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Japanese Culture... Japanese Food... Japanese Shows... Japanese Things... they never really caught on to me for the longest time. Then I visited Japan in 2010 and started to remotely understand the obsession many people have with everything JAPANESE! Japan remains an ultra cool place but since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster on 11 March 2011, I doubt I will be visiting the country any time soon. Thinking back on the faithful disaster day, Wendy and I were just discussing about a trip to Sendai and Tokyo! All the planning her dad did were instantly washed away with the Tsunami waves.

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Natsumatsuri: Japanese Summer Festival

Back in the tropics of Singapore every August, is the Natsumatsuri: Japanese Summer Festival; organised by the Japanese Association. I suppose it's the next most authentic local Japanese festival apart from really travelling to Japan. Held all the way in Upper Changi Road North at the Japanese International School, the venue was transformed into a mini Japanese village with locals and Japanese turning up, many in Yukata (light-weighted kimono used for summer). Everyone came by to enjoy the fun carnival of games, food and performances.

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Finding a shady spot, we laid our picnic mats and soaked in the festivities of the night

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Stage performances brought on Japanese song and dance acts distinct of past and present Japanese cultures

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Kiosks selling food, drinks and games packed with long queues of people

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A wide variety of food were sold and we bought a LOT of food which included Japanese Curry Rice, Taiyaki (Fish-Shaped Cake with Bean Paste), Sausages, Okonomiyaki, Corn Cup, Japanese Apple Cider, Beer, Ice-cream and Yakitori


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My yummy Taiyaki with Custard filling

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Participants enjoyed performances from traditional Taiko (Japanese drum) and Folk dances

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The highlight of the event ended with “Bon Odori” (Japanese folk dance) with a football field of participants dancing together in unity, regardless of age or nationality.
We cannot help but join in the fun too. But after doing the "same" steps for about half hour, I kindda felt it grew a little stale.


Ending the event was the Bon Odori to the "Singapore Song"!

Being a very family centric festival, the event ended in good time by 10:30pm - 11:00pm with free shuttle services ferrying guests to the Singapore Expo.
Similar to Japan, the ushers bowed and waved goodbye as the buses left the school gates.

If I ever have to be back for another Natsumatsuri: Japanese Summer Festival, it'll have to be for the Bon Dance! Do the MASS Dance in the name of Japanese Culture!

Read:
Love Japan for...
Footprints in Japan
Fugu - The Forbidden Fish
Panoramic Japan 2010
HDR Japan 2010
Anime Festival Asia (AFA) 2010

More Natsumatsuri: Japanese Summer Festival Pictures

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