Foodie Events / Restaurants

America’s Biggest Japan Festival Is Returning to Houston On an Even Grander Scale — Get Ready For Tokyo Night Weekend

More Than 30 Chefs, Music, Anime, Sumo Wrestling and More

BY // 10.17.22

Touting itself as the biggest event in the United States that celebrates Japan and its fascinating centuries-old culture, the second-annual Tokyo Night Festival is returning to Houston for two days — Friday and Saturday, November 11 and 12. Initially created by Naoki Yoshida, Yusuke Motozawa and Tam Lo as a parking lot festival, the trio invited chefs inspired by Japan and its food and asked each to create their version of Japanese cuisine.

After the success, the ambitious founders decided to celebrate Houston’s Japanese community and its culture on a much larger, grander scale this year, inviting attendees to experience a taste of Japan through its food, music, art, anime, martial arts, cars and more.

“Japanese culture in Houston has been misrepresented,” founder Naoki Yoshida says. “As a Japanese-American living in Houston, I wanted to make sure that we’re representing our culture in the right manner.

“There are a little more than 4,000 of us in Houston, and we want to showcase the strength of Japanese culture and why it’s so special in the city. We’re part of the next generation of the Japanese community in Houston, and we are honored to continue spreading awareness by making the Tokyo Night Festival the largest Japanese showcase in the country.”

Held next month at the Texas Festival Grounds (6848 Almeda Genoa Road), more than 30 chefs and food vendors will be on hand, each of which will prepare a dish with at least one element of Japanese origin. Participants will include Shun Japanese Kitchen, Hako Bento Box Company, Japan Bites, Tokyo Maid Cafe, Japanese Association of Greater Houston (Takoyaki), Burger Chan, Cao Bao, Click Virtual Food Hall, Crawfish and Noodles, Ramen Tatsuya; ONIGIRI (gourmet Japanese rice balls), Tatsunoya Ramen. Aqua S, Dumpling Haus, Fattest Cow. Teagu Cafe, Global Republic, Kuramoto Ice, Marukome, Atcha, Hella Bubble, BB Concessions, Dream Eaters Coffee, Lincoln Bar, Pocari Sweat, Kimono Juice, Choya and more.

The festival was originally supposed to be held at Lucky Land, but permitting and.construction issues necessitated the move to the Texas Festival Grounds.

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The Tokyo Festival Lineup

To keep you entertained, there will be live performances by Japanese hip-hop artist, Zeebra, Nisei Japanese hip-hop artist and youngest National Poetry Slam champion G Yamazawa, DJ Michael “5,000” Watts and Swisha House, Kaminari Taiko Houston, World Wadaiko Champion Takumi Kato, Onoe- Ryu Japanese Dance’s Hiromi Onoe, American Japanese idol Paida, international dancer and choreographer Juju, rapper Nevos Tyler, J-rock artist Melancholiaah!, kendama performer Michael Martin and dark pop duo Innerlux and Aymi. This year’s Tokyo Night Festival will also showcase martial arts, including an official sumo wrestling tournament, kendo showcase and jiu-jitsu demonstrations.

Tickets, starting at $25 are on sale at Eventbrite. For more information head to TokyoNightFest.com. Donations will also be made to Tokyo Night Festival’s charity partner The Japanese Association of Greater Houston (JAGH) a nonprofit organization promoting Japanese culture and heritage, as well as mutual friendship among fellow members. JAGH and Tokyo Night Festival have been working with local leaders to bring the community together, working closely to bridge the gap from Japan to Houston.

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