Japan & Me

Heidy Kim

Heidy Kim
Occupation: Student

You're on the organising committee for Kodomo no Hi Japan Festival. Can you tell us about that?

I visited Kodomo no Hi festival in the past, and also volunteered in 2023, helping out in the origami area. I enjoyed every time I visited the festival and helped others to also enjoy the festival. I joined the subcommittee this year to experience behind the scenes of a large-scale cultural festival that I adore. My role in the subcommittee is the social media manager, where I coordinate what to post, when to post, promote our festival, update the website, etc. I thought that this position would help me in the future with my career, relating to a marketing and design field. I'm learning more than I expected through this opportunity!

What did you do when you were in Japan?

I've only been on holidays to Japan twice- once in 2016 and again during the winter holidays in 2023. We stayed in Tokyo for around 3 weeks, visiting Asakusa, Shibuya and Ginza. We went around to places we were interested in, like Kamakura, Yokohama and also Nerima for the Harry Potter Studio Tour. Since my sister and I had similar interests, a lot of activities we did revolved around our preferred food, pop culture and hobbies.

Can you tell me about a place you like in Japan?

I really enjoyed Jimbocho in Japan. It had lots of bookshops, cute stationery stores and cafes. We found a nice book cafe where you can order drinks and read a book. It was really quiet there, some people were studying and some people were chatting to the baristas downstairs. I really liked the atmosphere of friendliness and a calm nature. I also really enjoyed the Harry Potter Studio Tour since Adelaide doesn't have a tour like that! It made me immersed into the series even more and learn the scenes from the backstage.

What interests you about Japan?

If it was a few years ago, I'd say pop culture like anime, manga and the songs. But recently, I've been more interested in the designs- posters around subways, magazine covers and the graphic design elements all around. I've collected many freebies of booklets and postcards with amazing graphics during my trip. I've also been into Japanese fashion and make-up. Everyone was wearing cute and cozy clothes that I wanted to buy for myself.

How is life in Japan different to life in your home country?

In the aspect of fashion- I realised most people in Japan dress up in their daily life. Whereas, in Adelaide, if I dress up, it seems like it's a very very special occasion. I'd say that was one thing that I noticed.

Can you tell us something memorable about your time in Japan?

Something memorable was going to Kiwamiya in Ueno. It was a Yakiniku restaurant that was located right underneath the train rail tracks. We could feel the vibrations and the sound whenever the trains passed. The yakiniku was also very yummy and the whole atmosphere was just great!

Kodomo no Hi Japan Festival will be held at Thebarton Community Centre from 11 am on Sunday, 5th May 2024.