COSTA MESA — The 13th annual OC Japan Fair will be held at the OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, on Friday, Oct. 27, from 5 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 28, from 12 to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We are committed to bringing the best of food, culture, and art from Japan,” event organizers said. “The OC Japan Fair is one of the largest and most authentic Japanese cultural festivals in Southern California, with 220 booths and an estimated 45,000 visitors. We offer many opportunities to experience and learn about Japanese entertainment, tradition, culture, pop culture, and food.”
Must-see sights of the fair:
• Tuna-Cutting Show: World-class sushi! The Main Stage will host an exciting Tuna-Cutting Show performed by a chef from a famous Japanese tuna company on Saturday and Sunday. Traditional Japanese street foods such as okonomiyaki, takoyaki, yakisoba, yakitori, shaved ice, ramen, tonkatsu sandwich, taiyaki and many more will be available on-site. The festival will also feature sake-tasting.
• Stage Performances: The main event this year will be a series of performances on the Main Stage. The festival is packed with high-profile performers, including Tonikaku Akarui Yasumura (Yasumura the Very Cheerful Person) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Yasumura was highly acclaimed on “Britain’s Got Talent,” a popular TV show in England. He performed his material in English, and as his name suggests, he had the audience laughing uproariously. He also performed at Japan Matsuri 2023 in London and had everyone cheering and clapping.
Also featured: Travis Japan on Friday and Saturday; Chris Hart on Friday and Saturday; Haruna Ai on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
• Cosplay and Anime/Manga Goods: Experience an environment similar to the famous maid cafés of Akihabara with the festival’s very own pop-up. Not to mention a huge number of high-quality anime and cosplay booths, with all the figurines and anime goods you can imagine. And you won’t want to miss the coolest costumes of all at the live cosplay show on Saturday.
• Wish — Let’s Fly to Japan Final: The final audition for U.S. artists to debut in Japan, hosted by Rising Production in Japan, on Saturday from 6 to 7 p.m. Witness the birth of a new star! Emceed by Tamuken and Yurisa. Commentators: Tonikaku, Haruna Ai.
• Japanese Traditional Exhibits and Performances: Japanese cultural exhibits, booths, and performances, including taiko and Bon Odori dancing. Enjoy live performances on the Main Stage. Traditional Japanese entertainment acts include koto music by Yuki Yasuda on Saturday; kabuki-style music by Fuji Japanese Music Ensemble on Sunday; Nihon buyo (classical Japanese dance) by Fujima Kan Ayano.
Regular admission is $10. Free admission for children 6 and under and seniors over 65. No pets allowed; service dogs only.
Parking fee: $12. Enter through Gate 1 or Gate 10; gate may change as traffic flow increases or decreases.
For tickets and more information, visit www.oc-japanfair.com.