SANTA CLARA — A new Japanese cultural festival, Japan Expo USA, will take place at the Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, from Friday to Sunday, Aug. 23-25.

The Japan Expo was a great success in Europe, and is now coming to the U.S. for the first time.

The event began in the late 1990s in France as a venue to promote Japanese anime, manga, music, games, and other types of pop culture. It has evolved to encompass not only pop culture, but many other areas of Japanese culture, and has thus garnered popularity with many different groups of people.

At the 2012 Japan Expo in Paris, there were 570 booths from various companies and organizations, and approximately 210,000 people attended (the admission limit), showing that the event had expanded into an impressive representation of Japanese culture. For its U.S. debut, it was decided that the event would be held in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco, together with JNTO (Japan National Tourist Organization), JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization), various local Japanese governments, local tourist agencies, Japanese aviation companies, and other organizations will be promoting tourism in Japan.

They are also putting on a stage performance with a “Japanese Festival” theme on Aug. 24 at noon. Additionally, there will be performances from various artists, so we encourage everyone from family to friends to come enjoy this event.

Tickets can be purchased online until Thursday. Ticket purchases on-site are cash only.

For more information, visit the following links:

Consulate page:

Japan Expo official site:

Events and Guests

Events will include:

• E-gaming Arena, featuring more than 6,000 square feet of video-game tournaments.

• Cosplay Masquerade, Cosplay Stage, Cosplay Catwalk and other cosplay activities.

• Japanese cultural demonstrations, including ikebana, karuta, koto, mochitsuki, taiko, and dance/music from Okinawa and Tokushima.

• Martial arts demonstrations by Aikido San Jose, World Oyama Karate Dojo and Chuck Jefferson’s Judo.

Noriyuki Iwadare

Guests will include:

•, a kawaii J-pop band composed of six idol members.

• Noriyuki Iwadare, a composer who is best known for his work in video game music.

• Yusuke Kozaki, a manga artist, illustrator, and character designer.

• Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, one of the founders of the Gainax anime studio.

• 1000say, a four-member (two men, two women) electropop band.

• Tatsuro Iwamoto, art director for Capcom’s “Ace Attorney” series.

• JDee’Z, a band formed by dancers and models ages 11 to 13.

• You Kikkawa, a Hello! Pro Egg singer and actress.

• Masahiko Minami, president of anime production company Bones Inc.

• Ian Sinclair, a voice actor for FUNimation.

• Michael Sinterniklaas, founder of the recording studio NYAV Post LLC.

• Felipe Smith, the first American to publish a monthly manga series for a major Japanese publisher.

• Uruma Delvi, a married team that creates popular animations.


As one of the projects of Cool Japan World Trial promoted by the Japanese Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry (METI), The Wabi-Sabi Pavilion has been established within Japan Expo. It will house influential traditional arts and crafts exhibitors from Japan.

The aim of Cool Japan World Trial is to introduce Japanese products and services to the world markets through presentations, and also gather and exchange information to understand the local demands.

Part I — Presentation: “The Challenges of Japanese Traditional Industries” on Aug. 23 from 2 to 6 p.m. on the Wabi-Sabi Pavilion Stage at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Exhibitors:

• New Kimono Art Museum, Tokyo

• Inomata Art and Fitting Shop (kumiko art), Jyoetsu, Niigata

• Japanese Textile Art Museum, Tokyo

• Ishigaki Pottery Studio/Haruhiko Kaneko, Ishigaki, Okinawa

• Koizumi Factory (copper alloy products), Takaoka, Toyama

• Ichizo (creative kabuto dolls), Kamagaya, Chiba

• Futenma Bingata Studio (Okinawan textiles), Ginowan, Okinawa

• Ceramic Art Tachikawa (jewelry), Imari, Saga

• Ishimoku (woodworks), Imari, Saga

• Goto Hakata Doll, Hakata, Fukuoka

• Ayane International (animation, pop art, fashion), Tokyo

• Sallylabel (bags, apparel), Nagoya, Aichi

• Japan Publications Trading, Tokyo

• LLC (Taro’s Origami Studio), Tokyo and Brooklyn

• Yumeshokunin (toothbrushes), Osaka

Part II — Reception party on Aug. 23 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Napa Room of Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, 5101 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, with buffet, opportunities to exchange information for understanding Japanese traditional industry and U.S. local demands, and a performance of Japanese traditional art by Kōdō/Chizu Suzuki (Kōdō Senkō-ka).

To attend this event, email By participating in these Wabi-Sabi events, you will receive all-day passes for Japan Expo, a  $60 value. Entrance pass is required for entry at the gate of Japan Expo when you join the Part I event. Guests will receive an invitation email with an attached coupon to claim their entry pass.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *