BKK48 (48 hours in Bangkok): Japan Expo in Thailand, 2018

Japan Expo Thailand is – combined with Japan Festa Bangkok – Asia’s biggest celebration of all things Japanese. Half a million people expected over 3 days? Yeah, that’s huge. For an expo running for only the 4th time in 2018, that’s massive.

So of course we were at the 2018 Thai expo to run promo. Some of us, anyway.

The rest of us stayed in Osaka, to keep the website and warehouse running. Sometimes, those sacrifices gotta be made. But everyone who visited the expo had a chance to meet (part of) the DEJAPAN team. If you didn’t catch us there, here’s what happened.

Japanese-Thai fusion, with kawaii sprinkles on top

The expo was split up into zones. Anime, arts and culture, food, music, entertainment, business, study, you name it. Our stand was in an area called ‘Japan Scramble’. A name that mentally preps you for a weekend with thousands of Japan fans.

We weren’t in the ‘Taste Of Japan’ zone with 30+ Japanese restaurants, but we did take snacks. If there’s anything that gets people lining up, it’s free food. We chose a bunch of weird, cool, fun Japan-only foods and flavours to make special snack boxes. Some stuff you’d recognise straight away – Pocky, Cup Noodles, Popin’ Cookin’, and Calbee crunchy snacks.

And we handed out some wasabi pistachios, matcha KitKats, and the latest seasonal ‘sakura kinako’ KitKats as well. Lucky people who visited us during the Expo got to try some. A taster of what can be ordered from Japan online – sure, it’s a terrible pun, but delicious.

Over in the Anime & Game zone, we heard there were people trying on yukatas, and chilling at the Rilakkuma cafe. Maybe not both at the same time. As our Kei-chan knows, spilling coffee on a yukata is a nightmare.

Linking the world with J-Pop (and glowsticks)

The guest artist list for the weekend looked fun. AKB48 was an obvious choice, but hey. And then we found the “Tokyo Crazy KawaiixGirls Bomb!!” stage. No kidding. That stage hosted Ange Reve, The World Standard, and many more super genki girls.

And THEN… then all the idol cover dance groups rocked up. They danced along to all the kawaii pop, from Hello! Project to the 46/48 groups, from Vocaloid to Aqours, and from Johnny’s Entertainment to Cheeky Parade. If you love J-idols, this year’s expo was heaven sent.

With loads of artists across 4 stages, some performances went on til 10pm. The Sumida Jazz Festival set lasted 6 hours. That’s like getting a whole summer festival for the ticket price.

Finding and buying Japanese CDs, concerts DVDs/Blu-rays, tour merch and Japan-exclusive goods online is something we can help you with, by the way…


It’s been a great time, and time well spent for us – hundreds of people discovered DEJAPAN over the weekend. Welcome! If you’re not signed up already, head over to our website and make a free account.

Did you visit Japan Expo Thailand 2018 (and find us there)? Wanna see us show up again next year, or visit a Japan-themed event closer to you… with more KitKats? Leave a comment below, or send us an email.

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