is one of the things we miss most) and stocking up on magazines.  We were also interviewing some recent Japanese St Martins College graduates (coming soon) and checking out the fashion shows.  But before we post all that I thought we would take the opportunity to set the scene and introduce the atmosphere and people who make Hyper Japan what it is.  Enjoy!

The unbelievably cool Popi (left) who writes for Neo Magazine.

Mags aplenty!

Variations on the lolita fashion theme.

Fixie bikes and street fashion.

A taste of cyber fashion which which has always been hugely popular in the UK – I spy a 6%DokiDoki badge!

Mountains of cuteness.

Emmie (on the right) representing the UK gyaru scene with great style.

Some kind of karaoke mobile…

Lolitas tucked away on a chaise longue.

Evangelion sukajyan and jeans.

There was a real selection of fashion on offer and mercifully not limited to the certain subcultures that have rapidly become representative of the whole of Japanese fashion.  It was great to see something like lolita next to someone who was quite simply dressed well without affiliation.

Ah calligraphy, I gave this a go once at university and after literally no progress had been made within an hour walked away never to pick up a brush again!

Amazing make-up topped off with actual little sailboats in the hair!

Pint for Japan?  Don’t mind if I do.  On a serious note it was so great to see so much relentless support for Japan in a single place.  Wonderful stuff and still very much welcomed.

Very cute indeed.

Rubbing shoulders with the wonderfully wacky girls from MO-AM Network.

Outright cool.

I hope I have managed to convey just how diverse Hyper Japan was, as were the people who orbit around it.  It was such a step up from last year and goes to show the as-yet underdeveloped potential for this scene in the UK.  Oh how it has changed since the days when I was child on a dial-up internet connection and Japan seemed ever so far away…

Well that is it for the first part of our Hyper Japan 2011 coverage, stay tuned for our coverage of the Fashion shows, exhibiting designers and maybe even a rare video appearance by yours truly…

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7 Responses to Hyper Japan London 2011 – People, Booths and Vibes

  1. Tori says:

    Thanks for sharing~ great photos! ♥

  2. brad-t says:

    I spy Herajika! <3

    Would love to go. Looks much better than the typical anime con garbage I'm used to.

  3. Sarah says:

    Ah, one of those lolitas looks to be wearing Puppet Circus! Ennnnvy!

  4. Sami says:

    Great pictures!
    The girl with boat in her hair looks a lot like the Harajuku Lovers girls 😀

  5. Samuel says:

    I definitely agree that the standard was definitely up all round, and there were hundreds of people who we missed because they could not get it. It was sad to see immaculately dressed Lolita’s waiting on the London streets…

  6. daisy says:

    Randomly came across myself on here! (Im the grump in the pink tights and jeremy scott tee)
    thanks 4 taking my picture, there really was such a cool mix of people here , most definitively a
    whole new scene of uk japanese style lovers coming out!

  7. Samuel says:

    @ Daisy,

    Thanks for getting in touch, apologies we didn’t manage to grab a better picture but the lighting down there was grim.

    Had a great time reading through your site as well – the Altered Beast review proper cracked me up 🙂


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