JAPAN DAY @ CENTRAL PARK
Japan Day @ Central Park was founded in 2007 to promote a deeper understanding of Japanese culture. It is a family-friendly cultural event received official support from the Office of the Mayor throughout the years. We get to use the beautiful Central Park with the help of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and the Central Park Conservancy. Also, the Consulate General of Japan in New York, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, The Nippon Club, and many other Japanese and American corporations have been supporting us since day one.
The event kicks off with the 4-mile mini-marathon Japan Run and Kids’ Races hosted by New York Road Runners. The event continues with the Japan Day Festival featuring a wide range of Japanese traditional activities, free samplings of popular Japanese cuisine, and powerful stage performances throughout the day.
CHERRY TREE PLANNING INITIATIVE
We have been collecting donations to plant new cherry trees in Central Park with the Central Park Conservancy. We supplemented and replaced the trees from Japan’s original gift over one hundred years ago.
Japan Day has planted a total of 24 cherry trees since 2009. Four of these were generously donated by Central Park Conservancy in 2011 to commemorate the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. The latest one was just planted in April 2016. We gathered at the Reservoir and planted a new cherry tree from the donations collected at Japan Day 2015. We hope to continue the partnership with Central Park Conservancy for many years to come.
In New York, ethnic groups from around the world have long held parades to showcase the rich culture and lifestyles of their communities.
On May 14, 2022, we had our first-ever Japan Parade. Initially, a 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 sadly canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The purpose of the Japan Parade is to further promote friendship between the U.S. and Japan, to express gratitude to New York City, and to strengthen the solidarity of the Japanese-American community on this milestone anniversary.