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Looking For Some International Festivals To Attend in Japan?

By Patrick Mar 5, 2018

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I love Ireland Festival (Saint Patrick’s Day)

Cultural Integration has completely influenced our global society. Everywhere around the world today, regardless of race, language and culture, people have embraced foreign events and celebrate them along side the real owners of the events as a way of showing solidarity and love for other cultures. While cities in the Western world are beginning to recognize and celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, several countries in Asia also embrace western festivals such as Christmas, Valentine, Halloween and St Patrick’s Day. Here in this article, I would like to introduce you to Tokyo St Patrick’s Day in Japan.

This event was first organized by The Irish Network Japan starting in 1992. The aim of organizing the event in Japan is to introduce to Japanese people the Irish culture, music, food, dance and many more. There are now multiple parades across the archipelago in several prefectures celebrating St. Patrick and Irish Heritage. The main date of St Patrick’s Day is March 17th, however, it was celebrated in Tokyo on March 19th last year. I had the chance to attend the event for the first time in Japan and it brought me memories of past that I really enjoyed. This year it will be on Sunday the 18th of March Omotesando-dori between Harajuku and Omotesando.

Here are some of the things that you would find interesting at the event.


Irish Green Beer (Food)

I recommend this only to people above the age of 20 (legally permitted to drink in Japan). I was very curious to see this green colored beer, I almost never drink but on this occasion, the green color aroused my curiosity leaving me desperate to try this drink. Surprisingly it tasted very good and nicer than any other beer that I have ever tasted. Even if you are a person who never wants to try something new because of fear, I believe that the color of this beer is very attractive and will make you want to try. Besides the Irish green beer, you can also eat some Irish pie, cookies, Barmbrack. Baileys Irish Cream cupcakes, Irish bread and butter pudding, and so many other things.


Irish Music

Almost every country around the world has that local or traditional music. Modernity may seem to have ruled and wiped out old traditions, however, even in Europe, there is still that traditional music you may never have imagined. With the elapsing of time, music is beginning to sound similar across cultures and continents. Modern songs have so many similarities and sometimes seem to me as listening to the same songs over and over again. Pop songs for example whether African, Asian, or American have strong similarities. Therefore, As a fan of diversity, I really enjoy listening to something new and different. Listening to a different kind of music is more interesting than listening to the modern songs. If you have the chance to attend the festival this year, I recommend that you try listening to Irish folk songs, all traditional folk songs of other countries always have very great differences, these differences are what make life more interesting.

There is also a display of Irish cultural dances and you can hear Irish music in the environment. Well, I understand that some people have different taste and may not like folk songs and dances, however trying out something new is what many people especially tourists like to do, hence they go to other countries to experience something different therefore, I recommend you to try out so many things at Tokyo St Patrick’s Day 2018.


The Parade

This is one of the most interesting part of the entire event. People try to dress in different costumes and mascots of mostly green color. Some people wear green white and orange. Some people have colorful face paintings that represent the Irish flag colors, this could be done freely at the event venue. The Parade in Tokyo is said to be the most highly populated across Japan with a population of over 50,000 spectators and participants. When I attended last year in Omotesando, I was surprised that the highways were barricaded for this parade. There were several groups of people cheering and supporting, some groups played the marching bands, flutes and other instruments, the parade lasted for about a hour and after the procession, the participants went back to the main venue of the event, where there was so much to eat and drink.


Irish Language

I had never heard about the Irish language until I attended this event and happened to hear the language spoken. Well, it is not so commonly used because most Irish as we know often use English language. I got to ask some kind fellow who explained more about the Irish language and taught me some phrases on how to greet and say thank you (go raibh maith agat) in Irish. As previously mentioned, modernity is trying to put an end to diversity. It is clear that smaller cultures and traditions are almost dying out, however, I strongly believe that diversity makes life more interesting therefore we should try to enjoy the differences of diverse culture and language.

There are so many other things that you can enjoy that I might have forgotten to include here, however, I recommend that you try all things even those I did not mention in this article. Experience is a great teacher. I am sure that you will have a great time especially if you like to try out something different. Have a wonderful time.