Hey guys, I’m back with part 2 of my London posts so let’s get straight to it!
After the café experience we were able to make our way to Kensington in a more relaxed manner; we got the tube to Earl’s Court and decided to just walk to the hotel rather than wait for an overhead train (turns out it was quicker to walk from Earl’s Court to our hotel than if we had got the train to Kensington). It was not even 5 minutes from Earl’s Court, an area which I really like actually, and was on the main Kensington road; we booked a room at the Premier Inn and were really happy to finally drop our stuff!Our room was pretty small on the ground floor, the window didn’t open and the room was pretty dark which is a drastic difference compared to the lovely room we got last time. The bed was spacious enough and comfortable for us both and we still had a TV and ensuite bathroom, so it wasn’t too bad.(Sorry I look a little awkward here) We freshened up before making our way to Kensington Olympia where Hyper Japan was being held, it was about 16:30 by the time we got there and since the convention wasn’t ending until 20:00, we still had plenty of time.Thankfully we had no waiting time because we were pretty late getting into the convention; we headed on over to the Dreamy Bows x Tofu Cute stall as Pixie wanted to check out the clothes there. I always see such cute things on that stall so it is one of my favourites.Every time I go to a HJ convention I always get a photo of LoveJojo because her stall of Alpacas is just so cute!! I did take a selfie with her but I look poop in it so I’m not sharing haha.We came across a stall called ‘Cyberdog’ which I had never come across before and Pixie instantly fell in love; she bought herself a little sports top and the staff were really friendly and let me take a picture of them with her.Lol there’s always this stall that sells animal ears and Pixie couldn’t help but try some on. I told her she didn’t need any though, seriously it is so easy to just buy, buy, buy at these places haha.No idea why our lips look purple in this photo, these places don’t have the most flattering lighting! We got some food from one of the cafés in the hall; Pixie got herself some sort of chicken and pesto toasted bun and I got a cheese and ham panini, very yummy but bloody expensive!! We went upstairs and one of the stalls called Miyabi that sells handcrafted, hand-painted ceramic charms had a lovely lady who really engaged us in conversation. We spent about 20 minutes talking with her where she called us kawaii and called me ‘Kitty-san’ because of my cat ears; we took photos together and promised to come back the next day!
We wandered around for a bit before deciding to go to the hotel, we’d both spent a fair bit of money and I didn’t want to be up too late as I still had to alter our dresses ready for our Cosplay the next day…*drum roll*TA-DA! Do you have any idea who we are yet?? If you follow me on IG then you should know…We transformed into Kiki and Lala from Little Twin Stars!! SUPER CUTE EH?? Not bad for first cosplay I think. Both Japanese and kawaii, perfect for Hyper Japan!It was really bright and sunny, and although I looked super cute in a pink wig (if I do say so myself and so does many others :P), IT WAS SUPER HOT. At first I was fine because the dress was super loose and flowy but I almost died when I got into the main hall which was really hot and stuffy. Thankfully I was able to continue after I had calmed and cooled down.I don’t tend to spend much time around the Nintendo section tbh because it’s all about the shopping with me but we were quite attracted to a new Nintendo game called ‘Yo-Kai Watch’ which looked quite similar to Pokémon. We spent a little time playing on the game and I think I might get it next month as a treat to myself!I spotted on IG that there was a really cute booth you could take photos in but couldn’t seem to find it. After much walking we discovered this adorable photo section on the end of the Tofu Cute stall! Unfortunately a bunch of vloggers were kinda hogging the booth as we visited 3 times and they were still there, on the 4th time we managed to get a photo in the kawaii plushie crane machine and kawaii bunk bed!! *Insert dramatic music for Pixie*So here’s a bunch of random photos from the convention, some of them I stole from Pixie. She took the photo of the girl with a TV on her head and the BJD doll this guy had chained to him; I think it is a BJD doll but Pixie is now obsessed with them and has been searching for one for herself. Sadly there were none there for sale and they are bloody expensive online!! I didn’t take many photos overall, especially of those dressed up. I thought the maids were really cute and the rest is all things random! At about 16:30 we decided to call it quits and head on back to the hotel.I can’t find any photos taken of us together that other people have taken and we were too shy to ask for someone to take a photo of us together, so we waited until we had got back to the hotel before getting my tripod out and taking photos that way. It was quite a pain because I haven’t worked the timer out yet so it is currently set to 3 seconds, so I was running back and forth trying to get into the photo on time haha.After that we embraced having long showers, washing out our wig hair and removing our thick make-up. For dinner we walked to Earl’s Court and had Nandos (I was goofing off because I was STARVING), enjoy our rare, make-up free faces! We then popped into Sainsbury’s and got some treats and when we got back we watched The Hobbit part 2 on TV (seriously why does anyone buy Pocky when they can get Mikado and it’s sooo much nicer…).So that brings our Hyper Japan weekend to a close; we were so exhausted from all the travelling, rushing and dying from heat that we decided not to attend the final day of Hyper Japan. Some might think that’s a waste of a 3-day ticket but it was cheaper than paying a Friday and Saturday duel so we didn’t mind and the option was there if we wanted to go. We were both out of money and pretty much brought everything we wanted; we did rounds of the stalls many times on both days that we attended, so it seemed a little pointless.
