Japanese Bon Odori summer festival 2022 in Penang

The Japanese Bon Odori summer festival made a comeback in Penang last Saturday, after a 2-year hiatus because of the COVID pandemic. It’s the 46th Bon Odori festival here, and attendees were dressed in summer yukatas to dance to the beat of taiko drums and traditional folk songs.

Attendees included the Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia, Katsuhiko Takahashi and his wife, Mami, and the Japanese Consul-General in Penang, Hiroyuki Orikasa.

About 100 food kiosks lined the avenue in front of the Penang City Hall and Town Hall, next to the Esplanade where about 20,000 attendees gathered to celebrate the festival.

Food are mainly Japanese fairground fare:
Selection of sushi

Takoyaki - grilled doughballs with octopus-meat filling, drizzled with takoyaki sauce and mayonnaise, and sprinkled with thin shavings of dried bonito flakes.

Korokke - crisp, golden-fried Japanese potato croquettes

Dango - Japanese rice dumpling made from a mixture of uruchi (rice flour) and glutinous rice flour, and filled with red bean paste.


Looks like fun! Is there a large Japanese population?

Not very large - at the last count, only about 2,000, on a island with 678,000 people. But their cultural influence is quite pervasive.

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