Hyper Japan 2014 – London Earl’s Court

Ah, it’s another year, another summer and another Hyper Japan event! Woohoo!!
Wasn’t going to go this year, but felt like people were asking (@grocerygems and a classmate learning Japanese with me). Hmmmm… it took me long to decide, so I eventually asked Miss Pinky if she wanted to come along with Mr Picky and Master H. They all said yes! But then the day before we were to go we found out that Master H couldn’t go (his mum is strict) because he has football practice. 😦 So sad. I haven’t seen Master H for a long time… Can’t skip one training session…
This year it was a little different, I got my £8 tickets from the main site (forgot to wait for the Groupon and Amazon 2 for 1 vouchers).

This year it was in Earl’s Court One and also we decided to go to the morning Saturday session because last years queue was horrendous. We got to Earl’s Court just before 9.30am (which was the time I was aiming for). It was a long queue when we got there, not sure if the doors had opened yet, but when we got to the end of the end of the queue, it actually started shifting, and we got closer and closer to the door within 5 minutes. That was quick!! This year was better organised! Better queuing system, better service!. Wow. Such a big difference after a year. (I really cannot complain this year :D).

At Earl’s Court – court 1

The queue

 Maps are everywhere.

So from here onwards are the pictures for this years Hyper Japan. Was really, really happy I did not miss this out. ^_^
We all wandered off at the start, then got together, then we kind of split up again… We found Mr Picky just playing video games at one point! 😀
Kodansha stand

Some models

 Artbox were there again this year… I am so happy there was a completely kawaii section.

Yaki!!

Yutaka

 Loads of cute stalls…

Had to filter this picture, it was a bit blurry

Giant Chopper

 Didn’t buy any Nanoblocks this year.

Nanoblock stall

Loving this “Neighbour Bad” t-shirt

Siro-A

 Here’s some tiny robots that Miss Pinky wants to get for Mr Picky…

Posters

 Miss Pinky, Mr Picky and I started to enjoy this show with Akari Mochizuki and shamisen players… Didn’t record a video as both Miss Pinky and Mr Picky were talking too much.

Person doing some introductions

Akari Mochizuki

Akari Mochizuki – I really like her upbeat songs!

Akari Mochizuki

Amazing group 😀

Great music!

 These peeps tweeted me to come to their stall… but I didn’t buy anything… @Pinkapplejam…

Pink Apple Jam

 Beautiful drawings…

Very pretty paintings

Caaaaaaake. ^_^

Beautiful kimonos for £199!!!

Don’t know this character

lol… more cosplay

Lots of models about

An extremely tired cat!

Looks like this person was tired

Picture taking

Cosplay

Kyoties

 Siro-A are back this year with their amazing shows… Thinking of going to see them at some point.

Siro-A

 This is where we spotted Mr Picky playing video games!

Mario Bros

Small concert…

 We had to eat food guys. Starved myself in the morning by only eating a chocolate bar, drinking coffee and water. Stomach was rumbling by 11am. 😦

Chicken katsu curry for £6.50

Soy sauce beef and rice for £8

Banners… Game banners…

 Had to stop this guy to take a picture of him. He’s Master H’s favourite anime / manga character.

Goku

 Mr Bear wants this chair!!

Mr Bear is jealous now… he wants this chair…

Just had to capture this person in cosplay

Miss Pinky was in search of these two young ladies. She loves these two characters from the animation film Frozen. Lol.

The Princesses from Frozen!! Miss Pinky loves these two characters!

Good shot of a photographer and person in cosplay

My favourite Pokémon appeared right in front of me! Pikachu!!

Pikachu and Pacman

Pika Pika Pika Pikachu!!! ^^

Pacman!!

People setting up this person in cosplay… I think it’s Gundam…

Is this Gundam?

Cosplay Changing Room area

 This DJ is quite a hyper person!

This year there were cash machines right near the entrances – but still bring cash to these events as some stalls don’t accept cards. It was also advised to bring water if you’re queuing in the heat (so glad we went in the morning!!!).
If you have this summer’s Hyper Japan, there is still the winter one to go to which is on November 14th-16th at Earl’s Court again. So make sure you book tickets well in advance.

Hyper Japan will be back in November!

Website: http://hyperjapan.co.uk/

London Zoo – Regents Park

I love London Zoo!! It’s one my favourite hot spots to go to. Did I ever mention anywhere on this blog that I wanted to be a zoologist in the past? If I had studied hard enough I think I would have made it, but The Geek was lazy and liked computers at the time of A-level studying… I still love the ecology side of biology and I love seeing animal behaviour (it was my favourite topic in Biology).
Haven’t been to London Zoo for a good 2-3 years, at that time I went with Master H and Miss Pinky (that was a mission!). This time I went with MummyGeek and we used the 2For1 National Rail offer which is probably the cheapest way to get into London Zoo if you’re going with someone. It’s very simple to use. Go to the 2For1 website, then choose your day trip, create a login and then download and print the voucher. You must have a valid national rail orange ticket on the day that you’re going (single, return and travelcards are acceptable). Unfortunately Oyster Cards and annual tickets are not acceptable for this offer… So I just bought two of the cheapest single tickets I could get. So in total I spent just over £30 for two people! Not bad.
Normal prices are around £24 per person on the day of purchase or you can purchase cheaper tickets online. Expensive but worth it (it’s better than going to the Shard for an hour).

