Japanese summer fest in Kota Kemuning

Bon Odori at Gamuda Walk,Kota Kemuning, Shah Alam, August 16m, 2105.ROHAIZAT MD DARUS / STAR/

Community retail mall Gamuda Walk brought lots of fun and joy to the Kota Kemuning neighbourhood with their very own Bon Odori event.

Held over three days recently, the community Japanese summer festival was made possible by participating tenants such as Sakae Sushi, Shojikiya, Claytime, Maycraft and Muayfit International.

Gamuda Land leasing general manager Herbie Tan said he was inspired by the vibrant atmosphere of the annual Bon Odori organised in Shah Alam that he decided to bring it to Kota Kemuning.

“I saw how much Malaysians loved Bon Odori, how it was so engaging and fun. So I thought why not have one for the community in Kota Kemuning for their convenience, especially with the actual festival just around the corner,” explained Tan.

He added that it was also an opportunity to engage and spark interest in people to learn about other cultures.

“The event received overwhelming response and we expect to see more than 20,000 visitors by the end of this three-day event,” said Tan.

Visitors were entertained with Japanese dance-along performances, kendama competition, salmon live cutting demonstration by Sakae Sushi and judo performance by trainers from Muayfit International.

Kendama competition advance-level winner Joel So said it was a tough competition and he had not expected to win.

“I was nervous at first but I got the hang of it after awhile.

“My competitors were all very good at their tricks and I was very impressed,” said So, adding that he picked up kendama in 2011.

The competition involves a Japanese traditional toy where participants show off their tricks by catching the ball in the cups and on the spike of the toy.

“It’s really an interesting game to pick up as one can learn tricks, meet new friends and learn about Japanese culture,” said So.

Among the highlights were activities such as the Maycraft alpha loom keychain workshop, Maycraft amigurumi class, Maycraft felt class, claytime workshop, kendama workshop and sushi-making conducted by staff from Sakae Sushi.

“We hope to have our Bon Odori celebration on a bigger scale next year and organise more cultural fairs and activities,” said Tan, adding that the mall was set to have a Thai fair at the end of August and a Korean fair in December.

As one of the successful flagship developments by Gamuda Land, Gamuda Walk features a unique oval-shaped architecture with a mixed development of three levels of retail stores and seven levels of business suites.

The contemporary lifestyle and leisure mall opened in April.

The annual Bon Odori in Shah Alam, held in celebration of the Japanese culture through traditional dances, games and food, will be held on Sept 5 at Panasonic Sports Complex, Shah Alam. For details, visit www.facebook.com/gamudawalk

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