For those who are not familiar, the JPOP Summit is a festival showcasing Japanese culture, technology and art.This year there were some heavy hitters present. Keep reading to check out my experience at JPOP Summit 2016!
Mazda had a large booth with a driving simulator where participants had the opportunity to race virtual Mazda sports and race cars around famous tracks – they even hosted a friendly competition to see who could set the fastest lap time in a classic Mazda 787 race car. I suggest those wishing to remain competitive put in as many laps as they can before visiting the sake booths. Which brings me on to my second favorite part of JPOP, the sake tasting booths. For a reasonable fee event goers were given the opportunity to sample a wide variety of different sake styles and brands. As someone who had tried sake a handful of times in the past it was an amazing introduction into the wonderfully complex and diverse world of sake.
Mazda was not the only famous Japanese company to showcase their products at JPOP, Yamaha was also present as well. Yamaha showed off their new humanoid robot which is capable of piloting an unmodified super-bike around a racetrack at speeds of up to 120mph – their end goal is to match or beat the performance of super-bike racing legend Valentino Rossi. Yamaha is developing this robot in order to continue their ongoing research into robotics and perhaps to assist in the design of their motorcycles in the future. Aside from technology and beverages there were also live performances by well known Japanese bands including Silent Siren, World Order, Garnidelia and several others.
The event featured many smaller Japanese companies, some were well known established brands and others were recent start ups. If you are a fan of Japanese culture, music or technology I highly recommend attending the next JPOP Summit in 2017!