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Turning Japanese at Hyper Japan

July 17, 2016

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Next year I will travel Japan. I will set off to the land of the rising sun and I will live and breathe Japanese for as long as the country will have me (or as long as I can afford it). I will eat fresh sushi at 5am from the Tsukiji Market, I will run across the Shibuya crossing, I will see Mount Fuji with my very own eyes and I will ride the Japanese rail.

I can. not. wait!

Sigh. Unfortunately I must wait a little longer. For now I will have to get my Japanese kick from Japanese things on my home turf, but lucky for me there is Hyper Japan; a British festival that took place in London this weekend celebrating Japanese culture. From the mouthwatering foods and super strong Sake, to the fantastically over the top cosplay and the incredible and colourful gaming technology, this weekend London Olympia turned Japanese.

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Having just made the decision last week that I want to travel to Japan in 2017, I went to Hyper Japan for inspiration and with the intent of soaking up as much Japanese culture as I could, including feasting on Sushi, and even taking my first ever lesson in the language of Japanese.

The Alpha Japanese School, based in central London, were giving away free Japanese lessons throughout the festival. It was as simple as pick a time slot and then turn up for a free 20 minute introduction into learning the language of Japanese, where no English is spoken, only Japanese.ย How could I say no to that? Well clearly a lot of people couldn’t say no as I was sat in a full class, which made introducing ourselves in Japanese even more fun as we each tried to share where we are from and what we do (‘Broke AF Blogger’ wasn’t on the translation sheet so I told everyone I was a doctor ((isha)), most people seemed to buy it).

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Some of the Kawaii accessories on offer were just too adorable for words! From super cute badges, key rings and bags, to unusual pieces such as fox ears and unicorn horns, there was an unreal amount of products to chose from. I expected the gaming area to be the biggest area and the most popular part of the festival, but no way, that crown goes to the kawaii accessories and fashion stalls of which there were so many, each totally unique and totally adorable.

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I was blown away by the efforts of those who did full cosplay for the event! I met and spoke to a lot of people, girls in particular, who had dressed up as anime characters, as well as some very stylish kawaii outfits! A lot of girls whereย wearing those crazy contacts (the ones that make your eyes look like a real lifeย snapchat filter) and donning extravagant wigs to disguise themselves as Japanese cartoon characters and they looked fabulous.

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This girl was my absolute favourite though! I wish I was brave enough to wear so much colour and totally own it!

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Did you know that in Japan more than 200 unique flavours of KitKats have been produced? Yup, the Nestle chocolate bar gave Japan 200+ flavours, whilst we get regular, chunky and we may have had mint and peanut for brief period, but I’m not sure. How unfair!

Japanese KitKat Flavours

I’d heard about these bizarre KitKat flavours a while ago via a Japanese friend of mine and I immediately wanted to try some. But of course when I hunted down a few obscure flavours online (Wasabi, Bean Sandwich and Cherry Blossom to name but a few) they cost a fortune to be shipped to the UK, so it was Bye Bye Bean sandwich KitKat and hello regular Chunky KitKat. But that was until I found some at Hyper Japan (along with so many other unusual foods and treats.) Oneย lady was selling little sample versions of two different KitKat flavours, Green Tea and Wasabi. At ยฃ2.50 for two miniature chocolate bars it was a complete rip off, but I was desperate to get my hands on these disturbing flavoursย and taste them for myself. Check out the vlog to see me munching on these green bad boys!

I have to admit, bar a photo with Pikachu and a quick nose around the Nintendo stage, I didn’t really spend much time in the gaming area. I was all about the food, the fashion and of course checking out the travel section where I picked up enough travel leaflets and info to write a book on Japan.

Have you ever been to Hyper Japan? What did you make of it?

I’d love to know in the comments below

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