Amid the many traditional Japanese festivals that take place in Tokyo each spring, an unexpected event has become a new annual tradition: The Tokyo St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade was started in 1992 by the Irish Network Japan, with support from the Embassy of Ireland, to introduce Irish culture to the people of Japan. Known as Japan’s largest Irish event, you’ll find a multicultural crowd of Japanese and international people in attendance.
Irish Network Japan
The Irish Network Japan (INJ) is a non-profit organization made up of Irish and Japanese volunteers. The group aims to promote Irish culture in Japan, as well as promoting cultural exchange and connection between the countries of Ireland and Japan. This is achieved holding regular events related to Irish culture and traditions in several cities in Japan including Nagoya, Chiba, Mie, and Tokyo. The largest of which, being the Tokyo St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
What is St. Patrick’s Day?
For those unfamiliar with the holiday, St. Patrick’s Day is a cultural celebration of the patron saint of Ireland. Not limited to the Irish, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in countries across the world, and people of various nationalities can be seen wearing green, Ireland’s national color each year on March 17. Parades and festivals can also be found in various international cities, featuring traditional Irish music, dancing, and other festivities to celebrate the culture.
The 25th Tokyo St. Patrick’s Parade
The parade route can be find along Tokyo’s chic shopping district of Omotesando, just a five-minute walk from either Harajuku Station, or Omotesando Station, on Sunday, March 19, 2017, beginning at 1:00 p.m. This will be the parade’s 25th year in Tokyo. Featured in the event will be traditional music, dancers, shamrock face-painting, and plenty of green to be seen!
The Tokyo St. Patrick’s Day Parade is fun for the whole family. Whether you’re Irish, Japanese, or from somewhere else entirely, this is a celebration that anyone can enjoy!
After the Parade: Other St. Patrick’s Day Fun
For the adults, Tokyo is home to quite a few Irish pubs that also tend to hold celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day. Here you can find Irish beer, whiskey, beef stew, and more to eat and drink well into the evening hours. Enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day–the Japanese way!
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