Since 1986 over these past 34 years, JapanFest has grown to be one of the Southeast’s premier festivals. After much discussion and careful consideration, the JapanFest Board of Directors made the difficult decision not to hold this year’s festival in person. Given the painful reality of COVID-19 and to keep public health and the well-being of participants, staff, visitors, performers and vendors as our highest priorities, JapanFest 2020 will be held virtually through a series of interactive online programming from June and ending with a grand finale during the last weekend in September.Through this year’s theme of Wasshoi One World, JapanFest looks forward to bring people together virtually and to continue promoting Japanese art and culture. For more information, visit www.JapanFest.org.
Co-organized by JapanFest, Inc., The Japan-America Society of Georgia, The Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Georgia), and supported by the Consulate General of Japan.
The mission of JapanFest is to improve understanding and appreciation of linkages between Japanese and Americans residing in the Southeastern United States through an annual salute to Japanese culture and friendship entitled JapanFest. This celebration will promote multicultural education, encourage social harmony, and ensure the cultural integrity of JapanFest by providing an appropriate mix of authentic contemporary and traditional programs on Japanese art and culture. Activities include a wide variety of performing arts, demonstrations, hands-on workshops, and exhibitions. These grassroots efforts are coordinated by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Georgia and The Japan-America Society of Georgia, and implemented by a host of community volunteers. JapanFest is committed to organizing a self-sustaining event, supported in part by non-Japanese Chamber of Commerce and non-Japan-America Society of Georgia members, and provides meaningful financial support to educational endeavors in Georgia.
What is now referred to as "JapanFest" began in 1981 as Japan Week, a biannual series of Japan-related cultural events organized by the Consulate-General of Japan that took place around the city of Atlanta. In 1986, the name was changed to JapanFest, and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Georgia, the Japan America Society of Georgia, and the Consulate General of Japan organized their own events under the title of JapanFest. In 1993, the first Picnic and Sports Day was held at Mercer University. In 1995, Picnic and Sports Day became Japan Day at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. In 1996, JapanFest moved to Stone Mountain Park and became an annual event. In 1997, JapanFest, Inc. was incorporated as a non-profit corporation. In 2012, JapanFest had over 17,000 attendees, making JapanFest the largest Japanese festival south of Washington, DC and east of Houston, TX.
JapanFest was selected as a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society in 2003, 2010, and 2011 and was a 2004 recipient of the Certificate of Commendation on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of US-Japan relations from former Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi for its contributions to the friendship and goodwill between Japan and the United States.