Japan Block Fair

Japan Block Fair

Article by Bak Keung Ko
Photo by Kenji Mori

Saturday, June 15th marked yet another successful Japan Block Fair (JBF). Set in East Village’s 3rd Avenue between 7th and 8th Street, various Japanese vendors and artists came to bring Japanese culture and cuisine to the streets of New York.

Ariyoshi Japanese Restaurant

Famous shops and restaurants such as peco peco, Go! Go! Curry!, JAPA DOG, and Umi no Ie set up tents to display their famous dishes. Passerbys were able to sample different food and drinks ranging from Ito-En, yumeya (Japanese style chicken wings), saburi (steamed pork bun), potato fry, among others.

goldfish scooping

Popular Japanese activities were available to the public as well. Nomi is a popular tradition where people can go goldfish scooping with a special scooper called a poi in a pool. When the poi breaks, then the person can take home the scooped fish. Yo-yo balloon fishing is also a common pastime for children at Japanese matsuri festivals. The fisher would get a hook at the end of a twisted paper and try to reel in a yo-yo balloon in a pool.

Toshihiko Nakazawa

In addition to food and activities, there were also stage performances by Japanese singers and dancers. Some of these include a mini fashion yukata fashion show by Emi Kikuchi from Kimono Experience, a karaoke contest, and a stage performance by Foxy Foxes.

Kimono Experience

Previous Japan Block Fairs usually incorporate a unique twist or oomph, as I would call it. Some time ago, JBF featured a Ramen contest where the public has to choose the best ramen dish hosted by different companies. The winning dishes would receive a monetary award as well as acknowledgements by the Ramen Committee or a special feature in a magazine.

NASCAR racer Akinori Ogata

This time, JBF brought NASCAR racer Akinori Ogata to New York! Currently the only Japanese driver in NASCAR, Ogata brought his car and race queens to not only represent his heritage and culture, but also to bring NASCAR fandom to our streets! People were able to see and take pictures with an actual race car, and also meet Ogata if they were lucky to catch him. All in all, summer 2013’s first JBF was a fun experience! Stay tuned for upcoming JBF’s!

Cold Choco Banana

Japan Block Fair

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