Missing Japan? Jak-Japan Matsuri May Be Your Cure!

Actually this weekend, I plan to sleep longer because of I feel so tired and little bit sick due to hectic activities in the last two weeks. On Saturday, I’ve been able to keep this commitment and I just stayed at home. But today, on Sunday, I realize that my nature for refreshment is jalan-jalan. Ya jalan-jalan means traveling; not necessarily to be festive planned trip, it can be like simple and short visit to an interesting place or event, too.

Furthermore, I remember there is Jak-Japan Matsuri (JJM) 2019 in Gelora Bung Karno Sport Complex in Senayan, South Jakarta. This a kind of festival which promotes Japanes cultures as well as Betawi culture as the native of Jakarta. I’m then so tempted to go because actually I really miss Japan especially for its ambiance and foods. Moreover, the text from Ooshiro family telling that they will go to the festival, too definitely encourages me more to be there. I think they really also miss things about Japan. Ooshiro family was my host family when I studied in Japan. Now, they live in Indonesia for work for couple years.

After taking KRL (commuter train) and MRT which really help me to go to venue fast and effectively, I soon buy the ticket which cost IDR 30,000 (around USD 2). Meanwhile, if you bring kids, each of them only need to pay IDR 20,000. For each ticket, visitor by default get a souvenir. I get the fan which really fits to to weather of Jakarta which is so hot today.

Horaay, finally I’m at this festival for the first time after it has been conducted for 11 times and after I live in Jakarta for 7 years. I know I’m so late to experience this even though I have come to similar event named Ennichisai Festival twice in Blok M, South Jakarta. At gate, I’m greeted by icons which are so attached to Jakarta and Japan. Jakarta identity is represented by the display of Betawi giant doll named Ondel-Ondel. Meanwhile Japan is represented by the display of pink sakura/cherry blossom trees.

Soon, I pass the gate, the food sttals’ magnet seems so strong. I immediately explore food section. Oh my god! It’s really like a cure when you miss Japan. You find so many Japanese authentic foods with different brands (so you can have more options) like sushi, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, tempura, ramen, yakitori, and still many others. Betawi food is also presented there as you can find kerak telor and laksa.

Here, I get suprised because I accidentally met my college friend, Adwin Agung, whom I haven’t met for couple years. His job is so interesting. I see him working to make report for MetroTV, a prominet news channel in Indonesia.

The experience gets more lively when you see many Japanese people coming here too. It’s like a zone for them for “tasting” back a little bit the ambiance of Japan. The festival definitely more interesting with activities like Japanese calligraphy making, wearing Japanese traditional clothes, playing traditional games (both Japanese and Betawi), doing Uchimizu (a ritual for sprinkling water for purifying the place which is actually beneficial to make the heat reduced a little, or watching the iconic dashi parade.

You may also enjoy the stages performing both Indonesian and Japanese culture like martial arts show of karate and pencak silat, dances, songs, singing contest, and many other kind performing arts.

I’m also captivated by the festival that promotes good knowledge in some of their booth like about education and work. There is also information about the concept of Build Back Better, the concept of sustainable recovery and development for areas just impacted by natural disaster.

The moment I meet Ooshiro family is also joyful for me. Playing with those kids really make me happy. I hope we can explore Jakarta more together in the future; just like the tagline of this year festival “Indonesia Japan Always Together”.

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