Japan culture expo kicks off in Bangkok

Thousands of people are gathering in central Bangkok at a sprawling expo of Japanese food and culture.

The "Nippon Haku," or Japan exhibition, kicked off at a shopping mall in the city's busy Siam district. It features more than 300 exhibitors including Japanese restaurants.
The menus range from comfort-food pancakes, or "okonomiyaki," to high-end wagyu beef.

Japan has been rolling back its entry restrictions to travelers since last year. Potential tourists said how much they want to visit the country.

One visitor to the expo, who used to go to Japan every year, said he came to the event to bring back memories.

Exhibitors from Japan's provinces have been making the most of the chance to stir the interest of Thai people.
Officials from Gunma Prefecture north of Tokyo highlighted their attractions, including hot spring baths and snowy landscapes.

Minakami Town official Maruyama Hiroshi said he had high hopes many tourists will return, since the pandemic was finally coming under control.

The organizers expect around 100-thousand people to visit the three-day event, a big increase over last year.