Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Thai Festival 2012

"Celebrating 125 years of diplomatic relations 
between Japan and The Land of Smiles."

the official theme for
Thai Festival 2012


P1390471-001

The main entrance to the Thai Festival, from Harajuku Station side.

Cancelled in the wake of March 11 last year, the annual Thai Festival returns to regular scheduling this weekend, just in time to mark 125 years of diplomatic relations between Japan and The Land of Smiles. Thai Festival is one of the many festivals usually held in May and June by various countries, including Brazil, Jamaica, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, etc. One thing though, Malaysia doesn't have one, which is a little bit disappointing.

The venue has always been Yoyogi Park, in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo. The main organiser of Thai Festival is the Royal Thai Embassy in Tokyo, in collaboration with its Tourism ministry and several other agencies. With more than 70 Thai restaurants, 50 food and drinks stalls, 16 fruits stalls, and over 20 other tents by various agencies, Thai Festival is undoubtedly the biggest festival compared to other countries.

P1390472-001

The size of the crowd was just amazing. You can hardly find any empty spaces along the stalls.

P1390475-001

A specially designed area for visitors who had brought their own sheet to picnic there. One thing about Japanese is that 
they love to sit under the tree with a mat and enjoy their food. One fine example is during the hanami season.

P1390480-001

A magnificent booth by Thai Tourism Ministry to promote its beautiful country. Dear Minister of Tourism of Malaysia, 
 you should seriously learn from your neighbour, instead of spending millions at Facebook.

The main attraction at the festival is of course the delicious Thai delicacy. They are prepared by local Thai chefs and looking at them alone is already very tempting. There are also the usual array of stalls selling handicrafts, clothing, Singha beer, etc. A new change this year is that the stalls are arranged in alphabetical order to avoid confusion.
 
The Thai Philharmonic Orchestra are being brought over for the occasion, along with veteran rockers Carabao and rising star Newwy, who's being groomed for her Japanese major label debut later in the year. 

P1390484-001

Awesome Thai traditional umbrella dance by a group of performers.

P1390485-001

The main street was easily more than 500 meters long and the whole stretch was fully occupied with visitors looking to have a taste of Thai food.

P1390487-001

Various kinds of method were used by the stalls to attract visitors to their stall.

P1390489-001

A very creative way of advertisement.

I dropped by at the festival on the first day (it is held for two days over the weekend of May 12 and 13) on my way to attending the Wesak Day celebration in Shibuya. This is my first time going to Thai Festival and I never expect it to be as this big. I was quite surprise and yet got shocked for a bit as I have never seen such festival as crowded as this one. It was quite insane to see the amount of people lurking and wandering around the Thai Festival

One interesting thing though, is that I saw more Japanese than the Thai people themselves who organised this event. Nevertheless the small presence of the Thais didn't stop you from getting the feeling that you are not in Tokyo and the place indeed has the Thailand feel surrounding the atmosphere.

P1390497-001

Singha beer were selling like hot cakes.

P1390498-001

A wide variety of fruits can be found at the festival!

P1390499-001

First time to see so many durians in Japan. The prices is really shocking really! With this price, I guess I can get a full lorry of durians back in Malaysia haha!

P1390492-001

Tamarind, or asam jawa in Malay. 

P1390491-001

Mangoes, green unripe papayas and some mysterious fruits that look like armadillo which I have forgotten its name haha!

thai & laos 
fest-001

The rest of the tropical fruits sold at the fruits stalls. It might be common for us to see these kinds of fruits, but to the Japanese, 
they will go "Whoooaaaa, what is this fruit, what is that fruit?!?" haha!

There were just too many food stalls to choose from and one may be spoilt for choice. However, the types of food and prices are more or less similar to each other. So, the safest option is probably to pick the stall with the longest queue. However, I usually do the opposite to save time haha!

Thai Food are mostly spicy and hot which makes it a perfect time to eat this type of food on that day since it was a cloudy cool weather where one needs to eat it to warm your body up.

P1390509-001

How can a visit to the Thai Festival be complete without tasting my favourite Pad Thai.

P1390512-001

Spicy minced chicken meat with basil and Jasmine rice (khaow kai pad bai kaparo).

P1390510-001

Her colleagues whistled at her when we were taking this photo lol!

So, there you go, a short entry on Thai Festival this year. Kob kun krab for reading.

6 comments:

TZ said...

I'm leaving for Phuket next Friday for four days... just a short getaway from the metropolitan city of pothole :p

Ivan said...

I also come to Thai Festival in Shinjuku before. (^.^)
I know you become Chiba Ambassador for second time, isn't it?
Calvin さん すごいね。
When I see your name in list of Chiba Ambassador I surprised with that. When try to found you on ceremony your name not found in attendance list.
Hope we can chat and meet on the first tour next week. :D

Cliff Cheng said...

on the first day's evening Thai Philharmonic Orchestra performed, which was splendid!!

calvin said...

@ tz:
that's sooo cool! i'm pretty sure you will love the beautiful beach and the ladies xD

and i love how you describe kuala lumpur haha! =P

calvin said...

@ ivan:
the thai festival was held in yoyogi park, near shibuya, and not shinjuku *hehe*

yup, this is gonna be my second time to be chiba kun ambassador and i'm so excited to meet you guys very soon! =D

calvin said...

@ cliff cheng:
not sure why your comment was labelled as spam initially, but anyway i've fixed that ;)

ahhh, i guess i'd missed that performance. maybe next year *hehe*