overwhelmed with all the brilliant stalls (and hunger from my two hour journey from leicester!), i spent the first half an hour deciding what i wanted for lunch. sadly around 20 minutes of that was in a cash point queue getting out money to buy... everything. more cash points please, earls court!
i'd remembered at hyper japan in summer 2011 i'd had some kind of noodles in a boat shaped bowl. i was determined to find what i called the boat bowl stall again. and i did... here i am loving life eating yakisoba noodles with a cheeky side of prawn tempura. delish!
about five minutes after this photograph, i excitedly ran (ish) off in search of wasabi ice cream. it's so nice - the taste of wasabi but not the heat. there were also these things called snow cones which i saw afterwards (see picture below). i'm not too keen on overly icey things but they really intrigued me. has anyone ever tried them?
after a little mill round the stalls, taking in the atmosphere and, admittedly, looking for a little too long at all the incredible costumes, we headed over for the sake tasting experience.
i actually hadn't tried sake before. like most people, i imagined it to be really potent, highly alcoholic and something i definitely couldn't try 10-15 shots of. the alcoholic part was pretty spot on as most of them were 16-18%. however, there were so many different flavours you wouldn't believe. we actually learnt loads about how they polish the rice and thee categories junmai, ginjo and daiginjo. the most premium sake is daiginjo with a 50% polishing ratio, whilst, ginjo is 60% and junmai is 70%. there were also snacks laid out to complement the sake - such as goats cheese, dried oyster, dried shrimps, wasabi peas and rice crackers.
a particular favourite was a sake made from yuzu, a japanese citrus fruit which i found to taste somewhere between a lemon and a grapefruit. this in was the cloudy yellow bottle in my pictures. i was so sad that they'd sold out and think i'm going to have to do some serious research to track down a japanese supermarket that sells it!
i also really enjoyed a cider style sake, which was in the white bottle. this was only 5% and was really fruity and sweet - just how i like my cider! kampai! after voting for our, favourite, sake we'd give as a gift and sake we'd drink with british cuisine, we got a free sake book and a go at a lucky dip. i won a wasabi fridge magnet... yess!
all in a all yet another amazing j-culture event embraced by foodies, art lovers and fans of japanese gaming and pop culture. i can't wait to see what the next one brings!
follow on twitter at @hyperjapanevent