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Article by Burcu

  1. İstanbul Japan Week – Türkiye
  2. National Cherry Blossom Festival - Sakura Matsuri - USA
  3. The Japanese Film Festival Nippon Connection - Germany
  4. Japan Foundation Online Film Festivals
  5. Japan Day Düsseldorf - Germany
  6. Japan Autumn Festival - Hong Kong
  7. Japan Festival - Canada
  8. Japan Expo Paris - France
  9. Nisei Week - USA
  10. Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival - USA
  11. Hyper Japan - England
  12. Japan Matsuri - England
  13. Matsuri Barcelona - Spain
  14. Bon Odori - Malaysia
  15. Tanabata Festival - Brazil

About the Author

The information about the events mentioned below, was gathered from the internet. Before you attend, we highly recommend you check with the organizing company about the event's time, place, and entrance fee.

1- İstanbul Japan Week – Türkiye

I believe since 2017, there has been an event called Japan Week in Istanbul, Turkey. Free movie screenings, workshops, and symposiums take place about Japanese culture. There will be a bonsai workshop, origami exhibition, and Japanese toy and doll exhibition will be taking place at the end of October this year.

Period: 20th October- 29th October 2023

2- National Cherry Blossom Festival - Sakura Matsuri - USA

Like in Japan, you can attend the cherry blossom festival and enjoy the blossom of cherry trees in Washington, DC. The National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates the gift of three thousand cherry trees from the Mayor of Tokyo to the city of Washington, DC in 1912.

Period: 20th March - 14th April 2024

3- The Japanese Film Festival Nippon Connection - Germany

It has been organized by a non-profit association in Frankfurt am Main since 2000. There were more than 18,500 visitors this year, and around 100 films were shown. There were short films, documentaries, anime, and feature films. This festival also presents awards in five categories: Nippon Rising Star Award, Nippon Cinema Award, Nippon Visions Jury Award, Nippon Visions Audience Award, and Nippon Docs Award.

There was a section called Nippon culture in the event, and it included a tea ceremony, cooking classes, performances, exhibitions, workshops, lectures, panel discussions, concerts, and a program for kids. And there were food stands which offered Japanese food and drinks. You could also browse merchandising stands.

Next year, this event will take place from May 28th to June 2nd, 2024.

4- Japan Foundation Online Film Festivals

Japanese Film Festival Online (JFF Online) is an online Japanese film festival that streams Japanese films, including the latest releases, documentaries, anime, and classics.

JFF+ Independent Cinema website made 12 Independent films available worldwide this year till 31st October. It is important to note that you can only access during the distribution period. You can't watch them from Japan, and in some countries, you should check every movie one by one because every film and documentary has a different restriction.

5- Japan Day Düsseldorf - Germany

Once a year, the city of Düsseldorf hosts a festival to honor the friendship between Germany and Japan. There are stage performances and hands-on activities such as practicing calligraphy skills, learning the board game “Go”, participating in manga drawing workshops, and trying out kimono. There are food tents where you can try Japanese cuisine and sake. And you can also enjoy Hanabi (Japanese fireworks) viewing.

Date: 2024, not yet determined




6- Japan Autumn Festival - Hong Kong

The Japan Autumn Festival has been organized in October and November in Hong Kong since 2016. The festival events include film screenings, art performances, experiencing arts and crafts, food tasting, etc.

Period: October-November 2023

7- Japan Festival - Canada

Japan Festival CANADA, which is announced to be the largest Japanese Cultural Event in North America, has introduced and promoted Japanese food, culture, and technologies annually since 2016. They hosted the festival virtually in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid and they return to face to face events in 2022. The events in Japan Festival CANADA include traditional and modern performances, pop culture stage performances, and tasting Japanese foods.

Date: August 19th-20th 2023

8- Japan Expo Paris - France

If you are a Japanese culture fan, this event is just the right event for you. Manga, martial arts, video games, J-music, traditional music, and more...

