Super Japan Matsuri: To Go or Not

So, there was a huge hype for the Super Japan Matsuri for the past few weeks on social media and I decided to head down to check it out. The Super Japan Matsuri is located right outside of Esplanade at Theatres on the Bay (near the stage at the bay, in front of the “hawker”)  and will be happening for three days, starting from 20/5 all the way till 22/5 (weekdays 5pm-10pm, weekends 3pm-10pm).

Things you need to know: 1) Its free for admission, 2)  You need coupons for the games (its 2 dollars each) and 3) You need to pay cash for the food.

So if you’re wondering if the Super Japan Matsuri is worth a visit, READ ON..

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Lets see, the event looked really promising online so I was excited to go there. I reached the venue at around 5.15pm and it was already VERY crowded (and I thought I had already beaten the office crowd). There was only a single line queue for all the stalls and the venue was just too small to hold the crowd. Its outdoors, so it was really stuffy and hot. I heard many commenting on how discouraging the queues looked. I was really discouraged to queue as well and I totally gave up queueing for the games coupons (which was also a single queue) after walking till the end of the queue to realize that it has reached the end of the fair venue ALREADY, which I estimate to be at least a 1.5hrs wait (just for the coupons really). If you asked me, I’d say nah, don’t bother about the games..

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This was Friday 5.35pm. 35mins after the start of the Matsuri. Im presuming its gonna just get worse during weekends.

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I didn’t play any of the games so I wouldn’t be sharing much regarding them.  But here’s some of the game stalls thats available (if you managed to get the coupons that is).. Oh and theres a promotion – if you buy 10 $20 coupons, you’ll get one free and if you buy 25 $50 coupons, you’ll get 3 free. Dress up according to their theme and you’ll get ONE free game coupon.

1. Senbonbiki (Pick a string and you’ll get whatever is at the end of the line. You’ll get something no matter what.)

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2. Shateki (Use the gun, shoot the boxes. Simple.. )

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3. Push Pins Cutting (Use the push pins to poke and “cut” the design on the paper)

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4. YoYo Tsuri (Use the paper strip and hook to fish the water balloons completely our of the water. Fish 3 water balloons for a special prize.)

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Oh and there’s a toss the ring onto the bottle game too, which I forgot to snap. Not sure if you’re guaranteed a prize for all the games but the Senbonbiki is a sure-win.

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Everyone seems to be aiming for this cat plush, so if you like it you can try queueing for the game coupons. If not then.. try to spend more time trying the food there cause though the queue was TERRIFYING, the food did exceed my expectations in terms of their taste. I didn’t manage to try all the food cause the queue was so super long… But just to share on what you can expect, food wise….

1. Yakitori Stall (They started late cause I think they were still trying to get the fire going at 5.30pm. But they smelt so good and were so tempting but the queue was just too long. Not very sure bout the price but I heard its something like 10 bucks for 3 sticks.)

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2. Unagi Rice Stall (Here’s another stall that was really popular and by that I meant SCARY queues too. But they really looked so good. A unagi stick costs $4, kabayakis costs $8 and the rice costs $10. They sell egg sticks too with a stick at $2 and a roll at $10. I would have bought this if I had the time.

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3.The Croquette Stall (The queue was shorter for this stall. As such, I got to try them! I only got to try the Scallop Croquette and the Tempura Ebi cause the Hokkaido Croquette was sold out at 5.50pm (LIKE ERRR.. ) I hope that they do stock up more for those visiting later or tomorrow).

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Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from these cause they’re just deep fried food. Like how good can they be? Or rather how different can they taste? I only queued and bought them cause the queue was short enough (like 15 people in front of me ONLY) and I was so famished. These were the first food I ate from the fair and gosh did they taste heavenly. Really crispy outer layer with fragrant stuffings in it without any stinky oil taste. These tasted awesome. The Ebi Fry tasted really good too with the black sauce. Im not sure what sauce that was but PLEASE ASK FOR MORE OF IT. By the way, they’re 3 dollars each.

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4. Sake Bar by Tampopo and Asahi beer Stall (If you’re a fan of sake and alcohol, or underaged, you’ll be happy to know that they do sell alcoholic drinks here. The sake bar’s queue wasn’t that long so I decided to go for it and they’re not cheap. The sake tasting set costs $10 and their Sangria is gonna cost you $12.

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I was one of the last customer who got to try the Sake Sangria cause they were running low on syrups. Was told that they’ll have to close their stall to restock and that will take a whooping one hour. Customers were told to stay around and come back after an hour if you’d like to try the drinks. I feel sad for those who were queueing behind. They really need to stock up..

