Cikarang, West Java. Lippo Cikarang hosted its sixth annual Sakura Matsuri Culture Festival at Orange County in Cikarang, West Java, on the weekend, April 8-9.
"Orange County, the hub of Jakarta's Eastern Corridor, offers the city's Japanese community a place to live, do business and hold cultural activities," Lippo Cikarang's President Director Toto Bartholomeus said on Saturday.
He said around 12,000 expatriates now reside in Lippo Cikarang's industrial township. Around 60 percent of them are Japanese.
Lippo Cikarang and the nearby industrial parks are home to thousands of Japanese company offices and factories.
The sakura festival was organized by KAJI, a group of Indonesian students who had studied in universities in Japan.
"Lippo Cikarang has enjoyed the patronage of many Japanese investors. Sanko Soflan Holdings has purchased Burbank, our fourth apartment tower at Orange County. Glendale Park and Newport Park, our fifth and sixth towers, are joint ventures between Lippo Group and Mitsubishi Corporation. We will continue to create new Indonesia-Japan partnerships to drive the two countries closer together," Toto said.
One of the latest developments in Orange County is the Hikari Japanese School, which caters to children of Japanese expatriates living in Cikarang and nearby areas.
The festival was attended by Japan Foundation Director General Norihisa Tsukamoto, Japan External Trade Organization (Jetro) Senior Director Katsuya Yoshioka, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) Executive Director Hideki Tomioka, Jakarta Japan Club Secretary General Yoichi Tomizaqa, Cikarang-Japan Club Chairman Itsuyo Kobayashi and a representative from Japan's Overseas Human Resources and Industry Development Association (HIDA), Intan Wada.
In Japan, Sakura Matsuri is an annual festival to celebrate the cherry blossom season in April. The Sakura Matsuri in Orange County also featured cherry blossoms in full bloom.
More visitors have been coming to the festival over the years. 40,000 people came in 2015, 80,000 in 2016 and this year the organizer expected no fewer than 100,000 visitors.
The festival also featured a Japan Culture Corner, Japanese bazaar, Mister and Miss Sakura competition, Japanese karaoke contest, Japanese speaking competition and a cosplay competition.
Guess stars included Japanese musician Yumi Akimoto, J-Pop band Lumina Scarlet from Bandung and headliner Festive & Addiction, another band from Japan.