In 2009, an estimated 80,000 visitors gathered to peruse the goods of 30 vendors. More than 10,000 product samples and 450 food samples were sold within four to six hours. Approximately 200,000 people partook in the shopping and food eating festivities. What was going on?
JapanTown was happening.
Due to the enormous success it had witnessed the previous year as the NYC Japan Street Fair, it was brought back under the new name JapanTown in hopes of continuing to give New York City a taste of true Japanese culture.
Bad luck comes in threes, but this summer, that isn’t the case.
To celebrate, in the next three months, three festivals will be held in the East Village, Midtown and Upper East Side, each focusing on a different aspect of Japanese culture: Japanese “cool” culture, Japanese healthy food, and Japanese soul food, respectively. JapanTown will bring together local businesses and common household brands, so that the people of NYC can truly experience and gain a better appreciation of the New York Japanese community.
The first of the three is the Cool Japan festival, which starts on July 17th in the East Village. NYC’s unofficial Japan Town, it will showcase the various aspects of Japanese culture that make it “cool.” Here, visitors can find anything from Japanese robots to antiques to yummy tidbits to eat while participating in the Japanese street fashion contest. Winners will receive a prize from a JapanTown sponsor.
Following that is the Healthy Food & Green festival on August 22nd in Midtown. A variety of wholesome dishes and organic produce can be sampled, which will be provided for by Souen Noodle restaurant, Suzuki Farm, Marukome, and Kikkoman.
Lastly, in the Upper East Side on September 26th, experience Japanese soul food. Authentic foods representing various parts of Japan will be presented. They range from Kyushu grilled tonton pork to Japanese curry to konjac. Regional produce from agricultural government Kyushu, Japan’s southernmost island, will also be available for taste.
Food to eat, stuff to buy, New York City. What more could you ask for?
For more information, please visit www.nyjapantown.org.
Cool Japan Festival
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Fourth Avenue between 8th and 10th Streets
Healthy Food & Green Festival
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Madison Avenue between 43rd and 45th Streets
Soul Food Festival
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Lexington Avenue between 93rd and 96th Streets