Japan Week planned for Grand Central Terminal
Japan Week, a public-private partnership that promotes Japanese culture, food and beverages to encourage tourism to Japan will hold its 2013 program March 19-21 Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall in New York.
"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."
A March 19 kickoff will commemorate Tokyo Station's "sister station" relationship with Grand Central Terminal. Tokyo Station, now in its 99th year, is the first station to be chosen by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) for the designation. Representatives from Japan Railways (JR) and the MTA will be present at a special ceremony. The venerable New York station is also noting a milestone of its own.
A corner of the hall will be devoted to Japanese ekiben 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 at Japan Week will allow attendees to experience a culinary tour of Japan's diverse regions.
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 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.
One of the event's unique cultural highlights will be a 30-minute demonstration of geisha make-up techniques by Satomi Shiroma, who is among only 10 masters of this art in Japan.