After a two-year hiatus because of Covid-19, Europe’s biggest Japanese festival made a successful comeback in Düsseldorf – with kimonos, cosplay, music and a fireworks display! 

Japan Day Düsseldorf/NRW: This festival of international friendship and understanding once again attracted 600,000 visitors to the Rhine

The 19th Japan Day Düsseldorf/NRW finally turned Düsseldorf’s Rhine embankment promenade into the backdrop for the celebration of Japanese-German friendship again, after a two-year Covid-19 hiatus.  600,000 visitors enjoyed a peaceful festival without incident, and celebrated Japan’s culture with the Japanese community. The festival featured over 50 information and activity tents devoted to both traditional and modern aspects of Japanese culture – from aikido to cosplay. Acts on the music programme such as the concert by drumming group “Miyabi & Lion” and the exhilarating performance by J-pop sensation “Charan-Po-Rantan with Kankan Balkan” on the main stage wowed the audience and transformed Burgplatz into one big party space. The Japanese fireworks display at the end of the festival this year took the internationally unifying motto of “Together for Peace and Friendship”.
“After a two-year hiatus, we’ve finally been able to celebrate Japan Day Düsseldorf/NRW together again,” says Düsseldorf’s Mayor, Dr. Stephan Keller. “It was a festival of cultural diversity and friendship which showed that life and people in Düsseldorf are greatly enriched by the Japanese community.  I thank everybody involved and our Japanese fellow citizens for their huge commitment and for organising this wonderful festival.”

Pop culture stage on Johannes-Rau-Platz  
The Rhine embankment promenade was transformed into a colourful runway featuring many stages, stalls and activities – and the weather was good too. Lining the Rhine from the Reuterkaserne to the north as far as the meadow in front of the Landtag (parliament building) to the south, over 50 tents showed off Japanese culture – from archery to traditional kimonos to manga stalls and anime merchandise. There were also more than 20 food tents spread around the event space, making the city into a centre of Japanese street food. Younger visitors were thrilled by the new pop culture stage on Johannes-Rau-Platz, where the cosplay fashion show competition and the karaoke competition took place. 
The grand finale of this festival of culture and dialogue was the original Japanese fireworks display. This year, it took “Together for Peace and Friendship” as its motto, focusing on the friendship that contributes so much to international understanding. The motto was depicted in five scenes during the 25-minute fireworks display. WDR showed the fireworks display in its TV special “Feuerzauber über Düsseldorf” (Magical Fire over Düsseldorf). For anyone who missed the fireworks display, catch-up is available for one year in the ARD media library. 
In addition to the culture festival on the Rhine, Japan Business Day will also be taking place again under the auspices of Japan Day. On Wednesday, 25 May, industry representatives from Japan and Germany will be meeting to present future perspectives and applications on the theme of “New Materials for a Sustainable Future: Development, Processing and Recycling”. 

The attached photo may be used free of charge in connection with Japan Day reporting (Credit: Düsseldorf Tourismus GmbH/caption: Japanese fireworks display on the Rhine in Düsseldorf). 


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Clemens Henle 
Tel: +49 211. 17202-863, [email protected]