Get ready this year on 10th March at the Esplanade for another year of Penang Yosakoi Parade! The Parade returns to Penang this year for the 6th time and it is going to be bigger than ever! During the Yosakoi Parade, people of Penang use inspiration from Japanese culture to showcase their creativity and talent. Among this year’s highlights event will be the softball demo and workshop, mochitsuki & FREE omochi tasting, FREE photography workshop, and Hanagasa dance. Due to popular demand, the tug-o-war friendly dance competition will be repeated as well this year! Also, the number of the dancing teams are doubled !

The event starts at 5pm at Esplanade, Padang Kota Lama where the rows of food stalls offer the best of Japanese and Penang cuisine to parade-goers. There are many food options to choose from including Hokkaido cakes and Creeps, East meets West Yakitori, Stick Arts, Tea Tac Toe and Moku Moku, Sushi Rakuten, Poco Gourmet Popcorns and more. If you are fan of BBQ bacon and pork burgers, there will be some of those too!

As a visitor, you will be transported to famous streets of Japan simulated on an open field. At 6pm the dancing begins. You can expect unique and beautiful costumes and one of a kind dance moves from both Japanese and local troupes. Dance performances are inspired by both Northern and Southern Japan, and you may join in with the performers yourself if you’re up for it! Once you feel like you are all “danced out”, as we all do sometimes, you can take a few minutes to enjoy the famous Japanese drumming! Does it get more exciting than that? Yes! It does.

If dancing is not your strongest suit, you will still be able to participate in the event. The famous tug-of-war is expected to measure up to two kilometres long this year and as it does get so competitive, feel free to bring a friend to cheer you on as you are competing! And just when you thought it doesn’t get any better than that, the lucky draw starts! Thai Airways will make sure that one lucky visitor will win a pair of return tickets to Japan. You can buy a ticket for RM10 and drop it in the box placed on the information counter at the event and hope for the best. There will also be a Skateboard Open competition at 9pm, with competitors from Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia as well as Malaysia.

The Penang Yosakoi Parade starts on March 10th 2018 at 5pm at Penang Esplanade, Padang Kota Lama. If you are driving, carparks will be available at Lebuh Downing, Lebuh Pantai, Lebuh Union, Lebuh Gereja and Tanjung Marina. Avoid Fort Cornwallis and Lebuh Duke carparks as it will be closed to the public. Every year, Penang Yosakoi Parade offers its visitors a different cultural experience. So, make sure to clear your schedule and enjoy the eating the food, watching the magnificent costumes and one of a kind dances in beautifully decorated streets.

More information and updates are available at

By Mojdeh Zarbakhsh

All photos courtesy of Fongtenby Photography