You don’t even have to get on a plane.
2016 marks fifty years of post-war friendship between Singapore and Japan, and as Japan celebrates Culture Day today (November 3), we tell you some of the best places to get a dose of Japanese culture and arts right here in the Lion City.
With their awesomely loud reggae sound system (pictured), Lion Steppaz Sound brings some roots reggae, rocksteady, dancehall, and dubstep to their monthly parties — and they might just slip in some cool Japanese reggae music in between. Catch this collective at Neon Lights on November 27 or head over to their Root Down party on November 26 at The Great Escape with some special guest DJs from Japan.
NEXT: Anime Festival Asia →
Cited as the largest and most followed J-pop culture event in Southeast Asia, AFA is all about cosplay (pictured), concerts featuring music from anime, special merchandise and more. The Singapore edition of the festival is happening from November 25 to 27 at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre and it is definitely not to be missed if you are a huge fan of Japanese anime and popular culture.
NEXT: Japan Creative Centre →
Located near Orchard Road, JCC is part of the Embassy of Japan in Singapore and it showcases the things we love about Land of the Rising Sun from technology, design, gourmet, fashion, traditional craft, traditional art, music and movie, anime and manga. I like dropping by the venue to check out the exhibitions (pictured) and attend movie screenings there.
NEXT: Liang Court →
This Clarke Quay icon is synonymous with all things Japanese and regularly features the country’s culture within the mall in the form of food fairs and exhibits. My personal favourite is the annual display of dolls (pictured) for Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival or Girl’s Festival).
Hungry? You won’t be disappointed if you’re in the mood for Japanese food here and if you’re looking for books in Japanese, head over to Kinokuniya on the third floor. I also love the Japanese-themed stationeries and craft items there.
NEXT: Japanese Cultural Society →
Founded in 1963, this local social organisation actively promotes exciting Japanese cultural activities, ranging from origami, Japanese drums (taiko), calligraphy (shodo), tea ceremony and more. You can also sign up for Japanese language courses and sit for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) examinations here.
NEXT: Hello Hokkaido! →
Hop over to Sentosa for a taste of the famed Japanese island at this fair. From November 18 to 27, enjoy Hokkaido’s finest food and culture at the Resorts World Convention Centre. (We hear the crab dishes are to die for.) If you’re planning a trip there, don’t miss the travel fair on weekends.
NEXT: Albirex Niigata Football Club Singapore →
Did you know Singapore’s local soccer league includes a Japanese team? Albirex Niigata Singapore is a satellite team of its Japanese counterpart, and all the footballers in the club here are from Japan. In fact, they recently emerged champions in the Singapore Cup (pictured), in addition to their win in the S.League and Singapore League Cup this year. Omedetou!
NEXT: Japanese Association, Singapore →
Members of the Japanese Association can enjoy various activities and events throughout the year, including the highly anticipated summer festival (matsuri) which is usually held at the Japanese Primary School in Changi, where visitors can participate in a fun traditional Japanese folk dance (pictured). Best thing is, it is also open to public.
NEXT: Lion Steppaz Sound →
We’d like to wish all Japanese expats in Singapore a happy Bunka no Hi!
For more events celebrating the 50th anniversary of Singapore-Japan diplomatic relations, check out SJ50.
By Muneerah Bee, November 2016