The Japan Fair returned to the OC Fairgrounds for another
year this past weekend in Costa Mesa where guests were thrown into a whirlwind
of Japanese cuisines that had their heads spinning from fantastic aromas.
Guests from all over, especially the local Asian communities, visited the fair and indulged themselves in not only exquisite foods, but a bit of the Japanese culture as well.
Live entertainment was provided for guests as they browsed around the fair where vendors set up shop.
“Such a small area for such a big culture. I am enjoying myself, however. This is my first time here. I saw something on Facebook and thought I’d try it out,” said Adam Lomeli.
Japan’s popular noodle soup dish ramen was ever so present at the Japan Fair for guests to try. Samples were given out before guests decided to purchase a bowl.
How could there be a Japan Fair without some delectable sushi? Sake Nigiri, Temaki, Salmon roll and even western-style sushi such as the California roll. You name it, they had it!
Rib eye beef bowls were sold for only $5 and worth the price as the dishes exploded with mouthwatering flavors. Takoyaki, a ball-shaped Japanese snack made of flour batter, was handed out as samples for guests to enjoy.
Beef tongue bento, a packed meal complete with rice and veggies, was the one oddity that was perhaps uncommon to eat for guests at the fair.
“It’s actually not as bad as it looks. Everyone should give it a try at least once,” said Hana Mori, a Japanese-American in attendance. “I love where I come from. I love my roots. Any way I can show support for my culture, I will.”
To satisfy the sweet tooth craving, scoops of green tea ice cream were on hand. To quench the thirst, over 20 types of sake were offered to guests for the tasting. Sake, also known as rice wine, is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice.
Vendors also offered varies Japanese goodies such as salmon flakes, soy sauce peanut cookies, roasted peanuts and baked carrots.
The Japan Fair could not feel complete without the presence of the Sanrio Company, which excited children and adults alike. Hello Kitty was present to take pictures with the enthusiastic guests. Children were also entertained by a Hello Kitty jumper and a game of yo-yo fishing.
Japanese artist Ki-Yo was in attendance to sign autographs for fans and perform for the guests. Other entertainment acts included geishas performing their flawless and graceful, classical dance skills. A young child maiko, which is a geisha apprentice, was also present to show the guests the skills required to become a geisha.
Mark your calendars now for next year’s Japan Fair. It is definitely worth visiting if you want a flavor of Japanese culture but cannot make it across the Pacific.