Here are some of my favourite pictures I took during the day (I even bumped into one of my colleagues, her husband and children at the Aquarium… it was an awkward moment. LOL. ¬_¬””).

Love this picture!

“Nemo”
I wanted to see the gorillas last time I went, but they were all sleeping at that time. This time I was lucky to see this gorilla… So shy though and kept moving away from the crowd.
So shy!

Keep walking away…

Next we moved onto this boars… this one was peeing right in front of us…
Can’t hold any longer… Need to pee!!

Gorgeous ^_^
It was the tigers next. There was an awfully big crowd trying to get pictures. But I managed to get some good shots… Didn’t see the cubs, so I’m thinking of going back at some point this year to take more pictures.

Whatcha staring at?! 😛

Meerkats!!

It started to rain at this point, and caught this flamingo wading through the water for shelter.

MummyGeek and I were so lucky, we got to see the last penguin feeding time of the day. Got to sit and rest as London Zoo is actually quite big.

I used my Sony camera here to compare with my Nikon – good quality!

The lions were sleeping, so couldn’t see them do much…

MummyGeek were trying to get some shelter from the rain… we were lucky that there were seats near the lions area… This cheeky monkey had the cheek to stare at me. Looks like it was trying to say “stop staring, just feed me for a picture!”. 😛

And if you like Winnie The Pooh this is the statue that commemorates the original bear that Winnie The Pooh is based on at London Zoo… ^_^

This is one of my favourite spots in London, and I’m definitely going back either by myself or with friends and family… ^_^

Address: Regent’s Park, Outer Cir, London NW1 4RY

Buses: 274
Nearest Stations: Baker Street, Regent Street

Website: http://www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo

London River Bus – Route RB1

I have never been on a river bus in London before, I can’t even remember when Transport for London first introduced them! MummyGeek has never been on a boat in London, so I said I would take her on one (this was like last month). I had to search online a bit, but some of the information was not very great…
Everyone travelling on a river bus must pay a fare, it’s not free. If you have an Oyster Card with money on it then use it as paying by cash is more expensive. You actually get a small discount if you’re paying by Oyster Card. I paid £6.12 for a single fare going from Bankside to Woolwich Arsenal. MummyGeek got a bigger discount because she’s over 60 and has one of those over 60 travel passes. Lucky sod. Can’t wait till I’m over 60.

I think if you have a one day travelcard you can go on it as many times as you want.

Information board

Types of routes from Bankside

Ticket office / booth… sorry these two peeps were in the way

Lots of different fares on there

Bankside Pier

Bankside Pier

You can purchase your ticket at the ticket booth, but if you can’t be bothered you can also pay with one of these machines… but you can’t use your Oyster card on it. That’s a bit pointless isn’t it…

Ticket kiosk

Our trip towards Woolwich was in 8 minutes…

Time to go in 8 minutes!!

And finally our boat arrived…

River bus ^^

Here’s the inside of the boat… you can sit anywhere, and you can even sit outside, but we didn’t.

Inside the river bus

Now some pictures along the river. ^_^

Tower Bridge

At Canary Wharf!

If you’re on there for a full journey you can purchase food or drinks! Our journey was only 45 minutes long by the way!

Purchase snacks on board

More pictures!!

Canary Wharf

I spotted street art too by Christaan Nagel!!

Christaan Nagel’s Giant Mushrooms

I had no idea London ran these sort of crossing the river cable cars! I was amazed when I saw these.

Cable cars in London

Cable car

I forgot what these are…

Sailboat

Finally reached Woolwich Arsenal. We could have paid for another journey, but I don’t think I would’ve wanted to pay another £6.12 for this journey… so we took the bus home.

Reached Woolwich Arsenal

Woolwich Arsenal Pier

Woolwich Arsenal artillery
There are 5 other routes along the river and they run at specific times during the day – only early morning and late afternoon to evening.
It is an expensive travel experience, but it is a once in a lifetime experience (for some) to experience.
I’ve tried purchasing tickets on this website but unsuccessful… http://www.thamesclippers.com/route-time-table/prices

Toyota Aygo – "Go Fun Yourself" Poster Ad

Ok, I really was going to post about something else other than ads after the last post, but I really had to show this one to you all before I move on.
I love all things Japanese, but this Toyota Car poster ad just made me shake my head for some reason… “Go Fun Yourself”?? Uh, are they taking the mickey out of “Go F*** Yourself”. I’m a naughty geek who thinks that. ¬_¬”” (I’m just joking – my friends Mr Bear and Miss Pinky would be naughtier than me!).
Toyota – “Go Fun Yourself”
But yeah, one would think of changing words to something like this. I for one would have said something on the lines of “Have Some Aygo Fun” or “Aygo Fun Yourself” or “Aygo Aygo Fun”. Hahahahah! 
Besides that I think the car looks a bit too cartoony… Need to see the real thing!

