It’s time to celebrate Asia! Our fair city is holding the Fukuoka Asian Party, an event dedicated to all the wonders of the continent Japan calls home. Fukuoka Now headed over to City Hall to check it out.
When Fukuoka Now arrived on the scene, only half an hour after opening, there were already crowds of people. They were either setting up camp to wait for their favourite idol groups to grace the stage, sampling some delicious cuisine from across Asia, or looking around the various stalls set up around the periphery.
Certainly one of the first thoughts to cross our minds upon arrival was, “Now that’s a really massive stage!” The city has pulled out all the stops and erected a huge stage with three screens, which show creative animations or live feed of performers in action.
Fukuoka Asian Party is playing host to seven Asian and Asian-fusion food stalls this year. We especially loved Hidechan’s Tom Yum Kun Ramen; a special Thai-Japanese fusion of ramen and tom yum soup they came up with especially for Fukuoka Asian Party (¥800)! The thick ramen combined spectacularly well with the lemongrass and spices of the tom yum.
The roti canai (flatbread served with a mild curry dipping sauce, ¥500) from Malaysian Kitchen came in a close second, not least because of the flashy way in which the roti is made – whirled through the air by the expert hands of their chef. Domus’s stall specialises in Italian-Asian food, thus they were offering up an intriguing looking Graam Masala Chicken Lasagna (¥500) – if we’d had a spare stomach handy, we definitely would have tried some!
This year’s theme is “Creative Contemporary Asia”, and one stall in particular reflected this; anno lab is a design studio made up of graduates from Kyushu University, and their booth could be described as a playground for kids of all ages. Here you can mess around with intricately cut wooden shapes, fitting them together to build elegant constructs. They also had a fantastic animation shadow theater; put one of the readymade cardboard cut-outs into the miniature theatre, so that the light casts the shape’s shadow onto the screen, and animations will appear to interact with the shadow. This is a cool stall to check out for lovers of art and playtime alike.
As it grew dark, the crowd grew conspicuously larger, and we soon realised why: Freak, a popular J-pop group, bounded out on to the stage and launched into a routine of which the Backstreet Boys would be proud – complete with smoke machines!
This weekend the celebration continues with more of the same: other idol groups, like Kyushu’s very own LinQ, will bring their bopping, bubbly energy to the party. They’ll be in good company because they’ll be joined by dancers from all over Asia, including Flow Apusara Dancers from Cambodia. And, of course, the stalls will be selling their selection of delectable dishes throughout the weekend. So jet over to City Hall this weekend for a fun fusion of Asian music, entertainment and cuisine!
• 10/9 (Fri.) ~ 10/11 (Sun.)
• 18:00~21:00 (Fri.), 10:30~21:00 (Sat.), 10:30~20:40 (Sun.)
• Free entry
• Fureai Hiroba, Fukuoka City Hall
• 1-8-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku
To find out more about this event and so very many more, check out our event listings!