While on Day 2 of my 4-Day adventure in Tokyo, Japan, much to my surprise, I just so happened to stumble on the 2014 American Festival taking place on Odaiba Island. Having lived in Southeast Asia for the past 2 years, I was excited about meeting other American expats, snacking on some mouthwatering American barbecue, and kicking back to some jamming live entertainment.
The festival was held on a large lawn adjacent to the gigantic Ferris wheel on the island. Riddled across the field were a number of chairs, tables, and booths selling everything from American souvenirs and commodities to food and beverage items such as pork chops, hot dogs, hamburgers, and popular beer brands from the States.
At the front sat a stage for live performances. Upon my arrival, a local choir group lead by an African-American expat was singing a lively rendition of “O Happy Day.” It was the first time that I had seen an Asian, Christian choir during my travels in Southeast Asia, and I found it quite interesting!
Later, everyone in tow was entertained by the insanely energetic tunes and performance from an underground American singer named Ray Dorsey. He was a blast!During his set he had everyone in the audience up out of their seats dancing in unity and having a fantastic time. The experience was so great in that it reminded me of life in America, where everyone—Black, White, Brown, Asian, etc.—can party and enjoy life together.
And I was surprised to see that in Japan, the locals were more open to mixing and mingling together with the expats, whereas I've seen locals in other regions of Southeast Asia, such as some areas of China, where they may choose to stay exclusive. Props to the singer Ray Dorsey; make sure you look him up!
I had an amazing time at the 2014 American Festival in Tokyo, Japan, and you can check out a short video of my experience there up above. Safe & happy travels!