We had a fantastic time at Hyper Japan – the show was even better than last year, with lots of cuteness, colourful Japanese fashion, sushi-eating and a gig from one of our favourite Japanese bands, Broken Doll! We took so many photos and bought a few awesome things too.
The show was sectioned into several areas: Hyper Kawaii, Hyper Game and Anime Park, Eat-Japan and a Fringe Market. The organisers had done a great job of theming the show, with colourful kawaii flags and signs, and lots of the exhibitors’ stands were decorated really well (which you can see in our photo album on Facebook).
Each of the sections had a stage or demonstration area so there was a lot going on, including martial arts, cooking tutorials, bands, dance performances, talks and fashion shows. There was also a large stand from Nintendo with game demos to try out, which were really popular. We managed to pick up Tomodachi Life for a bargain half price.
Phil tried out the Sushi Experience, and sampled sushi from the nominees of the Eat Japan Sushi Award. The winner was announced on stage at the end of the show. There was also a Sake Experience, where you can try different varieties of sake.
The Cakes with Faces Stand
Our stall was in the Hyper Kawaii fashion section, between the main stage and Hyper Kawaii stage. This meant we were serenaded by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu songs for a lot of the day – “ninja re bang bang, la la la…”! Our location felt a little hidden away at the side, but lots of people managed to find us – some of them wearing Cakes with Faces t-shirts, which always makes us really happy!
We were next to the lovely Prong Jewellery and Little Miss Delicious, who I’d talked to on the internet but never met before in real life! If you like our designs, you’ll love her jewellery – lots of food with faces. I got a cute toast ring and popcorn necklace – how did I not have these before?!
The most popular t-shirt design, unsurprisingly for a show about Japan, was All the Best Stuff is from Japan, followed closely by our brand new Tokyo design, which launched that weekend as a t-shirt and a ladies vest. We also sold out of How to Make Sushi comics (they’ll be back soon!). We also sold all of our very limited run of cushions, featuring our colourful montage of all our characters.
On the Stage
From our stand we could just about see the main stage, and catch a glimpse of Yanakiku, Hiroki the Masked Ninja, some very cute robots, the cosplay parade and j-rock from One Not’e. But our favourite was Siro-A. We saw their show in London last year, which is a mix of physical theatre, music, comedy and projection. It blew us away, and they’re back this year with a new show that we’ll definitely be checking out. Highly recommended!
Phil also caught a bizarre but hilarious performance on the Kawaii stage of a middle-aged man in a tartan skirt dancing around to j-pop, with a box of props including an inflatable shark and a skipping rope…
Hyper Japan After Party
Usually after along day on the stall we’re too worn out to do anything but watch films and eat pizza, but we couldn’t miss JPU Records’ after party on Saturday night, featuring awesome Japanese band Broken Doll. If you’ve been following Cakes with Faces you’ll know I was very excited about this, and I turned into a bit of a fan-girl, bothering the band several times at their stall in the HJ Fringe Market. We got their UK tour CD signed, and Sachi, the singer, was excited that we were both wearing yukata. As well as a band, they’re also a fashion brand, and I bought their cute star ring.
— 。☆Sachi☆。 (@BrokenDollSachi) July 26, 2014
We missed the first acts at the gig, but caught Yanakiku, a j-pop duo who wear colourful ‘cosplay kimonos’. Their set included handing a lettuce to a guy in the crowd and making everyone chant “le-ttuce le-ttuce”, as well as changing into Mount Fuji costumes for their song “Fujiyama Disco”.
Broken Doll were fantastic, really fun and full of energy, and it was a great opportunity to be able to see them here in London (not that I’d complain about going back to Tokyo…). Their set of punky rock songs included their newest song “I Miss You” and a fun cover of “Material Girl”.
There were so many colourful Harajuku-inspired outfits, lolitas and cosplays that we just had to take photos of, as well as other cool stuff around the show, including some impressive bonsai trees, Nintendo, colourful artwork on the booths and lots more. All our Hyper Japan photos are on our Facebook page.
The next Hyper Japan is a Christmas version of the show at Olympia on 14-16 November.