On the heels of the Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival, I went to the Nikkei Matsuri at San Jose’s Japantown on April 29th.
For those of you who aren’t aware the Japantown in San Jose of the few remaining Japantowns in the United States (one of three: San Francisco, San Jose, and Los Angeles). It’s also one of the oldest – it was more or less established in the late 1880s if I remember correctly. San Jose’s Nihonmachi (日本町 – literally “J-town”) is still the site of great festivals and cultural events that still gather large crowds.
When I arrived in the morning at around 11am the main street was packed! Shops, artisans, what you’d normally see in a large festival was there. Not to mention the food! (because you know, at festivals it’s always about the food). Ended up just scoping out some of the stalls instead of buying – I’m poor, what can I say?
One of the highlights of the festival was the appearance of US Olympic skater Kristi Yamaguchi. You seriously can’t tell from her diminutive stature that she has performed in front of international crowds, won gold medals, and rubbed shoulders with world leaders. She is seriously a great person to behold.
Without further ado, here are some photos from the festival:
Last but not least, here’s an excerpt of Ms. Yamaguchi’s speech during the festival. Hope you guys enjoy it. Till next time!