Japan Summer Festival at National Stadium this weekend

The line-up of activities and performances includes a hula showcase.
The line-up of activities and performances includes a hula showcase.PHOTO: SUE KEALOHIOKALANI MAYUZUMI

The Japan Summer Festival that will be taking over the National Stadium this weekend will be one of the largest showcases of Japanese food, culture and entertainment in Singapore.

The Singapore Sports Hub says the stadium premises will be transformed into a gigantic festival ground with more than 100 booths, featuring Japanese food, games and merchandise, on Saturday and Sunday.

There will also be performances by 24 groups and organisations from Japan and Singapore.

There will be Domo and Pikachu meet-and-greet sessions, a host of traditional Japanese game stalls as well as a wide-ranging video arcade provision that will allow attendees to relive their 1980s and 1990s gaming glory days. Stage acts include a taiko drum performance and a Hawaiian hula dance.

Ms Christine Lau, director of Sports and Community Programming, Singapore Sports Hub, says: "The festival at the National Stadium presents truly a one-of-a-kind, immersive experience through the combination of cultural festivities and fun-play entertainment for everyone."

The festival will take place in conjunction with the Sports Hub Community Play Day - a day of free sports try-outs, fitness workouts and fun competitions, held quarterly at some of Singapore's premier sporting facilities.

The Japanese offering at the festival will include J-Party Fitness mass workouts by Japanese instructors to Japanese pop music, focused on popular routines such as zumba, Salsation and Kardioblast.

Ms Sue Kealohiokalani Mayuzumi, who leads the Japanese Association of Singapore's Hula Dance Group, says this year's festival will be a milestone because it is being held at the National Stadium.

"The festival always used to be held at the Japanese School," she says. "But now... everyone wins and it brings all communities together through a celebration of culture."

She adds that the reason the Hawaiian tradition is appearing at the Japanese festival is that Japanese people are very interested in Hawaiian culture and the two Pacific islands share historic links.

The hula showcase will include a traditional Kahiko, a 5,000-year-old dance done to chanting, as well as a more modern Hula Auana, which is done to melody and instruments and will include both children and adults.

For tickets and information, go to https://www.sportshub.com.sg/japansummerfest 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2018, with the headline 'Japan Summer Festival at National Stadium this weekend'. Print Edition | Subscribe