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I know it looks really nice… but HAHA maybe cause it was the last cup, there wasn’t enough syrup so it tasted quite bland. The Asahi beer stall is just beside them and Im not very sure but I didn’t see any non-alcoholic drinks. Hmm.. Get drunk and partehhhh~

5. Hokkaido Cream Stall (Another stall to look our for would be the Hokkaido Cream store. If you’re a fan of cheesecakes, you’re in for a treat. The Pudding Chous were OOS when I was still in line but I saw many enjoying them and their Mascarpone Cheese Cake ($4.50).

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I only managed to try their Cream Crepes ($3) and a Chocolate cake ($3.80) from Snaffles and they tasted really good. I like how the cream in their crepes weren’t too milky nor too sweet. They tasted fragrant and did not reek of vanilla essence. The texture of the cream was kinda stickier which complimented the thin crepes so very well. I can eat so many of this. You should really try the crepes!

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If you like dark chocolate like me then you should probably get the chocolate cake too!

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6. The Yakininu Stall (Here’s where you’ll find some grilled meat. I would very much like to try these but they were still marinating the chicken wings at 6pm and no one bought anything from this store yet. -.- I don’t know what to say.)

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7. Dangos Stall (Not a fan of Dangos ($2 per stick) cause they tastes kinda tasteless to me. I prefer our own Muah Chees but they do have a lot of different mochis here. Oh and Japanese moon cakes thats going at $3 too!)

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I overhead some teens saying “Wah you queue so long just to get that 8 pieces of rice balls ah!” HAHA. Im not sure if its exactly worth it. Anyway, Im guessing thats a red bean flavored mochi below? And it’s gonna cost you $2.80 a piece.

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8. The Japanese Fried Noodles Stall (Everyone seems to be aiming for this stall. The sweet potato looks really tempting and the noodles looks satisfying.)

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I wasn’t able to get the noodles sadly, cause it was like a 50 people queue and the cooking of the noodles took approximately 15-25 mins for 10 packs? I didn’t have an hour to do this so I gave up.  😦

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This stall sells a variety of food which includes the Takoyakis ($7), Sweet Potato ($10), Japanese Fried Noodles ($7), Japanese Egg Fried Noodles ($8) and the Japanese Pancakes ($8). Im afraid that I didn’t see anyone holding the Jap Pancakes when I was there so Im assuming that it was difficult to cope too since there’s such a long queue. Each stall has only a single-lined queue so, unfortunately, you’ll have to wait in line too even if you only wanted the sweet potatoes thats already lying there.

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9. The Mazesoba Stall (The Soba Noodles Stall had a okay queue but I didn’t try this cause I wasn’t a fan of spring onions and the sample looks horrifyingly spring onionish. HAHA. I saw many people trying this too, might be good.)

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Oh, there’s performances at the theatre area if you’re interested to just immerse in Jap culture. Heard that they were good.

So if you’re gonna visit:

  • Get ready for a massive crowd
  • Bring a good mood and ALOT of patience
  • Be prepared to queue for hours just to taste one dish
  • Give the games a miss unless you’re a SUPER JAP fan: Imagine queueing 2 hours for the games coupons and 1 hour for each game. You’re not gonna be able to cover much and you might end up not being able to try any food at all
  • Bring a portable fan: if not you’re gonna sweat like a dog
  • Bring an umbrella: in case of rain cause its a very open space
  • Mummies, your child’s pram just aren’t gonna be able to weave in
  • Teens, bring like another 6-8 friends so that you all can divide and conquer: the only way to get the best out of this is to queue for different food items, buy more and share later
  • Ladies, wear some comfy shoes, its gonna be hours of standing
  • Guys, don’t come in office wear, or you’re doomed
  • Get ready some good cameras or lights: if you’d like a picture cause its gonna be dark
  • Bring enough cash: or you’ll cry when you realize you’re out of money after 2 hours of queueing and its finally your turn. The nearest ATM is in the esplanade building btw.
  • Don’t come with an empty stomach in the hope that its gonna be filled quickly
  • Think of backup places to dine: in case the crowd is just too DETERRING
  • Think of backup places to dine: in case you only get to eat one dish after queueing for 3 hours and you’re fainting
  • Be ready for a lot of things going OOS very quickly: and you might just queue for nothing or have to wait 1 hour for their restock to happen
  • Make sure that you’re in the right queue cause the queues gonna BE MESSY

Verdict: Go only if you’re a super Jap fan or you’re okay with queueing hours for just a mouth of good food. If not, honestly, Taka will do.

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