Japan Day NYC 2013
Today was Japan Day in Central Park. Given that the festivities were in a park in NY, there was no Shochu to be found. That said, it was still a fantastic way to enjoy the beautiful weather.. Things started off with a 4 mile race at 8AM this morning. It was a great race, with a great T-Shirt. If anyone is reading, please do us a favor and drop the cotton and upgrade to Dri-Fit. If you had a tolerance for lines, after the race there were tents with Okonomiyaki, Ramen, Gyoza, and Miso Soup. Teas’ Teas was line free and handed out drinks as fast as people could take them, though they showed up with their Half and Half line only. If you like sweetened Tea, then Half and Half may be for you, but having tried a couple of flavors, I found them both to be too sweet for my tastes.
Beyond the food tents, there were a lot of activities for the kids. There was caligraphy and Origami lessons were popular and the Hello Kitty photo booth and Kabuki face painting made for many photogenic moments. The only activity that left me confused was the “Yo-Yo fishing.” Essentially you have to hook balloons as the float in a pool. It’s harder than it looks.
Besides the initial race, the main draw were the performances on the main stage. MINE, Kai Rivera, Yosakoi Dance Project 10tecomai and Japanese Folk Dance Institute of NY performed dance routines and Emi Meyer, Kylee, and Christ Hart sang. My favorite of the day were taiko performances by Taiko Masal and Soh Daiko. The taiko and shamisen are by far my favorite Japanese instruments. If you ever get a chance to attend a concert for one of these insruments, it should not be missed.