If you are dreaming of a trip to Japan, like I am, you may want to stop by Grand Central Terminal in New York City for the annual Japan Week events March 6th through 8th, 2014.
The theme this year is “Discover the Past and Future in the Present,” a celebration of Old and New Japan.
Japan Week is a public-private partnership organized by the Japan Tourism Agency and Japan National Tourism Organization, supported by the General Consulate of Japan in New York.
The festival will take place at Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall from March 6 – 8, 2014. Half of Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal will transform into early 20th century Japan, and the other half will represent Japan’s present and future.
The event aims to introduce people to the unique features of Japan via cultural events, technology, art and music exhibits, food and beverages.
There will be a virtual reality theatre to guide visitors through Japan’s culture heritage, and a special appearance by a master of amezaiku, who transforms candy into marvelous sugar sculptures, and who is one of only a few people left in Japan who still perform this art.
There is also sweepstakes for free roundtrip tickets to Japan from JFK to Narita, sponsored by Delta Airlines, that you can enter online.
The only aspect of the festival that requires tickets is the Pop Up Bar, a replica of a 100-year café with servers dressed in Taisho era costumes, featuring exclusive sake from regions throughout Japan.
The Taisho era was Japan’s Jazz Age. It transfigured the Japanese character. New types arose, entermobo and moga—modern boy and modern girl respectively. Mobo would be dressed in bell-bottom trousers, a floppy tie, brightly-colored shirt and round-rimmed spectacles. Moga would give up her kimono in favor of “Western clothes” that accentuated her body. Guys grew out their hair, while girls cut it short.
Tickets are $35, and include tastings of five sakes, and a bar snack.
Meanwhile, New York City’s Japan Restaurant Week runs through March 16, 2014! Many of the featured dishes reflect the 100-year theme of Japan Week.
Another exciting scene to check out is the 4th Annual Japanese Emerging Artists Exhibition (JART), which showcases the art of 30 young Japanese artists in different genres, running February 28 – March 9, 2014. The entire space of the Williamsburg Art and Historical Building in Brooklyn will be dedicated to the show. The opening reception will be tonight, February 28, 2014 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., and Armory Night featuring Tokyo animation will be March 8 from 7:00 – 10 p.m.
What a great opportunity to learn about Japan’s artistry, technology, and cuisine!