Japan Day @ Central Park is an annual festival held in Manhattan aimed to promote Japanese culture. One of the numerous New York events in May, Japan Day festival clearly stands out as it features a wide range of entertainment, Japanese traditional and family-friendly activities, and a free sampling of legendary Japanese cuisine. Live music, theater performances, and dances can be seen on the stage throughout the day.
Japan Day at Central Park always starts with Japan Run, a 4-mi mini-race followed by several kids' races, all hosted by New York Road Runners. The course follows an inner loop of Central Park. Japan Festival is also marked by an annual competition for a Japan Day Official Artist. The winner's artwork becomes an official image of Japan Day @ Central Park and is used for souvenirs of the festival. The Grand Prize Winner receives a special prize and a round-trip economy class tickets to Japan for two. Fans of the Japanese culture claim that Japan Day is one of the brightest Central Park events.
Japan Day has been run since 2007 to express the Japanese community’s appreciation toward New York City and facilitate grass-roots connections within the community.
The one-day cultural event is supported by the Office of the Mayor, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, the Consulate General of Japan in New York, the Central Park Conservancy, New York Road Runners, and many other organizations.