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Photograph: Courtesy Mark Doyle

A guide to the Japan Parade in NYC

Celebrate Japanese culture with the Japan Parade! NYC transforms into the Land of the Rising Sun along Central Park!

Shaye Weaver
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Shaye Weaver
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Japan Day in NYC has always been a joyful celebration of Japanese culture, and for the first time ever this year, there will instead be a massive Japan Parade down Central Park West! 

The season for things to do outside has arrived along with lush trees and blooming tulips at NYC parks, so what better way to spend an afternoon than by soaking up the sun at this new Japanese rager? With newly released details, it’s safe to say that this massive cultural event is certainly one of the best things to do in spring.

As the first Japan Parade in NYC, it is a historic moment, according to the Consulate General of Japan in New York, which initiated this project. Originally, the parade was planned for 2020 to commemorate the 160th anniversary of the first Japanese delegates’ visit to the U.S. in 1860, as well as the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, but was cancelled because of the pandemic.

"Japan and the U.S. have come a long way in our relations, from early official exchanges to economic and diplomatic partnership backed by multi-layered people-to-people exchange in recent decades," said Ambassador Mikio Mori. "The Japan Parade is a symbolic evolution of this relationship, and a landmark culmination of Japan and New York’s friendship. We hope many will join us for this historical moment."

When is the Japan Parade?

Japan Day is on Saturday, May 14.

What time is the Japan Parade?

It kicks off at 1pm.

Where is the Japan Parade?

Along Central Park West between 81st Street and 68th Street (heading south towards 68th Street).

Who and what will be marching in the Japan Parade?

Actor George Takei will be the parade’s inaugural Grand Marshal and Sandra Endo, a news correspondent for KTVV Los Angeles, Fox 11 News and feature reporter for Good Day L.A, will serve as emcee.

"I am honored and proud to be the Grand Marshall of the inaugural Japan Parade," Takei said in a statement. "To see the Japanese community in New York celebrated is a beautiful thing and it will be exciting to see Japan’s friendship with New York on full display."

There will also be performances by the cast of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, The Super Live, the Young People's Chorus of New York City, Cobu, Soh Daiko, Japanese Folk Dance of NY, 10tecomai, Tate Haroryu, International Karate Organization Kyokushin-kaikan and Anime NYC.

"We are very excited to be presenting the very first Japan Parade in New York City," said Japan< Parade Executive Producer Kumiko Yoshii. "The diversity of the Japanese community is part of what makes New York special and we are very proud to show off our culture in this family-friendly event. Bring the kids and experience a bit of the far East, right in your backyard."

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