Japan Day Festival at Central Park has been an annual event designed by NYC’s Japanese community to introduce Japanese culture to New York and to honor its rich art, tradition, and food—and this year, there will be an exciting parade!
NYC has long seen parades commemorating all types of heritage, but the Japan Parade will be the city’s first to honor Japan’s culture and lifestyle.
The Japan Parade will be held in Central Park on Saturday, May 14 (coinciding with AAPI Month). The first ever Japan Parade was originally set to march in 2020, but the pandemic led to its unfortunate cancellation.
However, two years later, the community can celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Japanese mission led by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Iwakura Tomomi in 1872. This significant historical event was ultimately responsible for developing relations between U.S. and Japan, along with establishing the Japan consulate in NYC.
“We are delighted to bring this two-year project to fruition. The purpose of the Japan Parade is to further promote friendship between the U.S. and Japan, to express gratitude to New York City, and to strengthen the solidarity of the Japanese-American community on this milestone anniversary,” shared their website.
The parade will feature Japanese sword fighting, traditional folk dance, Young People’s Chorus of New York City and so much more.
In years past, Japan Day Festival has consisted of a mini-marathon, incredible stage performances, sampling of popular Japanese cuisine, and other fun, family-friendly activities!
Furthermore, Japan Day Festival at Central Park always holds an art contest to create the event’s official posters, flyers, and programs. The Japan Day Art Contest first began in 2012, and has been a favorite tradition ever since.
Winners will receive round-trip tickets to Japan for two, a night at Ogawa-Shou (a Japanese-style bed and breakfast in CT), and brand watches. Though the submission deadline for this year has passed, creatives can begin looking forward to next year’s contest.
Find out more about the epic Japan Day Festival coming to NYC on their website here.
Where: Central Park West 81st to 68 Streets
When: Japan Parade on Saturday, May 14th starting at 1 p.m.