Food For Now: Isetan Singapore launches inaugural Japan Omiyage fair this October
The first Japanese souvenir (Omiyage) themed food fair will open at the Isetan Scotts supermarket from 8th to 21st Oct 2021. Jointly organised by Isetan Singapore and EJRT ASIA (SINGAPORE), a subsidiary of East Japan Railway Trading, the fair sets out to allow everyone in Singapore to reminisce and experience the popular souvenir culture that used to only be possible when travelling to Japan.
Particularly in this time where travel is still in flux, the Isetan Omiyage Fair is set to fulfil your cravings for Japan, and bring you the authentic Japanese travel experience. Fair-goers can expect a vibrant display akin to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport souvenir shop to have their pick of up to 26 different Omiyage from 13 brands from the different regions of Japan.
Omiyage generally means souvenirs brought home from a trip. In Japan, this usually comes in the form of snacks. The Japanese tend to buy souvenirs for their friends, relatives and co-workers after a trip to share their joy from the trip or to express thanks for covering their work for them while they were away. But omiyage is much more than an edible souvenir.
They usually come in brightly coloured boxes and individually wrapped boxes are brightly coloured and contain snacks or confections which makes it perfect for sharing. The Japanese usually practice group consciousness to form a communal society, so people are constantly thinking about the feelings of others out of respect and empathy and giving omiyage is an act to simply show gratitude or good intentions to someone.
The extensive list of Omiyage at the Isetan Omiyage Fair features the most popular crowd favourites like the Hagi no Tsuki, a soft sponge cake filled with delicious custard cream, from Sendai city, Miyagi Prefecture, (2pcs/$9.90), ROKKATEI known for their signature Marusei Butter Sandwich from Hokkaido (5pcs/ $17.20) and strawberry coated chocolates ($17.60), Tokyo Banana, a light banana cake well-loved for its uber fluffy texture and realistic banana flavour (4 pcs/ $9.90) and Morimoto Yukidoke cheese cake from Hokkaido ($25.80).
The fair will also be the exclusive debut of six Japanese confectionery brands in Singapore:
- Kamakura Hangetsu, a crispy rice cracker with green tea or ogura cream fillings from Kanagawa Prefecture (6pcs/$13.80)
- Hakata Torimon, a sweet confection made with sweet white bean paste, from Fukuoka (8 pcs/$23.90)
- Goma Tamago, a cute egg-shaped confection with black sesame paste, from Tokyo (5pcs/$11.90)
- Kurimicco, an award winning confection made with the perfect combination of walnuts, homemade caramel in a buttery dough (5 pcs/$17.10)
- Kujukushima, aptly named after the Kujuku Islands in Nagasaki, this delicacy is a unique hexagon shaped crispy cracker with the aroma of peanuts that has won the Monde Selection Gold Award for 12 consecutive years. (8 pcs/$11.50)
- Kikufuku, a speciality of Sendai, this mochi treat is filled with cream of different flavours and best enjoyed with some green tea. (4 kinds set/$11.20)
Isetan Singapore usually holds prefectural food fairs, like Hokkaido Fair and Kyushu Fair, showcasing each region’s speciality in their food produce. When asked why they came up with such a special and unique theme this time, Naoki Kato, buyer of Japanese Food Division of Isetan explains that besides celebrating Singapore and Japan’s 55 years of diplomatic relations and promoting Japan tourism with the support of Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), the Omiyage Fair is really to meet Isetan’s customer’s needs, especially of those who are unable to travel to Japan.
“As cross-border travel remains extremely challenging, especially for leisure, we thought of bringing Japan to Singapore instead. Singaporeans can still enjoy a piece of Japanese culture easily. In creating this fair, we have specially selected products from all over japan and we envision Singaporeans being able to enjoy souvenirs from North to South Japan in an atmosphere like Haneda Airport where customers are reminded of the joys of shopping in Japan, especially when they are buying souvenirs on their return trip, for their family, friends and colleagues.”
The Japan Omiyage Fair runs from 8th to 21st October 2021 at Isetan Scotts supermarket.