We were also mega tired because SOME PEOPLE were waking up around 5:30-5:45am both mornings and stomping around NON-STOP. Woke us up and prevented us from going back to sleep and in the end I actually shouted loudly for them to shut up and cursed (I’m a grouchy person when I’m tired). We thought it was a one-off and I even suggested that it could’ve been Cosplayers getting up early to spend hours getting into their costume. We actually complained at reception during check-out and turns out that they had put a family above us. The receptionist suggested that I request not to be placed near or below a family next time! Thing is I booked on the Premier Inn website and it didn’t give me the option to write any requests down and tbh how would I know that I was going to be placed next to a noisy family? That’s like saying “please don’t put me near anyone who will come back late from clubbing, snores or has sex loudly”, like how do the hotel know if the family is going to be noisy since they are the ones placing me in my room? Anyway, I pushed again after she “didn’t know what else to suggest on how she could help me” knowing full well that all Premier Inns have a ‘Good Night’ policy – if you don’t have a good night they refund you for the first night you stayed with them. I got refunded £108.00 which was split between me and Pixie at £54.00 each. Not bad but next time I’d rather stay in the Earl’s Court Premier Inn like last time.
We didn’t have any delays with the tube and train, and I was even lucky enough to catch a train back from Pixie’s hometown without paying for a ticket hehe. I was super knackered when I got back though!!
My overall thoughts on this Hyper Japan event? Well tbh I have mixed feelings. I recently read a blog post where the blogger discussed that either themselves or the event had changed because it just didn’t feel the same anymore and tbh I completely agree. Back in 2014 when I first attended it was AMAZING; there were a fair few shows such as the fashion shows and idol performances that we were really interested in watching, apart from everything being new and shiny, it was a fantastic experience and to this day was still my favourite event. This event was definitely better than the 2015 event but not as good as 2014. There weren’t really any performances that I was interested in and according to the blog post I read, there wasn’t much on traditional either. So I think in terms of entertainment they weren’t as good this year but I did notice a lot of new stalls with some amazing talent which were a real joy to discover.
I think the novelty of these conventions are starting to wear off for me which is a real shame because I really do enjoy them. After being there for less than an hour on the Friday I felt like I had seen everything, maybe I just needed to explore more away from the shopping stalls? I feel like ‘once you’ve been to one you’ve been to them all’ sorta thing since this is my 5th convention (4th Hyper Japan) that I’ve been to and because a lot of the exhibitors, stalls, events and such are the same each year with only the acts really being different. Each time is the same, you get the cute shopping stalls (Dreamy Bows, Tofu Cute, LoveJojo), the Nintendo section with whatever popular game, the Cosplay events that start on Saturday, the sake experience (2014 had sushi experience as well but they didn’t have it this year) and the Japanese food court, you never really miss out whatever year you go; the only thing you will miss out on is the acts because obviously they get different acts from Japan each year to perform. When Seto Ayumi, Eva Cheung (Eva Pinkland) and Yura Peko came to the 2014 event I was beside myself but this time there just weren’t any acts that I was interested in seeing (not weeb/idol fan enough lol). The only time I have ever regretted not going to an event was the Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 when Minori the Japanese Shironuri artist visited but I didn’t think it was worth it just for that.
I think I will miss next years which I won’t mind too much if I am hoping to go to Canada around June/July next year anyway. I’ll probably attend 2018 unless I do decide to attend the 2017 Christmas Market, but I’ll make extra effort to explore the convention (I always say to myself that I am going to try more food and I never do!!) and visit other areas besides the kawaii/shopping section. Hopefully by then the novelty will be back and I will enjoy it a little more!
I’m a little sad that I won’t be writing a Hyper Japan post next year most likely, but fingers crossed I’ll be able to write some more interesting blogs about other places!! I’ll be writing about my Cosplay experience and doing a Hyper Japan haul too so please watch out for that! Until next time~♥