Showing posts with label japantown san jose. Show all posts
Showing posts with label japantown san jose. Show all posts

Friday, April 5, 2024

Sixth Annual San Jose Day

South First Friday isn't the only big art event happening this week in San Jose. The 6th Annual San Jose Day takes over Japantown this Saturday from 12pm-6pm.

In addition to art gallery shows there will be food trucks, a local vendor fair, live music, and dance performances. Last year the event brought in over 8,000 visitors.

The event is free and friendly for all ages as well as dogs (on a leash). Parking is extremely limited, so alternate transportation or ride share is ideal.

Thursday, March 7, 2024

A Photo Night in Japantown

Multiple Japantown venues are coming together to showcase photography culture in San Jose. A Photo Night in Japantown was created to gather folks to check out really cool photography and get to know local photographers. It's a mix of solo shows, group shows and photo experiences.

The event takes place this Saturday, March 9th from 4-7pm across the following Japantown venues:


1. @empire7studios 
2. @cukui 
4. @headliners 
5. @lannynguyenphotography 
6. @thecoterieden 
7. @paradoxbarbers 
8. @knowfuturegallery

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Lunar New Year at Japantown

Japantown is hosting a major Lunar New Year event today from 10am-2pm.

Start the year of the dragon with a "Fukubukuro" lucky back, which is a Japanese New Year custom where merchants make grab bags filled with unknown random content sold for a substantial discount. Participating stores include Cukui, Nichi Bei Bussan, Kogura Co, Classic Loot, Empire 7 Studios, Zonkey, State of Grace, Paradox, Monmon Cats, Coldwater, and Headliners.

Firecrackers will be set off at 12pm and start at 4th/Jackson and apparently run all the way to 7th/Empire Street.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

518 new apartments in San Jose's Japantown are already 95% leased

Shea Properties and Ivanhoe Cambridge launched Sixth and Jackson luxury apartments in Japantown earlier this year, named after the cross streets where you can find the 518-unit complex. Even though it just opened pretty recently, the property is already 95% leased. This goes to show how strong the San Jose housing market is right now, even with floorplans starting at $2,656/mo for a studio and scaling to $5,200/mo for a three bedroom unit.

The project is split between two seven-story buildings with tons of amenities like a yoga room, rooftop lounge, dog run, co-working spaces, meeting rooms, a spin room, outdoor entertainment areas, Shea Properties also built a new public park between the buildings called Heinlenville Park, named after the person that helped transform the neighborhood in the late 19th century. The park will eventually have a $30 million arts incubator and community center, but construction on that project hasn't started yet.

It's quite an upgrade for Japantown, one of my favorite neighborhoods in San Jose. It's great that they were able to integrate so many community elements into the project and there is still quite a bit of retail on the ground floor available for lease to further enhance the area in the future.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, October 30, 2023

Halloween in Japantown San Jose

Japantown is also throwing a major Halloween event tomorrow. They have actually been doing a Halloween event since 2003. In 2017 it became so popular they closed off major streets.

Trick-or-treating starts at 4:30pm with most of the SJ Japantown businesses participating. Then you have San Jose Taiko performances, dancing, a haunted house, and arts & crafts.

There should be no shortage of options tomorrow to celebrated one of the most fun holidays out there.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Rock 'n' Roll Marathon this Weekend

If you’re looking for a fun and fast way to experience the spirit of San Jose, look no further than the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose marathon. This annual event, which will take place on September 30 and October 1, 2023, is part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series that features live music, cheer squads, and a festive atmosphere along the course.

The Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose marathon offers four distances to choose from: half marathon, 10K, 5K, and KiDS ROCK. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or a beginner, you’ll find a challenge that suits your level and goal. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy the scenic views of downtown San Jose, the Rose Garden, and the Alameda as you run.

The race weekend kicks off with a two-day Health & Fitness Expo at the San Jose Convention Center, where you can pick up your race packet, shop for running gear, and get inspired by guest speakers and experts. On Saturday, you can join the 5K or the KiDS ROCK races, which are perfect for families and friends who want to have some fun together. On Sunday, you can test your endurance and speed in the half marathon or the 10K races, which are known for being flat and fast.

But the fun doesn’t stop at the finish line. You’ll also get to celebrate your achievement with a medal, a T-shirt, a free beverage, and admission to the Finish Line Festival and Post-Race Concert. There, you can rock out to live bands, enjoy food and drinks from local vendors, and mingle with other runners and spectators.

If you’re feeling generous, you can also run for a cause by joining the St. Jude Heroes program. By fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, you’ll get free race entry and other perks, such as an exclusive medal, a race singlet, and access to the race weekend hospitality experience. You’ll also help St. Jude lead the way in treating and defeating childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Register now for the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose marathon and get ready to rock your run. You’ll not only have a blast, but also make some lasting memories in Speed City (new nickname for San Jose?). For more information and registration details, visit the official website of the event.

Thursday, July 6, 2023

San Jose Obon Festival in Japantown this weekend!

The San Jose Obon Festival 2023 is a celebration of Japanese culture and heritage that takes place every summer in the heart of San Jose's Japantown (one of only three remaining in the US). 

This year, the festival will be held on July 8th and 9th, from 11 am to 10 pm, and will feature traditional music, dance, food, crafts, games, and more. The highlight of the festival is the Obon Odori, a folk dance that honors the spirits of the ancestors. Everyone is welcome to join in the dance, which starts at 7:30 pm on Saturday and 6pm on Sunday. 

