伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member
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[2011/10/15] Japan Day '11 in Germany
Japan Day is a yearly festival held in Düsseldorf, West Germany.
It's usually a spring event and was for 2011 scheduled for my birthday, May 28, but was moved to October 15 because of the earthquake. I go every year, not so much for the festival itself but because I really like the athmosphere and Ddorf's downtown on the weekend.
The event is usually structured the same:
A stage program with more classic/political (for us: boring) stuff (soloists, choirs, speakers, dancers,...), including a festival dance with the visitors in the evening.
A sports stage where they show different kinds of Japanese sports (incl stuff like bonsai gardening, IIRC).
Lots of tents at the Rhine promenade where you can do and try stuff (wearing kimono, books, traditional Japanese festival games ...).
Manga drawing contest (you draw 3 or 4 panels and can win a flight to Japan).
Several food tents with sushi, greentea ice, takoyaki, ect.
There's a small Samurai Reenactment camp to visit and a Kyuudo show.
One of the Japanese bookstores usually has a autograph session with a mangaka, but those weren't well known ones so far. Mostly doujinshika.
The Japanese school is playing a soccer tournament against a German school.
Stuff not directly on the event guide, but you want to take into account:
Lots... I mean it.... LOTS of cosplayers. It's THE German main outdoor event among cosplayers. It's worth going just for the atmosphere.
It's a Saturday, and the event is held directly next to Düsseldorf's downtown bar streets, which is awesome (PAAARTY!). You'll probably spend the evening more in the pubs than on the festival x_X
If you're into cosplay, you're directly next to Rhine, park and the pretty downtown = great photos.
Düsseldorf has the second biggest Japanese community on continental Europe and as such you have plenty of Japanese shops (supermarkets, bakers, bookstores, bars, karaoke and restaurants) you can visit. But careful: will be FULL of cosplayers and it's import prices.
I can recommend you Japanese restaurants for the evening, but you need to call for a table a few days prior to it (and it's usually not cheap). There are cheaper sushi bars and AYCE too, though. And plenty of other food stuff from Korean BBQ over traditional German cuisine till Burger King.
If you decide to go, you should check on hostels soon. It's hard to get a cheap overnight stay on last minute due to all the young cosplayers coming that day. If you need help with booking or travel orga, just ask me :x
And if you're not familiar with Düsseldorf: There IS a reason why it's called having the "longest bar in the world". Downtown, right next to the Rhine, features several streets which are exclusively just pubs and... pubs. So even without the festival, it's not a town you visit for plain sightseeing ;D