Lime Review - Events & Activities
Hyper Japan, 2011
Over subscribed, over priced and over hyped is what this Hyper Japan event was.
The demand and enthusiasm for the £12 affair was such that by 3pm a ‘no re-entry’ policy had been enforced.
The queue that wound all the way to the exit/entrance of Kensington Olympia train station had barely eased up from when I arrived at midday to find an attendant informing non ticket holders that the event was sold out.
A lack of quality control of exhibitors meant that the expo resembled little more than a poor man’s ‘Japan themed’ junk yard. Only a handful of exhibits such as Cyber Candy, the Japan Store and JP Books sold goods with the quirkiness that Japanophiles came to experience. Very few of the exhibitors bothered to put any of the creativity and pride into their stalls of which Londoners are use to seeing at weekend markets such as Spitalfields and Broadway.
More queues inside the venue showed that by far one of the biggest attractions for all visitors was the chance to sample and indulge in some authentic Japanese cuisine. Sadly, the limited Sushi that was available was of poor quality lacking in any semblance of innovation and shamefully overpriced. You wouldn’t expect of such an event the best sushi to be the basics from the menu of the UK chain ‘Yo Sushi’, yet this was the case. Similarly, the prevalence of cheaply produced and churned out over fried kushiage and tempura was nothing short of pitiful.
Ticket holders got little for their money. Hopefully next year the organisers will take note of the vast and diverse enthusiasm for Japanese popular culture and show the eager fans wanting to attend events such as this with more respect.
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