Japanese Festivals in America

12 May

It seems that there are a number of Japanese festivals in America at various times of the year and in various cities around America.

I’d like to attend a Japanese festival in America and see how similar or different it is from a real Japanese festival!

Have you ever been to a Japanese festival in America (or another country)? How was it?

I found information online about a few Japanese festivals in different U.S. cities:

  • Japan Fest, Atlanta (Georgia, USA)


    2009年9月19日(土曜日)から9月20日(日曜日)まで。 (Saturday, 19 September 2009 – Sunday. 20 September).

    All of the Japanese festivals in America that I found online have already finished this year…except this one.
    If you’re in Atlanta, Georgia USA this September 19 -20, you should consider checking out this festival.

    They have scheduled martial arts shows, 盆栽 (bonsai), 生花 (ikebana), アニメ (anime), Japanese food, etc.

  • The Japan-America Society Of Houston (Texas, USA)


    This festival was held in Texas, USA on 2009年4月25日から4月26日まで。 (2009 April 25-26).

    Do you go to it?

  • National Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington D.C. (USA)


    This year’s festival in Washington D.C. was held on 2009年3月28日から4月12日まで。 (2009 March 28 – April 12).

    Next year’s will be 2010年3月27日から4月11日まで。 (2010 March 27 – April 11).

    Did you go to this festival? Are you planning to go next year?

    I heard about this festival on the TV news here in Japan because Jero performed at it this year (I wrote a post about it last March. Click here to read it).

  • Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia (USA)


    This year’s festival was on 2009年4月5日。 (2009 April 5).

There are many international festivals in Tokyo…

But I never knew there were so many Japanese festivals in America before. When I lived in America, I never heard about any Japan festivals. Are they a fairly recent* occurence? (* by recent, I mean since 1990.)
Is it because there’s currently a “Japan boom” in America?
Have you been to a Japan festival?

28 Responses to “Japanese Festivals in America”

  1. tokyo5 July 18, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    Also, the Japan Fest in Atlanta, Georgia, USA will take place this September (2013) again:



  2. Beverly Washichek July 18, 2013 at 2:24 am #

    Be sure to visit the Arizona Matsuri. It is always on the last weekend of February, and is ranked in one of the top 5 Japanese festivals in the USA. Vendors travel all the way from Hawaii to be part of this festival (as well as many other states). Three stages are going full time for two days with shows, demonstrations and lots of music. There is lots of food – everything from authentic Japanese “Matsuri food” to Teriyaki Tacos.
    The beer garden is a huge hit! The festival also offers YO Matsuri (evening Matsuri) in the beer garden. Cos-play is a big hit. The Matsuri starts with a parade on Saturday morning. http://www.azmatsuri.org. Check it out!


    • tokyo5 July 18, 2013 at 8:40 am #

      Looks like fun! If I was in that area, I’d definitely check it out!

      What are “teriyaki tacos”, by the way?


  3. Glazier-Chan! February 7, 2013 at 1:28 am #

    I would looovvvveeee to go to a さくら festival! I heard it’s so beautiful (:


    • tokyo5 February 7, 2013 at 7:40 am #

      Yes, cherry blossoms are beautiful.
      Do you plan to visit Japan one day?

      Do you live in America?
      America has Japanese-style 花見 (cherry blossom viewing) festivals in some cities.


      • Glazier-Chan! February 7, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

        I do live in America, I hope one day I can visit Japan (:


      • tokyo5 February 8, 2013 at 12:33 am #

        What part of America do you live in?


      • Glazier-Chan! February 8, 2013 at 1:21 am #

        I live in Ohio, I don’t think there’s many festavals here


      • tokyo5 February 8, 2013 at 7:27 am #

        If you want to know, contact your city’s Japanese Consulate and ask them.
        I’m sure they’d know.

        Sometimes the “old school” way of finding information works better!


  4. ben December 17, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    That’s why I love Japan so much. There are so many festivals throughout the year and every area has its own unique spin on it too. Unfortunately, the Uk (where I am from) does not embrace Japanese culture like the Americans so we don’t have any Japanese festivals. Well, none that I know of.


    • tokyo5 December 18, 2011 at 12:41 am #

      >the Uk …does not embrace Japanese culture

      Really? Not only America, but I’ve heard that Japanese culture is very popular in France too.
      But, it’s not popular in England?

      >we don’t have any Japanese festivals.

      That’s too bad. Isn’t there a “Little Tokyo” area in London? If so, they might have Japanese festivals there.


  5. Tristan September 20, 2009 at 6:13 am #

    The Philadelphia I went to is, I believe to have started in the 1980’s. It was really awesome, especially the harajuku, cosplayers, and the gothic lolita people.


