On Friday the 10th of May 2019 Tomato Travel has their first ever launch event. It started to rain but after fifteen minutes or so the sun was shining and we had an opening to begin our event. Our event started at 12:00pm and finished around 3:00pm in the Rose Garden and Pavilion at the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney, Australia. A stunning a event space to show off our healthy, innovative and excellence to our partner's friends, media coverage, agents, ambassadors and customers. Our Tomato Travel Team worked together in every aspect to bring about this event and execute many interesting activities that were focused around Japanese culture.
First up we had some key speeches from our MC, Amy and our Managing Director, Derek Lam. Derek introduced our company, our staff and shared with everyone our vision for the future of Tomato Travel. Derek identified Tomato Travel's new era after Reiwa in Japan and officially launched our brand. Derek believes that some day Tomato Travel will be quite a fast growing and bigger company than some commonly known brands in the world. Derek is ready for new era of Tomato Travel!
To further mark the launch of Tomato Travel we had a traditional Kagami Biraki Sake Ceremony.
In Japan, during parties or ceremonies they have a special traditional ceremony known as kagami biraki which translates to 'opening the lid'. Kagami refers to the lid of the sake and biraki means to open. Due to the lid's round shape, the kagami is a symbol of harmony. The kagami-biraki, therefore represents an opening to harmony and good fortune.
1...2...3! and they hit the lid of the sake barrel to celebrate the launch of Tomato Travel. We then passed out the sake cups and masu wooden cups to everyone and we did a toast! Kanpai or cheers to Tomato Travel.
From there, we had two local Sydney Taiko drummers come up to the stage to show off their taiko drumming skills. Graham and Nerida from YuNiOn a local Sydney Taiko drumming company did a performance for us that went for around 10 minutes and everyone was astounded by it.
Taiko is an ancient form of percussion using large drums. The drums range from a slung drum (katsugi okedo) to drums as large as a car (odaiko). During the 1900's taiko drumming became a musical art form that involved a musical ensemble and tightly coregraphed movements. This is Taiko as we know it today!
Graham and Nerida began with the slung drum (katsugi okedaiko) first for a few minutes. Katsugi Okedaiko features are controlled warm tones and an elegantly finished drum shell with a contemporary Japanese artwork.
After a few minutes they changed over to the Hirado Odaiko and played in syncrony. An outstanding performance showcasing one of the best and most interesting Japanese art forms you have heard of. Absolutely amazing!
After Graham and Nerida's performance we had one customer get up and try hitting the taiko drum in sync with Graham. This customer really enjoyed this and we were happy to share this experience with them.
Our customers can book a Taiko experience through our website or contact our staff today for further information.
After this wonderful performance we had some networking time and allowed our customers to speak with our staff and industry partners. Some customers leaving for Japan around this time and later in the year came along to get some advice and feedback for their travel. Everyone enjoyed chatting, eating, drinking and moving around the stunning gardens.
Our partners ANA (All Nippon Airways), Brent came up and spoke about ANA and gave away an airbus model to one our customers. CZ (China Southern Airlines) also gave away an airbus model to a lucky customer. Thank you to both ANA and CZ for being apart of our launch event!
We then had amazing prizes and competitions for guests to take part in. We asked our guests some questions in order to win the prizes! We gave away two Tomato backpacks, our Traditional Japan by Rail tour for 2 people and our Kyoto Hike and Bike tour for 2 people. Our winners are as below:
Derek wrapped up the day for us and we all finished with big smiley grins as we launched Tomato Travel and we were ready for the next stage of our future!
Stay tuned and check out this space for future updates!