Immerse yourself in the richness of Japanese culture as Center Street Promenade transforms into a “taste of Japan” on Saturday, May 25th. From 11:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M., Anaheim’s first-ever Japan Fair will introduce guests to traditional aspects of Japanese culture with a modern twist. There will be something for everyone: from the foodie to the cosplayer, from the karate kid to the kimono lover.
“What I want to do is bring everything together,” says Rocky Yoneyama who runs Okayama Kobo bakery and is organizing the event. “I think the people who are interested in Japan have different interests in [the] culture: whether it’s pop culture, anime, traditional, or food. I want them to experience the whole thing together, as one.”
The team behind Japan Fair has received support from the community including other Center Street businesses. Healthy Junk is creating a special vegan dish for the occasion while Hummos & Pita crafted an Asian/Mediterranean shish kabob for the day.
With the entire promenade closed to traffic, guests can search for Sanrio and tea sets from vendors like Tokyo Japanese Lifestyle, sample the best in street food at stalls such as Sushi Boy, Fujiwara Tofu Cafe, and Katsu Brothers, learn all about Angels star pitcher and Japan native Shohei Ohtani, or watch artist and calligrapher Soho Nakano work her magic.
An array of live performers and events will take place on the main stage kicking off with a Shishi-Mai, the traditional “lion dance” of the Japanese New Year. Karate demonstrations and samurai fights give way to Hawaiian dance performance and later, indie pop artists Mirudaru and Cali Crisis set the atmosphere for a cosplay fashion show.
As the afternoon gives way to evening, a smack of Tokyo nightlife takes the stage with rock from Cribabi Japan and sets from DJ Greg Hignight of the music collective Tune in Tokyo. Toast the end of the day by sipping sake and imported brew at a pop-up beer garden while grooving to the sonic stylings of superstar DJ and producer Taku Takahashi.
While the event is free to the public, you can pre-purchase an official Fair t-shirt and goodie bag stocked with offers and coupons from attending vendors valued at over $60. And FRAN will be on hand to usher you from parking to the event. Ikuzo! “Let’s go!”
Anaheim Japan Fair takes place Saturday, May 25th and is open to all ages. For a full lineup of vendors, activities, and entertainment and to pre-purchase the official goodie bag, visit anaheimjapanfair.com