    • tokyo5 September 21, 2009 at 12:59 pm #

      Do they have Harajuku style “cosplay” at the Japan Fest in Philadelphia?
      Do you go every year?


  6. Akita August 25, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    I went to JapanFest last year with my mommy. It was so much fun and I really enjoyed myself. The people were so nice and humble and they make you feel very welcomed and appreciated. They bring you into their culture and willingly share it with you. I’m going again this year instead of attending the Anime Weekend Atlanta event at the Cobb Galleria. I honestly like Japan Fest more because it deals to closely with the culture. This year I plan to but a kimono from there and more jade bracelets. I highly recommend JP Fest for anyone in the Atlanta area in Sep. who’s interested in in it ^^


    • tokyo5 August 25, 2009 at 6:17 pm #

      >I highly recommend JP Fest

      According to their website, that festival will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, USA on September 19-20 (2009).


  7. tokyo5 July 8, 2009 at 12:22 am #

    On the TV news here today, they showed a big three-day Japan Expo in Paris, France that’s in it’s tenth year now.

    The Paris Japan Expo website is:


  8. Raymond July 6, 2009 at 5:47 pm #

    one in St.Louis MO


  9. Brenda May 16, 2009 at 7:17 pm #

    I’ve been to the Atlanta festival twice. It’s fun, though of course it can’t compare to a real festival in Japan!


    • tokyo5 May 16, 2009 at 8:23 pm #

      Were there alot of people at that festival?


  10. gaijinnosekai May 15, 2009 at 1:35 am #

    Japanese food in general seems to be quite popular these days, but I’m not sure how it is outside of London (in my home town there are still no Japanese restaurants). A lot of upmarket places have opened in the big cities and there’s even kaitenzushi but I’d say most of them are pretty ‘westernised. ‘ There’s the Japan centre in London which is run by Japanese though, and they sell freshly prepared sushi and onigiri and also a lot of products imported from Japan (cup ramen, miso soup, tea, that kinda stuff) There is also a genuine style okonomiyaki restaurant which is always full whenever I pass it, it’s run by Japanese also. Unfortunately I have never eaten there, I would like to soon though. Probably the most popular Japanese food in England is sushi, yo! sushi is a western style kaitenzushi place and also ‘wasabi’ and ‘samurai sushi’ are popular chains.


    • tokyo5 May 16, 2009 at 8:21 pm #

      When I was growing up in America, Japanese food wasn’t well-known or popular at all.

      I looked at that link you wrote about “Yo! Sushi“. Their logo is obviously the word “Yo” meant to look like it’s written in Japanese characters. But it looks like 「ソロ」 (solo)! 🙂


  11. gaijinnosekai May 14, 2009 at 8:49 pm #

    The Japanese society at my university holds a festival each year, I’ve only been to this year’s one so I don’t know how it normally is. This year’s was alright, they had a local Japanese restaurant prepare food at a stand, there was onigiri and okonomiyaki, I can’t remember if there was yakisoba or not though. Apart from that there was a kendo performance and music performance as well (at my university there are shakuhachi, shamisen and koto lessons each week). It was quite small-scale though, my uni is quite small and obscure even though it has a good reputation lol.
    On a slightly unrelated note, while I was in Japan I went to Meiji Daigaku’s festival which was a lot of fun, it’d be good if all universities in England did festivals like the unis do in Japan.


    • tokyo5 May 14, 2009 at 9:00 pm #

      They sold Onigiri and Okonomiyaki at a Japanese festival in England?

      Are those Japanese foods popular in England?


  12. cuteandcurls May 14, 2009 at 4:36 pm #

    Never been to a Japan festival but hopefully someday I will.


    • tokyo5 May 14, 2009 at 8:09 pm #

      You should see a Japanese festival in Japan.
      There are many great festivals here!


      • cuteandcurls May 15, 2009 at 8:26 am #

        Which I plan to do so in the future, i prefer to be at a festival where its originally from, only because I want to feel the authenticity of it. Thats my opinion ..now if only there’s a cheap flight going to Japan very soon! Which time of the year / festival would you highly recommend for me to go to Japan?


      • tokyo5 May 16, 2009 at 8:33 pm #

        >Which time of the year / festival would you highly recommend for me to go to Japan?

        It depends on what types of festival you like, what type of weather / season you like, which city you’ll be in, and if you don’t mind crowds.

        And the festivals in Japan are all very different. I think they’re all great. It’s difficult to recommend just one.

        Have you looked at my “Festivals In Tokyo” page?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: