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Monday, November 11, 2013

Japan: Big in Bangkok

A weekend spent in Bangkok showed Japan is BIG in the Thai capital.

The Gateway Ekamai shopping mall on 982/22 Sukhumvit Road is right in front of Bangkok's Ekamai station. The Gateway Ekamai is famous as "little Japan" in Bangkok, advertised by among other things the massive lucky maneki-neko beckoning cats out the front. An hour or so there on Saturday more than confirmed that reputation for Japaneseness.

The ground floor was chockablock with Thai kids, many in the quirky cosplay fad that Japan has made famous. There was a Japanese-style boy-band doing its slick synchronized dance thing on a raised floodlit stage.

And the energy level! Whatever floor we were on, the high-energy buzz of the huge, excited young crowd of Thai guys and girls made itself heard throughout.

Gateway Ekamai is full of Japanese-themed shops, stores, restaurants and stalls selling everything from Hello Kitty to takoyaki to Hokkaido milk to sushi.

If you find yourself in Bangkok, check out Thailand's take on Japan at the Gateway Ekamai.

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