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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Japanese "food fighter" in KK, takes down meals in mere minutes

KOTA KINABALU - She may be petite but she can down heavy meals in the blink of an eye. Yuri Ishizeki’s love for food has taken everyone by surprise as she effortlessly devoured four heavy local meals in just 20 minutes.

The 31-year-old professional make-up artist from the Gunma prefecture in Japan is in the state capital to sample the many local delights and visit Sabah’s top attractions.

Standing at 164cm tall, Yuri is a famous YouTuber known as a “food fighter”, one of Japan’s many champion competitive eaters.

A popular Japanese pop icon, she occasionally appears on a Japanese television programme titled Food Fight, where individuals like Yuri compete and showcase their ability to eat as much food as they can within a set timeframe.

Food fighters consider their ability to put away plates of food a sport and will try to outdo their competitors to get the title or win prizes.

At one of her visits to a local coffee house in the city, she had a bowl of laksa soup noodles, ngiu chap (beef noodles), kon lou mee (dry noodles), and claypot rice, all of which she polished off in just 20 minutes. - NST

During her visit here, she has also sampled a wide variety of seafood, nasi lemak, beef rendang, wan tan hor, Asian pasta, durian pancake, and bak kut teh.

Yuri’s visit to the state is hosted by Sabah Tourism Board (STB) and her presence here is hoped to further promote Sabah among tourists in Japan.

STB chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said Japan remains a big market for Sabah as it is only separated by a six-hour flight.

“Japanese visitors traditionally love our natural attractions but we also have to look at other ways to attract them here especially in the digital age. We have been doing this using our own social media brand ‘Kota Kinako’,” he said.

He added, as Yuri is a popular YouTuber and blogger, STB has identified her and chose to work with Tourism Malaysia Japan to bring her in to promote the state.

“Malaysia Airlines Berhad has sponsored her and another travel blogger, Yuko Arakawa, to (visit) Sabah.”

During her stay here, Yuri will be dropping by the city’s top attractions in between meals.

“I come from the interior of Japan, which is very far from the sea. I feel like a movie star,” she said while taken on a sunset cruise in the city.

Yuri also said she enjoyed trying out new meals that are different from her country, adding travelling enables her to learn about food favoured by the locals.

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