Famous mangaka, animators, chara-designers, illustrators, video game creators, producers, musicians, singers, and composers attend this festival for signings and panels. Many bands, singers, and musicians hold concerts on stage: You can watch popular J-music, anime music, and also traditional Japanese music artists who play traditional Japanese instruments like koto, shamisen, and sanshin.

There are workshops that teach drawing, modeling, cosplay-making, or traditional activities such as ikebana, origami, tea ceremony, and calligraphy. Also, there are prize-winning game tournaments, free-play game booths, and stages for gamers at Japan Expo Paris.

What can I say, it sounds like an otaku's paradise. There is an area dedicated to martial arts, too. You can learn the basics of Ninjutsu, kendô, jûdô, aikidô, karate, shôrinji kenpô, kyûdô and many more.

Date: July 11th-14th 2024

9- Nisei Week - USA

Nisei Week Japanese Festival, which first took place in 1934 to help the businesses in the Little Tokyo district in Los Angeles, continues annually with 9-day celebrations.

There was a parade, Japanese festival dancing, taiko (traditional Japanese drum) performance, live music, cultural demonstrations such as ikebana and tea ceremony, and Japanese food, and sake in the 2023 celebrations.

They select seven festival queens to become ambassadors for the Little Tokyo community for a year.

In addition to these events, Little Tokyo’s many restaurants, shops, and museums offered specialty products, and promotions during the Festival time.

10- Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival - USA

Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival (formerly known as the San Francisco Cherry Blossom Festival) which was celebrated to preserve traditions, revitalize the local economy, and strengthen the bonds of friendship between the United States and Japan, was first celebrated in 1968 after the opening of the Japan Trade Center (which is now called Japan Center Malls). The Festival includes Japanese cultural performances, traditional arts, live music, the annual Queen Program, and a parade.

11- Hyper Japan - England

Hyper Japan, which first took place in 2010 in London, includes events to introduce contemporary Japan, manga, anime, J-music, J-fashion, Japanese food, traditional Japanese culture, Japanese games, Japanese technology, and more. There are exhibitions, stage performances, workshops, and seminars. Hyper Japan made its first online event in July 2021, and from 139 countries around 200K people attended.

12- Japan Matsuri - England

This year Japan Matsuri, which is a free annual event, took place in Trafalgar Square in London on the 1st of October, 2023. It brought people together to enjoy Japanese food, music, dance, and activities.

13- Matsuri Barcelona - Spain

At the event, they demonstrated Bon Odori dance with Taiko drums. There were food stalls, workshops for children, Japanese craft sales, and more.

Date: 17th-18th June,2023

14- Bon Odori - Malaysia

Bon Odori dance in Malaysia, which is organized by The Japan Club of Kuala Lumpur, The Japanese School of Kuala Lumpur, and the Embassy of Japan, takes place annually with around 35,000 participants. There is Bon Odori dance and Wadaiko (drum) performances.

Date: 22nd July 2023

15- Tanabata Festival - Brazil

There is a Japanese community living around San Paolo, and every year they celebrate the Tanabata festival together. Tanabata festival, which is also known as the star festival, is celebrated by writing wishes on tanzaku paper and hanging them on bamboo trees at shrines, throughout town, or at their houses.

Date: 16th July 2023


About the Author

Özlem Burcu Öztürk
Author, Culture Blogger, Scriptwriter, Documentary Director, Video Game Translator

Ö. Burcu focused on the significance of intercultural communication and since 2015, she has done volunteer writing to establish a bridge of culture between Japan and the world.

She released four story books; Shine Like A Star (2016, English and Turkish), Chocolate Flavored Murder (2017, English and Turkish), The Guardians Series Book 1 - Dream (2018, Turkish, English and Japanese) and Mystery Vacation (2020, English and Turkish).

She continues to focus and work on projects that can enhance intercultural ties.

Official Website:
Instagram: @authorburcu
Twitter (X): @AuthorBurcu

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