From Japan to Malaysia: Mini Fukuoka Festival Takes Ipoh by Storm

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Did you know that Ipoh and Fukuoka share a special bond as sister cities? The cultural tapestry of both cities came alive during the Visit Ipoh Festival 2023, highlighted by the enchanting Mini Fukuoka Festival held at the picturesque Kinta Riverwalk on the 26th and 27th of August, 2023!

Stepping into the festival’s opening ceremony on that first morning were esteemed guests, including Datuk Ahmad Hariri bin Kamarudin, the visionary chairman of the MBI Tourism Sub-Committee, and Ms. Audrey Kwan, the dynamic president of PSTPA. The event also welcomed distinguished representatives from Fukuoka City Hall’s International Relations Section, who embarked on a special journey from Japan to grace the occasion: Mr. Akira Takaki, Mr. Shingo Kitamura, and Ms. Chie Arai.

A whirlwind of cultural richness embraced festival-goers, with a riverside bazaar capturing the essence of both cities. The air buzzed with energy, fueled by captivating workshops that delved into the intricacies of Wau making by the skilled Nor Asmah Daud – Malaysia’s sole female professional Wau maker. Attendees also indulged in the delicate artistry of crafting traditional Japanese Wagashi sweets with Ami Kitchen, adorning themselves in the elegant folds of Japanese Kimonos guided by D’Ayu Yukata, and unfolding the beauty of origami guided by the hands of young, talented enthusiasts.

As the sun waned, a mesmerizing Wayang Kulit exhibition by Fusion Wayang Kulit breathed life into beloved pop culture characters through the lens of traditional artistry. The evening crescendoed with the dulcet tones of iconic Japanese melodies performed by Chye Music, an enchanting tribute to cross-cultural harmony. The festival also showcased the prowess of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a self-defense martial art, leaving audiences awestruck.

Basking in the glow of triumph, this festival emerges as a trailblazing success, igniting the spark of possibility for future events that might grace Ipoh’s streets. With a growing influx of visitors, the city’s tourism industry stands poised for a radiant future. The Mini Fukuoka Festival not only celebrated unity in diversity but also laid the cornerstone for greater cultural exchange, enriching the essence of both Ipoh and Fukuoka.

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