Citroen Relay Poster Advert – Thumped, Pounded, Pummelled… but never beaten

Just one more before I move onto some other stuff… LOL!! Blimey car adverts have turned into this! 
It’s a small mini van and not an actual fancy car poster advert which we have seen in the past few months. What did the old Citroën Relay look like in the first place? Apparently it’s now “thumped, pounded, pummelled… but never beaten” in mini van standards I presume.
Thumped, Pounded, Pummelled… Citroën Relay

Not that interesting but something different to all the car ads we’ve seen so far.

McDonald’s Poster Adverts

I never talk about McDonald’s advertising much because they are all ok to me, although when Justin Timberlake came out with the Lovin’ It theme (probably more than a decade ago) I kind of shook my head and thought, really, are McDonald’s really going ahead with this and branding it. Oh dear.
I think these poster ads have been out before but I thought I’m seeing three in one go, an think they are quite amusing!
I don’t mind pinching one of those fries. For real!
Pinch those fries!!
Never really liked the Quarter Pounder, it’s a big version of a cheese burger really, but yeah this is the beefy one!
Do you like the beefy one?
And obviously the Big Mac is “the famous one”… I like it because of the sauce. 
Big Mac – The Famous One
What about you, what do you like about McDonald’s?

Nissan Juke Poster Advert

This was out a few weeks ago… You see, car advert after car advert… It’s all about the cars this year. I wonder if they’ll be a car that’s environmentally friendly and then what would the poster look like?
Does this car thrill you? It says “New Nissan Juke, tested to thrill”. What’s so thrilling about this car? I don’t drive, so I wouldn’t know.
Let’s forget about the car for a moment, it’s actually quite clever and a tiny bit scenic (but not that scenic). I feel like an analyst here… ¬_¬””. Can you see the metal chains beneath the car, whilst those are rolling the car is moving I bet… but then you think, the road looks as if it’s going to go downhill… It’s going to be thrilling going downhill! Yeah I’m thrilled. Are you?
It’s a nice ad, not sure about the road… and p.s. I can’t read the small writing at the very bottom… Who’s going to stand there and read all of that?! Poster ads with small writing at the bottom should not be placed so high up on a building! Tut tut.

Lexus Poster Advert – Amazing Control

Trying to get through all these adverts now…
There are so many car adverts this year that I can’t seem to catch up. Impossible for me to catch up!
I saw this one after eating at Lemon Tree in Sydenham and I thought this looked so beautiful and elegant for a car advert. You can vaguely see the ballerina who is posing with “amazing control”, which I assume the car can do as well. Sit, pose and have amazing control. Heheh. 
It’s a pretty advert for a car, but feel they could have used more car than ballerina to build a balance in the poster advert.

Cocoro Japanese Restaurant – London Coptic Street, Holborn

Right next door to Bi Won is a Japanese restaurant called Cocoro こころ (kokoro? which could mean “heart”), and obviously you know I went in there to eat. ¬_¬””” The Geek must eat! Was so hungry after another lesson in Japanese, and all I could think about was eating… How sad!
I knew I had to try this place because it said Japanese curry and ramen. To be honest I haven’t tried out the curry yet, and I will definitely try that out one weekend (whenever that will be).
I was greeted by a very friendly waitress, and I have to say service is super, super polite. More than your average restaurant in the UK. Basically the waitresses will keep checking up on you, and I’m munching away and it’s really hard to answer. (● ̄(エ) ̄●)
Cocoro
On this very first visit, I wanted to try out the ramen so I chose the tonkotsu ramen. Soup was creamy, noodles were al dente and pork was ok. Nothing directly from the fridge, as in there were no cold bits which was a relief.
Tonkotsu ramen

al dente ramen
I was obviously greedy because I ordered the salmon and avocado roll which is cut into 6 pieces. It was super delicious and I’m salivating right now… I want sushi. I always want sushi!
Salmon and avocado roll
This first visit cost me £14.80. Not too bad but definitely a little expensive… I also asked for tap water!
I surely did not try enough of their food, so I went for more! This time I tried out there takoyaki which was nice and hot but bearable. I like takoyaki! It’s a little dark in the restaurant so the pictures are not completely great.
Yummy yummy takoyaki

Close up

Inside my last takoyaki
I actually ordered the Hawaiian sushi dish but then the waitress came back and asked what sushi dish I wanted without explaining why I couldn’t have the Hawaiian one… Strange… so I ordered the Chirashi sushi set which was a little expensive but this was what I had originally wanted.
This was very tasty, loved the salmon roe and the fresh sashimi on top. I ate the whole lot, and I think it was worth its money.
Chirashi Sushi

Close up

From the top

I got a miso soup along with the sushi… ^_^

Miso soup
This second meal cost me £24.70!!! Argh, went over budget second time round.
My geeky rating: 5/5
Good points:
– Super polite service (please don’t be irritated, it’s just the Japanese way)
– Good food
– Fresh
Bad points:
– A bit expensive for sushi but ok for ramen and some of the sushi rolls (forgot to check if there was any service charge)
Address: 25 Coptic St, London WC1A 1NT
Telephone: 020 7436 0550