Did you know that the Japanese have their own version of the Mid-Autumn Festival?
In Japan, it is known as Tsukimi or Juugoya, which literally mean “moon viewing” and “the night of the 15th” respectively. As with the Chinese festival, it is also held on the same date, which falls on Sept 24 this year.
Although the Japanese also make mooncakes (geppei), during Tsukimi what’s usually eaten while moon-gazing is tsukimi-dango (moon-viewing dumplings). These are smooth orbs made from rice flour which are kneaded till glossy and springy, then steamed.
Stacked like a pyramid, this snack pays homage to autumn’s full moon with both its form and as an offering in hopes for a bountiful harvest.
The Japanese also display decorations made from pampas grass (susuki) — a symbol of autumn as the blades are at their tallest then — as well as serve seasonal produce such as chestnuts, sweet potatoes, taro root (satoimo), edamame and pumpkin.
And while the Chinese have the legend of the jade rabbit that pounds the elixir of immortality for the goddess Chang’e with a mortar and pestle, the Japanese folktale tells of rabbits making the rice cakes served during this festival.
To add a Japanese spin to your celebrations, check out the Parkway Parade x Isetan Katong Mid-Autumn Festival fair, which runs from Monday, Sept 10 to Sunday, Sept 23, for these highlights:
Savour a yam-filled crispy mooncake
Satoimo, or taro root, is a key component used in Tsukimi. Yam, the common name for a similar root vegetable here, is what the Teochews here use in their mooncakes.
Enjoy Garden Pastry & Cake’s Crispy Skin Pure Yam mooncakes ($48 to $52 for four pieces). The flaky confections boast a smooth and savoury filling blended from carefully selected yams.
Flavours available include Original, with a single yolk, Yam with Ginkgo Nuts, Vegetarian (Pure Yam) and Pure D24 Durian.
Isetan Cardmembers’ exclusive: 15 per cent off with a minimum of two boxes of Garden Pastry & Cake mooncakes purchased (four regular mooncakes or eight mini mooncakes per box).
Relish autumnal fruits and produce
The range of fruits, vegetables and other produce air-flown from Japan change according to the seasons.
From Yamanashi — said to be the Japanese prefecture producing the largest volume of peaches — savour its lesser-seen Golden Peaches ($7.90 per piece; U.P.$12.90).
Then, herald early autumn with Nagano Shine Muscat grapes ($24.90 per punnet; U.P.$29.90), or bite into some juicy Saitama Sweet Pears ($19.90 each; U.P.$24.90) harvested from the prefecture located just north of Tokyo.
Another autumn delight is Miyazaki Yaki Imo ($2.40 per 100g; U.P.$2.90), roasted sweet potatoes perfect for the cool weather.
Savour cute Line Friends ice cream mooncakes
Did you know that the Line Friends are part Japanese? The stickers from the messaging app were released in 2011 by Line Corporation, a Japanese subsidiary of South Korean company Naver Corporation.
Brown, Cony, Choco and Sally are part of Haagen-Dazs’ Line Friends Friendship ice cream mooncakes ($68.50 for four pieces).
These adorable characters are coated with pumpkin white chocolate, hojicha, purple potato white chocolate and green tea chocolate; and come with fillings consisting of macadamia nut, vanilla and green tea.
Besides, don’t you think Cony the bunny fits well into the “rabbit on the moon” theme?
Isetan Cardmembers’ exclusive: 15 per cent off with any purchase of Line Friends Friendship mooncakes.
Redeem cute bunnies in kimonos
Also befitting of the Mid-Autumn Festival’s famous legend are the charming redeemables at the fair — a pair of bunnies, clad in matching kimonos.
In activities conducted by childcare teacher Madam Ng Sok Lan, each child participant (open to those six years and below) will receive a pair of the cute cottontails (redeem at Isetan Katong Customer Service, Level 2).
● Lantern riddle guessing and playdough session: Sept 20, 1pm and 4pm
● Snowskin mooncake making: Sept 21, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm
● Lantern making: Sept 22, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm
All activities above are complimentary with a minimum $20 purchase from Isetan and are limited to 10 children per session.
Other free activities for the family (with no redeemables) include 30-minute magic shows on Sept 23 at 3pm and 5pm, and one-hour-long balloon sculpting sessions on Sept 23 at 2pm and 4pm.
Join an intimate Japanese tea masterclass
From Sept 10 to Sept 17, Japanese Tea Master, Madam Otsuka, will be conducting the classes on Japanese tea brewing and appreciation. The 30-minute sessions are held at noon, 2pm and 5pm daily, with an additional timeslot of 7pm on Sept 15 only.
This masterclass is free with any purchase of Otsuka Tea products and each session is limited to just four people for an immersive experience.
Also check out Madam Otsuka’s star product, the Otsuka Matcha Wazome 20g (U.P. $25.90 each; now, buy two for $44), a fragrant premium green tea powder in a beautiful tin.
And for a change, pair your mooncake indulgence with Japanese green tea instead this year.
Enjoy a hint of spring
Sakura season may be over, but Home’s Favourite has launched the refreshing Snow Skin Cherry Blossom with Raspberries & Hokkaido Milk Mooncakes ($65 for four pieces).
These confections will transport your taste buds to Japan with the creamy Hokkaido milk filling and perfume from the seasonal blooms.
Isetan Cardmembers’ exclusive: 15 per cent off with any purchase of Home’s Favourite Snow Skin Cherry Blossom with Raspberries & Hokkaido Milk Mooncakes.
What: Mid-Autumn Festival by Isetan Katong
Where: Parkway Parade Basement Airwell
When: Sept 10 to 23, 2018, 11am to 9pm (Sun to Fri) and 11am to 9.30pm (Sat)
More perks for PP Friends and shoppers
Coinciding with the festivities are great offers for PP Friends, who can enjoy redemptions at special rates; as well as a host of F&B offers. There are new retailers for shoppers to check out too:
From Lower Points to Greater Joys, now to Oct 14:
PP Friends can now redeem a $20 PP voucher with just 2,400 PP$ (usual: 3,200 PP$) and a $50 PP voucher with just 4,000 PP$ (usual: 8,000 PP$) — a whopping 50 per cent discount. Limited to 3,500 redemptions.
What’s more, shoppers can head to the Level 1 Concierge to play the Spin & Sure-Win game to win $10 shopping/F&B vouchers. They just need to spend at least $80 ($160 for Cold Storage and Giant receipts; using a maximum of two same-day receipts) to qualify. Limited to the first 400 redemptions per weekday and 550 redemptions per weekend and public holiday; one redemption per shopper per day.
Eating well is also easier on the wallet with Parkway Parade’s F&B discounts. Offers include a half-priced slice of Chocolate Mille Crepe from Awfully Chocolate (U.P.$8), Zaru Udon or Zaru Soba from Fish Mart Sakuraya at 50 per cent off, and a buy one Kraftwich and get the second one at half price offer from Kraftwich by Swissbake & PastaMania Pronto.
Terms and conditions apply.
Park or Grab, now to Nov 12:
Simply spend $50 at Parkway Parade to redeem free parking at the mall for the first three hours (worth up to $3.60) or a Grab promo code (worth $10). Carpark coupons are only valid on the day of redemption. Grab code is only valid for one ride per shopper each day. Parkway Parade must be set as the pick-up/drop-off point. Both offers are valid on a first come, first served basis.