Japan Week Continues Today (March 20) and Tomorrow (March 21) at Grand Central Terminal

March 20, 2013

Sake "Pop-Up" Bar

Courtesy of Hanna Lee Communications, Inc.
Photo Credit: Andrew Kist

Japan Week, a three-day festival dedicated to all things Japanese to spur tourism to Japan, kicked off at Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall on Tuesday, March 19, 2013.  One of the evening's highlights was a ceremony that formalized the first-ever, sister-station relationship between Grand Central Terminal and Tokyo Station.  The ceremony included an exchange of official railroad hats and gifts.

The festival continues today and tomorrow, with special "ekiben" bento boxes showcasing local and regional dishes, a "pop-up" sake bar with 90 different sakes, a rare demonstration of geisha makeup techniques by a master artist, traditional and contemporary Japanese music and more.  Please come by for a taste of Japan to whet your appetite to make it your travel destination.  Japan Week's hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Japan Week Announces Multi-Day Festival to
Promote Japanese Culture, Food & Beverages and Tourism
at Grand Central Terminal on March 19-21, 2013

Highlights include Announcement of Grand Central Terminal’s First Sister-Station
Relationship with Tokyo Station, a Japanese Pop-Up Bar
and Exquisite “Ekiben” Bento Boxes

NEW YORK, Feb. 1, 2013—Japan Week, a public-private partnership that promotes Japanese culture, food and beverages to encourage tourism to Japan, today announced its 2013 program that will take place at Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall on March 19-21, 2013.  The multi-day festival will showcase Japan as an incomparable travel destination by celebrating its diverse local and regional foods, beverages, music, art and culture.

“Through our Japan Week program this year, we want to showcase Japan’s regional cultures and local flavors that make it so enticing, both for new and seasoned travelers,” said Yuki Tanaka, Executive Director, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO).  “We’ll be showcasing hidden cultural gems that will capture the imaginations of our guests and inspire them to explore Japan in all of its beauty and possibilities.”

Highlighted event elements at Grand Central Terminal include:
Grand Central Terminal/Tokyo Station “Sister Station” Announcement: On March 19, during the Kick-Off Gala, Japan Week will commemorate Tokyo Station’s “sister station” relationship with Grand Central Terminal, which is celebrating its centennial this year.  Tokyo Station, now in its 99th year, is the first station to be chosen by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) for this honor.  Representatives from Japan Railways (JR) and the MTA will be present at a special ceremony.
“Ekiben” Bento Boxes: A corner of the hall will be devoted to Japanese ekiben, which are bento boxes sold at railway train stations throughout Japan. Ekiben often contain local specialties from the region in which they are sold, and their debut in Japan Week will allow attendees to experience a culinary tour of Japan’s diverse regions.
Japanese “Pop-Up” Bar: To replicate a traditional tachinomiya (standing bar), the event will construct a Japanese “pop-up” bar in the evenings selling jizake, which is local sake (rice wine) that is painstakingly produced by small craft brewers and is prized across Japan, as well as shochu, the country’s distilled spirit.  Sake professionals will serve sake and shochu by the glass and will be available to answer questions.  Tickets may be purchased online in advance and on the day of the event.
Geisha Make-Up Demonstration: One of the event’s unique cultural highlights will be a 30-minute demonstration of geisha make-up techniques by Ms. Satomi Shiroma, who is among only 10 masters of this art in Japan.  Moreover, the master title is customarily earned after a 20-year apprenticeship.
Japan Week will sponsor and participate in other activities during March that include:
Japanese Restaurant Week: From March 4-18, 2013, Japan Week will host Japanese Restaurant Week, which promotes Japanese restaurants serving local and regional dishes in ekiben bento boxes.
The Japan Pavilion at the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show: Japan Week will have a presence at the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York, a leading food & beverage trade show on March 3-5, 2013.

About Japan Week
Founded in 2012, Japan Week is a cooperative effort between the, Japan Tourism Agency and diverse businesses.  The multi-dimensional event is open to the general public and promotes Japanese food and beverages, culture and inbound tourism.  For more information about Japan Week, please visit our website, japanweek.us, “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JapanWeekNY and follow us on Twitter at @JapanWeekNY.  For more information about travel to Japan, please visit japantravelinfo.com.