The Best Japanese Festivals & Events on the Web

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2023 - 35th Anniversary Japanese Cultural Fair Festival Event - Santa Cruz (Food, Bon Odori, Taiko, Dance, Martial Arts, Flute..) Sat (Video)NEW

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2023 - 35th Anniversary Japanese Cultural Fair Festival Event - Santa Cruz (Food, Bon Odori, Taiko, Dance, Martial Arts, Flute..) Sat (Video)
Click For Location
Date: Saturday, 10 June, 2023       Time: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Mission Plaza Park
103 Emmett St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 420-5270
Visit Location Website

Map of Mission Plaza Park, 103 Emmett St.

The purpose of the Santa Cruz Japanese Cultural Fair Event is to provide an opportunity for the community to increase its awareness and understanding of the Japanese community in Santa Cruz County as well as Japanese culture, both traditional and contemporary. We believe that through the arts, craft, and culture of Japan, we can improve mutual understanding among neighbors on the Pacific Rim as well as enrich our community life here in Santa Cruz.

The Japanese Cultural Fair is a free event at Mission Plaza Park in Santa Cruz, and takes place this year on Saturday in June. The JCF, a non-profit all-volunteer organization, presents this seasonal slice of Japanese culture, and crowds are attracted up the hill from the Clock Tower by the pulsing sounds of Japanese festival drums.  Families gather on the Plaza green in the sunshine to enjoy exotic Japanese foods, arts and crafts, & center stage performances. Watsonville Taiko Drummers lead off the festival events.

Fair events also feature the quiet tones of the Koto ancient zither, shakuhachi flute, storytelling, Kyogen theatre, northern Japan shamisen, Bon odori and Okinawan dance. Food booths serve a wide variety of delicious traditional foods and drink; craft and art booths offer flute-making, sumie ink painting, haiku poetry, bonsai, paper art, jewelry and textiles, ceramics,  joinery & building, information on Japanese travel, language and culture.  The Kids’ Area has fun, hands-on activities. Nearby at Santa Cruz Zen Center, demonstrattions of tea ceremony, ikebana flower arranging, wearing of kimono, bonsai-- and martial arts at Aikido of Santa Cruz. These presentations continue throughout the day and there is something to enjoy for the whole family. The famous San Francisco Taiko drummers wind up the day’s events with a resounding performance.

Festival Fair Event Date
June 10, 2023, Saturday

Festival Event Time
This is a one-day, free event starting at 11:00 am and ending at 6:00 pm

Event Location
Mission Plaza Park, 103 Emmett St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Festival Fair Event Schedule
The Main stage is in Mission Plaza Park (in front of the Holy Cross Church), with a wide array of martial arts demonstrations at the Aikido of Santa Cruz Dojo on Mission Street, and "quiet, peaceful" activities at the Zen Center on School Street. Free parking will be available at the Santa Cruz County Government Center where a free shuttle will take you through downtown on it way to the park and back.


Main Stage Schedule
11:00 Chanting / Zen Center Members,
11:30 Taiko / Watsonville Taiko Group,
12:15 Martial Arts Demonstration/Aikido of Santa Cruz,
01:00 Official Greetings/ Mayor of Santa Cruz, Japanese Consul General at San Francisco
01:30 Minyou (Folk Song & Dance)/Matsutoyo Kai,
02:15 Shakuhachi (Bamboo Flutes)/Karl Young,
02:45 Bon Odori (Folk Dance)/Chieko, Audience Participation
03:15 Shamisen / Bachido,
03:45 Okinawan Dance / Ohtori Kinsen-Kai,
04:15 Awa Odori (Folk Dance) / Sakura Ren,
05:00 Taiko / San Francisco Taiko Dojo,

Meditation Stage Schedule at Zen Center
113 School Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, (831) 457-0206
12:00 Ikebana / Ikenobo Group
01:00 Sumi-e (Calligraphic Ink Painting) / Carolyn Fitz
02:00 Bonsai/Santa Cruz Bonsai Club
03:00 Kimono Workshop / Keiko

Akido of Santa Cruz
306 Mission St. Santa Cruz, CA 95060, (831) 423-8326

Due to Covid-19 concerns, Aikido Santa Cruz will not be opening their studio to the public this year.

Food Vendors

No need to worry about finding a parking spot or waiting in traffic when you ride the FREE JCF Shuttle Bus courtesy of Santa Cruz Toyota. Shuttles pick up and drop off approximately every 20 minutes between stops. Service is to and from the Santa Cruz County Building parking lot to the Fair - from 10am to 6:30pm (except for about 45 minutes from 1:30pm).

Public parking is available on downtown Santa Cruz streets and parking garages - a 3-5 minute walk from downtown to Mission Plaza Park - across the street from Holy Cross Church & the Santa Cruz Mission. People are encouraged to bike or carpool to get to the Fair. A map of parking garages can be found here.

Designated bike parking will be available at thePark. No sidewalk bike parking. Kindly leave your dogs at home - SERVICE DOGS ONLY ON A LEASH in Park on day of the Fair.

Vehicles properly displaying a valid handicap placard or handicap license plate can park FREE at any designated handicap parking stall or metered stall without paying the meter. Not applicable unless the physically disabled person is present in the vehicle.

Handicapped parking spaces will be available on Emmett Street.


(But Donations to the Fair are GREATLY appreciated)

Santa Cruz Festival Event Video

Santa Cruz - Mission Park Festival Dates
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Obon Festivals & Practices
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See Japanese Event Festivals 

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Celebrate the Japanese Culture food, performances and dancing.
(Please always confirm date & times, the schedule could change)


Santa Cruz Fair Event Location
Mission Plaza Park, 103 Emmett St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Santa Cruz Fair Event Title
Anniversary Japanese Cultural Fair - Santa Cruz (Sat) - Taiko, Dance, Martial Arts, Bamboo Flute, etc. (Video)

Disclaimer: Please double check all information provided on our platform with the official website for complete accuracy and up-to-date details.


Saturday, 10 June, 2023

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Japanese Cultural Fair Festival Event
Phone: (831) 426-5686

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