Hyper Japan Festival

Get ready to warp into another world filled with ruffles, bows and hair dye. The Hyper Japan Festival is now in full swing at Earls Court so, why not come and explore your inner cosplay or at least dabble a bit in this fabulously different culture?

Yum! As a tasty treat between exploring the various booths and events planned at the festival, I stopped by the food section and tried some vegetarian yakisoba. Naturally, I was a bit nostalgic as the last time I had yakisoba was in the school cafeteria while growing up in Tokyo. Sadly, I’d say their soba topped the one I had today. Certain memories are hard to beat!

The big event of the day was certainly the CosParade in which cosplay enthusiasts would take the stage strutting their stuff and competing for a selection of prizes. For those of you who are less familiar with what コスプレ (cosplay) is, it’s simply short for “costume play”. So participants get dressed up in costumes often ones which have an obvious reference or is a specific character from anime, manga comic books, or video games.

There is an entire history behind cosplay which I’m not too familiar with so if you’re interested I suppose the best way is to test the waters by attending an event such as this one. Then the next step would perhaps be a trip to Japan and attend the World Cosplay Summit in Nagoya. Drama! I can only imagine the chaos as thousands of Japanese cosplay fans crowd the red carpet to get a glimmer of their favorite characters come to life. They can be rather intense so be warned…

Among informative presentations, cooking demonstrations, parades and musical numbers, I witnessed this group of girls perform a little dance routine in front of the crowds to their very own selection of J-pop music. My personal favorite Japanese song would be JOY, by singer Yuki!

I certainly hit the jackpot as I found this adorable little booth selling Japanese snacks and candies. Tofu Cute specializes in kawaii (cute) gifts, snacks, accessories and stationery and you can see their full range on the link.

If you don’t have time to make this year’s festival there’s always another one right around the corner. Next year’s one will be held on February 26th, 27th so get your tickets early!

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