Japantown’s 49th annual Nihonmachi Street Fair (NSF) will fill the neighborhood this weekend on August 5-6, 2023. Celebrate the best of AAPI culture while watching diverse and lively performances across multiple stages, browsing hand-crafted products by Asian artisans, creating origami art with the help of experts, and much more. The festivities will take place from 11am-6pm on Peace Plaza and Post between Fillmore and Laguna Streets.
Performances for both days will take place at two different stages.
The Webster Street Summer of Love Stage is emceed by Ron Muniera with musical performances ranging from hip hop to bluegrass. Saturday’s music kicks off at 1pm (preceded by welcome remarks), and Sunday’s begins at 11am.
The Clear Channel Outdoor Stage at Peace Plaza will host cultural dance performances. Dance troupes from Chinese, Hawaiian, Indonesian, Filipino, Japanese, Mongolian, and Korean cultures will put on captivating shows throughout both days. Don’t miss the folding of the 9-foot origami paper crane on Saturday at 3:30pm.
Art and artisans
The Nihonmachi Street Fair is an opportunity to experience some captivating Asian art by experts in their respective fields. One of the most popular experiences is Art & Soul of J-Town, which partners with Linda Mihara of Paper Tree to share the joy and beauty of origami. Mihara will guide guests to create their own origami creations to hang on the Ruth Asawa Origami Fountains, and local AAPI artists will also be present making unbelievable origami art pieces live in person.
Be sure to leave time to explore the Asian Artisan area, where you’ll find a nice variety of local artisans selling their work. Many of the booths have returned to the fair for over 30 years such as Kayoko Designs, which specializes in Japanese washi paper and metals; and Kimochi Kai Ceramics, which creates beautiful handcrafted pottery
More happenings at NSF
If you’re visiting the fair with kids, get ready to spend time at the NSF Children’s World where children can enjoy fun Asian-inspired crafts, meet the 2023 Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen, play games with the Children’s Creativity Museum, and explore the SF Public Library Bookmobile.
NSF is also going all-out for this year’s 11th annual Doggie World, a special area designated to pets. It’ll be filled with local animal experts, adoption agencies, vet professionals, pet vendors, pet portrait artists, and more.
Finally, car enthusiasts will want to stop by the Sounds of Thunder Car Show presenting gorgeous vintage muscle cars and American classics.