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The Asian ApertureOrlando Japan Festival 2013
POSTED BY JASON FETTERS, November 7, 2013    Share

Well, it was that time of year again for the Orlando Japan Festival held at the beautiful Village at Hunterís Creek.

I arrived early to check out the food stalls that were still not opened. I saw the usual festival foods like beef curry, yakisoba, and sushi. So quite naturally, the first thing we did was eat. I got the katsudon buri, which is breaded, fried pork with egg over rice. It was good but it should have been hot.

Next it was time to check out the items for sell at the stalls. My favorite stall is the one for books so I went there first. My friend found some childrenís books that are an excellent resource for beginning level Japanese reading. Nothing really caught my eye from those books. I picked up two manga. One was Godzilla vs Destoryah and the other is a funny gag manga called Crayon Shinchan, about a wisecracking little boy who misbehaves and drives his parents crazy.

Afterwards it was time to see what the Mitsukoshi table had to offer. Everything I saw was only one dollar. I picked up a book on the crazy and interesting world of Japanese fashion called The Tokyo Look Book. I also got a toy face hugger from the Alien series. The face hugger came in a little box and looking inside, it was sealed in a wrapper that I was afraid to open because I didnít want it running lose.

The shows started at 12pm and generally the shows are the same as previous years and that is why I only sit through certain ones. I skipped the martial arts demos and saw a little bit of the Matsuriza Taiko drumming performance.

However, the main draw for me is the cosplay contest. In previous years the cosplayers were not that energetic and this year there were lively people on stage. Some of the cosplay that I saw was from the biggest hit right now in both the US and Japan, Attack on Titans, as well as, Kingdom Hearts, Sailor Moon, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Link from the Zelda game. A little boy was dressed up as Link and he was the grand prize winner.

I had previously purchased some raffle tickets because the prizes were really good, one was a $1000 voucher from Delta and another was a hotel stay in Hawaii. The Orlando Japan Festival always has great prizes.

I met some interesting people including a couple of girls that studied at Kansai Gaidai, the college I was at from 1999-2000. I also met one of the Japanese language teachers from Eckerd College.
Sometime after 5pm, the festival was over, so we loaded up the van and headed to Chinatown on Colonial.

We all met up for dinner at Sapporo Ramen. We took up most of the small restaurant and I ordered the Shoyu, soy sauce flavored, ramen that was really good and as close to ramen in Japan as I remember. I sat next to an elderly couple that was touring the US in a RV. The man was correcting everyoneís eating. He took the white pepper shaker and poured some into my ramen and he was watching the boy across the table like a hawk, correcting each mistake. I asked him in Japanese if the ramen had the same taste as Japan and he answered it was the same.

Just as we were leaving a Japanese wrestler from the WWE came in with his family. I didnít catch his name.

Following dinner it was time to revisit the 89 cent store and then inside the big Asian supermarket for bubble tea. I tried the Taro root flavor, which I highly recommend.

The Orlando Japan Festival was a great time as always. I have been so many times that the stalls donít interest me as much as the first time I went. This time it was about meeting old friends and making new ones.

If you didnít make it then you really missed out and you should plan on going next year.

"The Asian Aperture" is ©2013 by Jason Fetters. All contents of Crazed Fanboy are ©2013 by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum.

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