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Live: Vietnam Pho Festival 2023 kicks off today in Japan

Live: Vietnam Pho Festival 2023 kicks off today in Japan

Saturday, October 07, 2023, 09:09 GMT+7
Live: Vietnam Pho Festival 2023 kicks off today in Japan
Tuoi Tre Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Le The Chu gives remarks at the Vietnam Pho Festival 2023 at Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan on October 7, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

The Vietnam Phở Festival 2023 kicked off at 11:00 am today (Japanese time) at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo, promising to offer pho fans a memorable two-day event full of pho aroma over the weekend. 

Booths featuring Vietnamese pho line along a road at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo on October 7, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
Booths featuring Vietnamese pho line along a path at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo on October 7, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

The event aims to enhance the global recognition of Vietnamese culinary culture, particularly the Southeast Asian country’s popular beef noodle soup.

It marks a significant milestone in celebrating the seventh edition of the ‘Day of Pho’ (December 12), initiated and annually held by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper to honor the world-renowned dish since 2017.

The festival also serves as a tangible commemoration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Japan.

A volunteer instructs a visitor to the Vietnam Pho Festival 2023 at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo on October 7, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
A volunteer instructs a visitor to the Vietnam Pho Festival 2023 at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo on October 7, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Speaking at the opening ceremony on Saturday, Tuoi Tre's Editor-in-Chief Le The Chu said since the Day of Pho started seven years ago, the organizers had always planned for a pho event abroad with Japan being on the top list of priorities.

"What is special about Vietnamese pho? Why do Vietnamese people call pho their national dish? What are the similarities between two famous dishes of Vietnam and Japan - pho and ramen noodles? All those questions will be answered by famous pho chefs from Vietnam that the organizers have invited to Tokyo," Chu said.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Pham Quang Hieu expressed his pride to participate in organizing the Vietnam Pho Festival 2023.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Pham Quang Hieu gives remarks at the Vietnam Pho Festival 2023 at Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan on October 7, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Pham Quang Hieu gives remarks at the Vietnam Pho Festival 2023 at Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan on October 7, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

According to him, for a long time, culinary festivals have always been the most ideal venues for cultural exchange, where participants can easily find the bond between different countries.

He also pointed out that Vietnamese cuisine has always been attractive to the Japanese people.

"At today's festival, Vietnamese and Japanese people have the opportunity to fully experience the flavor of pho - the culinary quintessence blended with cultural values, history and homeland flavors," he said.

Aoyagi Yoichiro, a member of Japan's House of Representatives, opened his remarks by greeting event-goers in Vietnamese “Xin chao cac ban.”

"Cultural exchange activities are promoting closer relationships between the two countries. Personally, I love eating pho. Today, let's enjoy pho together," he said.

Aoyagi Yoichiro, member of Japan's House of Representatives, gives remarks at the Vietnam Pho Festival 2023 at Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan on October 7, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
Aoyagi Yoichiro, member of Japan's House of Representatives, gives remarks at the Vietnam Pho Festival 2023 at Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan on October 7, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Chief Representative of Japan's Komeito party Yamaguchi Natsuo also believed that the Vietnam Pho Festival 2023 will deepen the relationship between Vietnam and Japan.

In August, he had the opportunity to return to Vietnam after 32 years and visit Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

Chief Representative of Japan's Komeito party Yamaguchi Natsuo attends the Vietnam Pho Festival 2023 at Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan on October 7, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
Chief Representative of Japan's Komeito party Yamaguchi Natsuo attends the Vietnam Pho Festival 2023 at Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan on October 7, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

According to him, Vietnam has changed a lot with modern, high-rise buildings and structures as well as a more dynamic pace of life. However, one thing that doesn't change is the taste of pho. "They are still exactly as they were 32 years ago," he said.

Tuoi Tre Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Le The Chu (second from right) welcomes Japanese politicians to the Vietnam Pho Festival at Yoyogi Park on October 7, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
Tuoi Tre Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Le The Chu (second from right) welcomes Japanese politicians to the Vietnam Pho Festival at Yoyogi Park on October 7, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam Pho Festival 2023 is co-hosted by Tuoi Tre and Saigontourist Group, with backing from the Vietnamese Embassy in Japan - the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Vietnam-Japan Friendship Association, and Japanese partners.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Pham Quang Hieu (first from right), Chairman of the Board of Members of Saigontourist Group Pham Huy Binh (first from left), and Tuoi Tre Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Le The Chu (center) meet at the the Vietnam Pho Festival at Yoyogi Park on October 7, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Pham Quang Hieu (first from right), Chairman of the Board of Members of Saigontourist Group Pham Huy Binh (first from left), and Tuoi Tre Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Le The Chu (center) meet at the the Vietnam Pho Festival at Yoyogi Park on October 7, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

The Vietnam Pho Festival 2023 sees the participation of famous pho brands from Vietnam, as well as winners of the ‘Hoa Hoi Vang’ (Golden Star Anise), an award granted each year during the 'Day of Pho' to honor pho chefs from across Vietnam.

The chefs had spent the whole night earlier preparing the ingredients, with a total of 170 kilograms of beef bones and 150 kilograms of beef being cooked and sliced till early morning before being transferred to Yoyogi Park on Saturday.

According to the plan, on the opening day of October 7, thousands of pho bowls will be served to event-goers. 

A huge broth pot is being cooked for the Vietnam Pho Festival 2023 a night before it kicks off on October 7, 2023 at Yoyogi Park. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
A huge broth pot is being cooked for the Vietnam Pho Festival 2023 a night before it kicks off on October 7, 2023 at Yoyogi Park. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
Pho noodles are frozen and transported to Tokyo for the Vietnam Pho Festival 2023 at Yoyogi Park on October 7 and 8, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
Pho noodles are frozen and transported to Tokyo for the Vietnam Pho Festival 2023 at Yoyogi Park on October 7 and 8, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

"As a press agency with large coverage in Vietnam, we always care about promoting and raising awareness on Vietnamese cultural values, as well as connecting with other cultures,” Le The Chu, editor-in-chief of Tuoi Tre, co-head of the festival's organizing committee, said.

"With this Vietnam Pho Festival 2023, we hope, through pho, to introduce Vietnam's unique cultural values, as well as to promote the images and economic potential of Vietnam to the Japanese people.

“The event also helps Vietnamese people and businesses explore the cuisine, culture and business opportunities in Japan. 

“Thereby, [it can] contribute to boosting cultural exchange and cohesion as well as economic relations between Vietnam and Japan.” 

Vietnam Pho Festival 2023's ambassadors Miss Intercontinental 2022 Le Nguyen Bao Ngoc (left) and Vietnam's top swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien enjoy pho at the festival at Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan on October 7, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
Vietnam Pho Festival 2023's ambassadors Miss Intercontinental 2022 Le Nguyen Bao Ngoc (right) and Vietnam's top swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien enjoy pho at the festival at Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan on October 7, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
Event-goers visit a booth at the Vietnam Pho Festival 2023 at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo before it kicks off on October 7, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
Event-goers visit a booth at the Vietnam Pho Festival 2023 at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo before it kicks off on October 7, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
A booth of Pho Thin Bo Ho at the Vietnam Pho Festival 2023 at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo on October 7, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
A booth of Pho Thin Bo Ho at the Vietnam Pho Festival 2023 at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo on October 7, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

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