Hyper Japan – Day 2, AM
One thing I learnt on Saturday is that I really need to pay attention when reading the start / opening times of events! At Okinawa day I read the start time wrong and arrived an hour before it started, today I read the start time wrong and would arrive an hour after it began!
I was aiming to get to the Olymipa for 10am, picking up a much needed coffee and bacon roll on the way. Upon arrival I realised my mistake at the timings when I saw the main hall already packed with people, thankfully having a dual ticket I could get through a quicker que into the event. Though it did mean I’d already missed MIOU performing, but I did manage to just about make it in time for Mayuko’s performance.
After listening to some amazing singing, I checked the schedule to see what was on for the day. Saturday was packed with events so I knew I was going to be busy running between the live stage and theatre areas to catch as much as I could. I knew that sadly I wouldn’t be able to take part in any of the craft events in order to catch all the shows, which is a shame as there are many I was looking forward to.
Next on my schedule was to get over to the theatre on the far side of the event hall, being Saturday the place was packed, with massive crowds to battle through! Saturday was also a busier day for Cosplay, on my way across I ran into Cloud, Kenshin, a giant Pikachu, Mario, a small squad from Attack on Titan amongt many others! For some reason even someone dressed as Kylo Ren made an appearance! There was actually a Star Wars event on the other side of London at the ExCeL centre the same day, so maybe he got lost?
Making it to the theatre I managed to catch Colorythm Risa, who I’d missed the previous day. It was an art performance to music, really cool to see, and she did a really amazing portrait of someone in just a few minutes!
After that I raced back across the hall, catching another Smash match in progress, before arriving back at the live stage just in time to catch a bit of traditional folk music and sanshin playing from Hibiki Ichikawa & Akari Mochizuki.
It was then time for me to race back across to the theatre (This was the pattern of my day, dashing from one end of the main hall to the other!), this time to catch ALYS, accompanied by guitarist Lightning. Before beginning there was a minutes silence in honour of the latest attacks in France.
ALYS is a French – Japanese virtual singer, the space they had was quite limited, so the show wasn’t visually as impressive as when I saw IA live at the Hyper Japan Christmas Market, but it’s still impressive technology. The songs were great to, and Lightning is an amazing guitarist!
After this I hovered around the theatre side to catch RIUCHI: The Art of Light, this show was incredible, sadly my camera didn’t capture any decent photo or video due to the low light levels, but I’ll leave this Link to his site here to check out.
There were a few more things on the live stage I then caught, when Charisma.com where playing I opted to find some lunch. Today I decided to try the next takoyaki vendor along, sadly the takoyaki here wasn’t as nice or as big as the ones I had the day before. Though I did get a couple of pieces of prawn katsu as well.
To mix things up I then headed over to the side of the hall where a few board games had been setup, I passed by the NHK World stand which had a time capsule project & giant Domo present. I wish I’d had the time to take part, but the que was massive!
I eventually made it to an area where a Go club had some boards setup where they were teaching people to play. I knew the basics but wanted to learn a bit more advanced stratergy, my opponenet taught me a bit during the game, but needless to say I lost badly!!
After my horrible defeat at Go, I found someone else teaching how to play Shogi, this I had no idea how to play so was keen to give it a go. At the same time another person who had never played it before joined so after the tutorial we decided to give each other a match.
It’s very similar to chess in terms of how it’s played, except pieces have different move patterns and captured pieces can be returned to the board, and certain pieces can be promoted at stages to give them new moves. (A bit like Shining Force 2 really!).
It was good fun playing against someone else who was as clueless as me, occasionally we had to call in the Shogi sensei to check if certain moves were legal, and remind ourselves of what moves certain pieces could make.
The outcome of the battle was I got well an truly destroyed! It was great fun though and I’d quite like to get better at this game. After the game I had a good chat with my opponent about the game then of course about Japan. Turns out we were both a big fan of Kyoto and the Kansai area, upon further description of places in Kyoto it would seem we’d both found the same amazing takoyaki vendor in northen Kyoto as well!
At this point the venue closed and everyone had to leave while they got ready for the afternoon session for the day.