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Indonesian Festival at Ajinomoto Stadium
Japan’s soccer club, Tokyo Verdy held Indonesia Festival on May 4th, 2022, following the match between Tokyo Verdy and Vegalta Sendai at Ajinomoto Stadium, Chofu, Tokyo with the theme of “connect Japan and Indonesian through soccer”.
The Indonesian festival starts at 11:00, located at the stadium’s event square on the opposite side of the main entrance. Along the way from the main entrance to the event square, there were stalls with Tokyo Verdy’s goods and a lottery game which we loved to see next after the festival.
Indonesian food kitchen cars and a collaboration booth of Garuda Indonesia and BNI (Bank National Indonesia / Indonesia National Bank) gathered at the festival, attracting a lot of both Japanese and Indonesian visitors.
Garuda Indonesia and BNI booth provided a batik dying experience and showed the real size of the Komodo dragon, amazed a lot of visitors, especially kids. Not many people know or see the Komodo dragon with their own eyes, so this might be a good chance to promote one of the charms of Indonesia to the Japanese.
Kitchen cars that serve Indonesian foods; Asian Goyang Lidah and Manis Pedas were halal, per our confirmation to the organizer Tokyo Verdy, serving authentic Indonesian foods that taste exactly as we have in Indonesia! If we had a strong image of Indonesian foods in Japan are mild and don’t come as spicy as they used to be, we were so surprised at how authentic the taste is!
There were very long lines in front of these two Indonesian kitchen cars that prove how popular the foods are. We were surprised to see a lot of Japanese visitors take a line to get the Indonesian foods!
One of the Japanese visitors we were interviewed was bought a lot of Indonesian foods; fried rice (nasi goreng), fried noodle (mie goreng), fried banana, and satay (skewered and grilled meats). She mentioned that she loves Indonesian foods and they meet her taste, as she quickly joined the line once knowing there are Indonesian kitchen cars! She added that she loves soccer as well as Indonesian foods so she was so glad that two things come in the same place.
We also interviewed Indonesian visitors who joined the line. He was waiting for more than 30 mins already but still need to wait for more to get closer to the kitchen car and place an order. According to him, even though he is an Indonesian and eats Indonesian foods at home, he said he is very happy to be able to eat halal foods outside together with people. He hopes more halal foods are available in Japan because it will increase the convenience of living in Japan.
Furthermore, there is a coffee shop kitchen car called Kadatuan Koffie that serves ready-to-drink canned Indonesian coffee and Indonesian coffee beans. The shop obtained recognition from Indonesia Embassy in Japan as an appreciation for introducing and promoting Indonesian goods to Japan’s market.
Besides food, Indonesian students at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies welcomed visitors close to the main entrance of the stadium and performed enchanting Indonesian traditional dance. They also made a performance at the Indonesian festival!
There was also Kid’s Park with balloon slides and a trampoline, where kids can play freely while waiting for the match to start.
Available Musholla Too!
Welcoming Indonesian visitors, which are expected to be mostly Muslims, to come to the stadium, the organizer provided a simple space to pray, surrounded by Tokyo Verdy’s green tent to maintain privacy and calmness during the prayer, located right beside the M-11 entrance.
There was a signboard with an explanation about shalat and Muslims in Japanese which is easy to understand. We found it very helpful to give an understanding of Muslims to Japanese visitors as some Japanese stopped by to read the signboard.
Back to The Stadium
Tokyo Verdy offered free uniforms for the first 1,500 kids and original uchiwa (traditional Japanese fan) with an image of the festival in the front and the Indonesian flag in the back for the first 5,000 visitors.
As mentioned above, there were stalls selling the club’s goods and a lottery game to win a uniform with Arhan’s autograph.
The shop has guidance in Bahasa Indonesia to help Indonesian visitors to enjoy shopping conveniently. There are a number of goods, from uniforms and towels to plush dolls and keychains. Arhan’s goods were at the center of the shop.
We spotted Indonesian visitors who came to the shop to buy Tokyo Verdy’s uniform and megaphone to cheer on the match.
Arhan Couldn’t Appear On The Field
Arhan who joined Tokyo Verdy this March was expected to make his first appearance in the match between Tokyo Verdy and Vegalta Sendai. Unfortunately, he got an injury before the match that avoid him to go to the ground, per confirmation from Tokyo Verdy Indonesia. However, we spotted him watching the match from the audience seat.
During the rest of the first half of the match, he walked in front of supporter stands where Tokyo Verdy fans and Indonesian visitors were and waved his hands.
A lot of Indonesian visitors came from afar to see Arhan’s plays while enjoying the festival and were disappointed with the fact that Arhan didn’t appear. But let’s hope he will get better soon and performs his best in the next match!