Finding a piece of home at Japan Summer Festival
Although it was her sixth time attending the annual Japan Summer Festival, or Natsu Matsuri, in Singapore, this year is special.
A fan of Japanese culture since her junior college days, Miss Diyana Atan, 24, got to experience the event with her Japanese boyfriend of eight months, Mr Ryotaro Kubota, an Osaka native who came to Singapore 1½ years ago.
The Singaporean law undergraduate told The New Paper: "This year, instead of me focusing solely on appreciating Japanese culture, I also wanted to ensure that he doesn't miss his home too much."
The event used to be held at the Changi campus of The Japanese School Singapore before moving to the National Stadium.
This year's Japan Summer Festival - the 31st annual edition - drew a crowd of nearly 32,000 visitors over the weekend.
Organised in collaboration with The Japanese Association, Singapore, this is the second year it was hosted by the Singapore Sports Hub.
There were more than 100 booths showcasing authentic Japanese food and beverages, merchandise and games.
Activities included the Bon Odori dance, musical stage performances, the Pokemon Carnival and Pikachu Dance Parade.
Miss Diyana was also glad to find Fu-Men at the premises, a halal udon and donburi stall.
"As a Muslim, I didn't have to think twice about purchasing from the stall. What's more, the stall owner was Japanese so I was not worried about the authenticity," she said.
For Mr Kubota, it was his second time at the Japan Summer Festival, which presented opportunities to meet fellow Japanese expats.
The 29-year-old business consultant said: "There were also a lot more shops this year and it is heartening to see so many Singaporeans enjoy Japanese culture."