3rd Annual Japanese Day Parade and Food Festival NYC-2024

BY: Liliana Rocio Suarez Salcedo, Senior Editor .    May 11th  2024

In 2007, Mr. Motoatsu Sakurai, who was then the Ambassador and Consul General of Japan in New York, called upon leading Japanese companies to create and sponsor a special event to celebrate the local communities, shared heritages, and cherished cultures of the Japanese-American people of New York.

Dr Adal with Shingo Kunieda Grand Marshall of the 2024 Parade

This event, named Japan Day @ Central Park, was held every May until 2019 when Japan Day achieved its thirteenth anniversary.

Dr Adal with MIKIO MORI Amb & Consulate General of Japan in NY

Japan Day @ Central Park featured booths where visitors could sample authentic Japanese cuisine, and engage in fun and educational activities like shodō (Japanese calligraphy) and origami.

Japanese ladies dressed in their cultural outfits

In addition to shows by local artists, the festival also presented performances from internationally recognized artists such as Sadao Watanabe, AKB48, and Puffy AmiYumi.

Dr Adal at Japanese Food Festival

Japan Day @ Central Park also partnered with the New York Road Runners to host the four-mile Japan Run, which became a qualifying event for the New York City Marathon.

Japan Airlines with staff on float

Like many events throughout New York City, Japan Day was deeply affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Though the 2020 event was unfortunately canceled, the event was adapted to a digital format in 2021 as the Japan Day 2021 Thank You Project.

Four-time Paralympic gold medalist Shingo Kunieda Grand Marshall of 3rd Annual Parade

After 2 years of postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic, Japan Day was reborn in 2022 as the Japan Parade and the Japan Street Fair.

Dr Adal with Larry J Rector Honorary Consul General of Japan in West Virgina & his wife

The parade route went southbound on Central Park West, beginning on West 81st Street and ending on West 67th Street. The street fair was held on 69th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.

Japanese Ladies enjoying Food Festival

The inaugural Japan Parade featured units that showcased traditional and modern Japanese culture such as taiko performers, bon-odori dancers, marchers wearing kimono, and martial arts teams of disciplines like karate and judo.

JAVA Members Marching

Other units included activists against anti-Asian hate, representatives of New York City like The Band of the City of New York Police Department, and a unit of Ukrainian-Americans led by the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America.

Kids taking pics with Hello Kitty

In total, Japan Parade 2022 had over 2,400 individual participants in 85 marching units, while a crowd of over 20,000 cheered them on. The Japan Street Fair became the spiritual successor of Japan Day @ Central Park, hosting food tents, activity tents, and tents like.

Japanese Artists Association of NYC

Japan Day @ Central Park, and now Japan Parade and Japan Street Fair, are organized by Japan Day Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Japan Day Inc. is led by a Board of Directors consisting of representatives from leading Japanese companies in New York.

Left Toshio Nomura Exec VP of ANA Airlines Presenting Grand Prize to winning Artist

The Japan Parade, Japan Street Fair, and Japan Day Inc.’s related activities are made possible by the support of the Japanese-American community, the Consulate General of Japan in New York, and the City of New York, through their sponsorships, donations, volunteers, and boundlessly generous cooperation.

Matcha n ‘ More Ice cream & Drink

Building on the great success of the last two years, the 3rd Japan Parade in New York City will be held on Saturday, May 11 2024. The purpose of the parade is to celebrate, express, and bring awareness to the friendship between NYC and Japan with a thank you from the Japanese community.

Live Performance start of the parade

3rd Annual parade opened up with Opening Performance by Soh Daiko, National Anthem of the United States of America by Sonya Balsara, National Anthem of Japan by Hirona Amamiya.

MIKIO MORI Amb leading the parade on Central Park West NYC

OPENING REMARKS were by Shingo Kunieda, Grand Marshal Wheelchair tennis star and four-time Paralympic gold medalist Shingo Kunieda was the Grand Marshal of the 3rd Japan Parade. , Ambassador Mikio Mori, Honorary Chairman, Japan Day Inc., Koichi Yamaguchi, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Officers, Japan Day Inc. Presentation of Proclamations by New York Governor’s office, Mayor Eric Adams, Assembly member and many more presentations. Emcee of the event was Sandra Endo, Fox 11 Good Day LA anchor.

Ron Kim – Assembly member with his daughter

Japan National Tourism Organization U.S.-Japan Tourism Year 2024”, spoke and Japan Parade Art Contest Winners and Prizes Announcement Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan’s Promotional Video.

Sandra Endo Emcee of the event

Cast of the 2.5D theater adaptation of internationally beloved manga/anime series “Demon Slayer” came from Japan and marched in the Parade.

Other marchers included: NYPD Horse Mounted Officers, Consulate General of Japan in NY, LED Truck, JAVA—Japanese American Veteran’s Association, The Japan Foundation, New York, Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. [Diamond Sponsor Float], Sojitz Corporation of America (Marchers), New York Japanese-American Lions Club, Waseda University New York Alumni Association, LGBT+ JAPAN, Japan National Tourism Organization, Float, and Tokyo-Frost Valley YMCA Partnership.

The Nippon Club Members marching

There were close to One Hundred different groups marching in the parade, with thousands of people lined up on Central park west. Enjoying the festivities.

The Japanese food festival was located on 72nd st and Columbus Avenue, which was awesome, you can try all kinds of Japanese foods, desserts, drinks and much more, some of the vendors who participated included: Beard Papa, KARLS BALLS, Ramen Kings, TORIE BEIN, Wagyu Man/Jetro, Matcha N’ More, and many more just to name a few.

Dr Adal with Japanese War Veterans

It was our 3rd attendance at the parade, we covered the parade when it originally started three years ago, it keeps getting, bigger and better every year.

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