Hideaki Oka and Gojyahei Ren in Performance (2018)
(Bellevue, WA) – Japan Fair will be held at the Meydenbauer Center in downtown Bellevue on June 29 and 30. Japan Fair, marking its fourth anniversary this year, is the biggest Japanese cultural event on the Eastside. This year, the fair has invited a famous Awa Odori dance team from Japan. The Awa Odori of Tokushima Prefecture is one of the largest dance festivals in Japan, attracting over 1 million people every year.
Hideaki Oka, head of the Gojyahei Ren, one of the most famous Awa Odori dance teams, brings his performance to the stage at Japan Fair. The fair will also host an Awa Odori Dance Contest. The contest is free to join; the winning team will receive Box Suite tickets to a Seattle Mariners’ home game.
Every summer, more than 20,000 guests – a mixture of curious locals, Japanese Americans, and Japanese expats – visit Japan Fair. Admission is free and the event is open to the public. A wide variety of Japan-related booths and performances will entertain visitors during the two-day event. Vendor booths include ramen, udon, and izakaya restaurants offering food samples as well as large Japanese companies such as NHK (Japan Public Broadcasting) and All Nippon Airways introducing different aspects of Japan. Taiko and karate performances, a Cosplay Contest, an Awa Odori Dance Contest, and many others are scheduled to appear on the main stage.
About Japan Fair
Japan Fair is an annual, free, two-day festival in Bellevue, WA, that celebrates Japanese art, culture, and food. Through live performances on stage, hands-on exhibits, cultural seminars, and vendor booths, Japanese festival foods, the public is immersed in the music, dance, artisanry, and philosophy of Japan. More than 20,000 locals visit the event every summer.
Japan Fair is operated by Asunaro, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
Awa Odori Contest
To commemorate the Awa Odori Ren coming to the fair this year, Japan Fair invites the public to join the contest. This is the fair’s first Awa Odori contest. Rens (teams) of eight or more will perform on stage. The winning team will receive Box Suite tickets to a Seattle Mariners’ home game.
For more information on the booths and performances, visit japanfairus.org