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A Tokyo-Themed Summer At TPC

Here’s our lowdown on the buzz and activity at TPC’s Tokyo Summer Park.

Organised by Japan Rail Café and held from the 27th to 30th of June, the Tokyo Summer Park event provided visitors with four days of fun, food and festivities, channelling the spirit of urban living and bustle in Tokyo and bringing it straight to Tanjong Pagar Centre.

Festivities at the event included beer yoga sessions, dance performances by TRIQSTAR, and smooth tunes from DJ Shin. Festival-goers were also treated to a smorgasbord of Japanese street food and alcoholic beverages, including umeshu, amazake, onigiri and dango.

An introduction to beer yoga

Yoga purists may scoff at the idea of fusing an age-old practice with booze, but we say bring it on. A recent innovation that got popular in Berlin, the fitness craze has taken the world by storm, and it’s not difficult to see why.

With poses that integrate sips of beer with traditional yoga moves, stretches and poses, the activity is a laid-back, way of fusing two ancient methods of relieving stress and altering one’s state of mind.

Instructors and enthusiasts alike find that incorporating alcohol into a traditional practice helps to make a potentially daunting exercise more fun and less intimidating.

Fascinating Facts About Japanese Alcohol

Umeshu

A popular Japanese beverage that can be made at home, umeshu is a Japanese liqueur made by preserving green ume (Asian plum) fruits in alcohol and sugar.

Besides being delicious and a great beverage for those who don’t normally like liquor, the drink also helps to relieve constipation, prevent diarrhoea and stimulate the appetite. Now, who said drinking is bad for you?

 

Amazake

We’re all familiar with sake—the Japanese rice wine that’s pretty much world famous—but did you know that there’s a sweet variant of it called amazake?

Often drunk during winter-time in Japan, the beverage is made from steamed rice, water and the lees used to make sake. The drink was created more than 1,000 years ago.

 

Beer

Did you know that beer accounts for half of all alcohol consumption in Japan? The average Japanese annually consumes approximately 54 litres of beer. With quality brands like Kirin it’s not hard to see why.

Five Questions With DJ Shin

Hi DJ Shin, tell us more about yourself.

My name is Shinsuke Inoue. I’m 39 years old and I was born and raised in Japan. I got into music because of my older sister, who loves R&B and African-American music.

 

What was it like breaking into the industry?

I was 18 years old when I started DJ-ing. I just bought 2 turntables mixers and started practicing a lot. I was studying at the time, so I only had time to DJ at night, after my classes. The first competition I joined was actually DMC in Japan.

I used to experience stage fright when I first started DJ-ing, but I overcame that over time and with practice.

 

How has the DJ scene evolved since you started?

The DJ scene has evolved in terms of equipment. Years ago, we would use turntables. Now everybody uses CDJ, but I still use turntables and I’m not very comfortable using a CDJ. It’s very different from the turntable because it uses a more controlled and precise technique.

There was one time I was playing a show at Somerset and there was a turn table on my left side and a CDJ on my right side. Halfway through the set, the turntable malfunctioned and I had to use the CDJ. That made me a little nervous because it was my first time using it.

 

Who inspires you as a DJ?

My biggest inspiration is DJ A-Trak. When he was only 14 years old, he entered DMC and won it. I really look up to him because he is very diverse with his style. When I’m producing a new track, I find inspiration from all different kinds of genres like hip hop, R&B and bossa nova. I try to hear what fits and I just blend it into a track.

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring DJs?

Just have a love for music. Having a real passion for music is the most important thing.

Have you always wanted to visit Japan? Pay a visit to Tanjong Pagar Centre, and have a chat with the good folk at Japan Rail Café, who’ll be happy to help you learn more about Japan.

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