The festival is organized by the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin and is supported by many volunteers and sponsors. Come and experience the joy and beauty of Obon, a time to remember and celebrate our loved ones and our community.

This is the the largest annual festival in San Jose's Japantown and you can easily find it on 5th Street between Taylor and Jackson Streets. For more details, head over here.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Viva CalleSJ 2022 on Sunday, September 18th

Viva Calle SJ is one of San Jose's largest and most unique annual events. Miles of city streets will be completely shut down to let people walk, run, bike, or skateboard down the streets of San Jose. 

Viva Calle features multiple activity hubs which are basically festivals-within-a-festival that highlight the local area. This year the activity hubs will be at Parque de los Pobladores (Downtown), Kelley Park & History Park, the Arena Green, and Japantown. You can expect live music, vendors, food, activities, bike parking, and good times at all four hubs. In between the activity hubs you will still find all sorts of interesting stops, hydration stations, and stores. Up to 100,000 people attend this event, but it never feels crowded given how spread out it is.

This year the route is essentially a hub Downtown with 3 spokes extending to the activity hubs. It's wild to think that you can walk from Kelly Park to Japantown in the middle of city streets.

Viva CalleSJ 2022 takes place on Sunday, September 18th from 10am to 3pm (streets are closed until 4pm). It is completely free and has no designated beginning or end as it's not a race. It also overlaps with a PokemonGO community event, so you may see a lot of people on their phones. You can use the handy map below to locate the routes and festivities. For more info, head over here. Hope to see you there!

Monday, August 24, 2020

Japantown mixed-use development proposal

Downtown San Jose receives most of the attention when it comes to dense high-rise development these days, but there are some interesting proposals outside of the area. For example, there is a new project on the table in Japantown that would include multiple towers on the area bound by Taylor Street, Miller Street, George Street, and North First Street. It would include a 210 foot tall tower with 244 apartments, 61,000 SQFT of office space, 5,560 SQFT of retail, and 731 parking spaces.

The project would also be right in the middle of the North 1st Street Local Transit Village Plan, which will hopefully accommodate thousands of new homes and jobs in the future. Currently the area houses a surface parking lot and a one-story office building. This would be a major upgrade for the area.

If all goes well this could be approved by the City Council later this year or in Q1 of 2021. It would then take at least a couple more years to build.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, September 2, 2019

Viva Calle 2019 Part 2 - "Parks to Roses" on Sep 22nd

Rain and hail may have put a damper on the first Viva Calle this year, but that is not going to happen again in late September. Thankfully we have not one but two Viva Calle's this year.

During Viva Calle SJ, miles of city streets will be completely shut down to let people walk, run, bike, or skateboard down the streets of San Jose. Viva Calle features multiple activity hubs which are basically festivals-within-a-festival that highlight the local area. For part 2, the activity hubs will be at Backesto Park, Arena Green, and the Municipal Rose Garden. You can expect live music, vendors, food, activities, bike parking, and good times at all three hubs. In between the activity hubs you will still find all sorts of interesting stops, hydration stations, and stores. Last year over 100,000 people attended the event.

Viva Calle 2019 "Downtown and Eastbound" takes place on Sunday, September 22nd from 10am to 3pm (streets are closed until 4pm). It is completely free and has no designated beginning or end as it's not a race. However, it appears that for the first time ever there is also a new 5K at 8am.

You can use the handy map below to locate the routes and festivities. For more info, head over here. Hope to see you there!

Monday, January 29, 2018

New arts center coming to Japantown

An empty lot in Japantown at 7th Street and E. Taylor Street is now destined to become a 55,000 SQFT arts center. It will become the new home base for several nonprofits including Silicon Valley Creates, for San Jose Taiko, the New Ballet School, and CreaTV. If it looks anything like the render below, it should also be quite stunning.

The goal is to kick off construction by June of 2019 (this is highly dependent on funding), and it won't be the only project in the area. Eventually the arts center is expected to be surrounded by new housing midrises and a park.

Source: The Merc  Hat tip to Vianka Villanueva for sending this in!

Friday, October 20, 2017

POW! WOW! Punches Way Through San Jose!

The world-renowned POW! WOW! comes to San Jose from October 22- 29, 2017!

POW! WOW! has expanded to 13+ cities and produced over 500 murals in countries and cities such as Taiwan, Israel, Singapore, Jamaica, Washington D.C., Guam, New Zealand, Germany and now San Jose!

POW! WOW! San Jose is powered by Empire Seven Studios and Universal Grammar and is focused on showcasing a gathering of contemporary artists that engages with the broader community in the process and creation of art.

San Jose’s inaugural event celebrates the efforts of local and out-of-town artists to feature 16 murals take shape. The week-long event brings art to a public forum, creating galleries on the streets for all to see and for later generations to enjoy.

I’m super stoked that POW! WOW! will be spread across some of my most beloved neighborhoods like J’Town (AKA Japantown), SoFA District, East San Jose and more! Empire Seven Studios, MACLA and San Jose Museum of Art will host receptions, workshops and panel discussions with artists. Make sure to check out the daily music events or mural bike ride.

I must confess, I just found out about POW! WOW! through my friends at MTCA (thanks guys). While POW! WOW! just came on my radar, it was already weaved into the fabric of who I am. You see, POW! WOW! started in my birthplace (Hawaii) and the annual event is held at one of my most favorite areas in O’ahu: the Kaka’ako District. And now, Kaka’ako’s aloha has now landed in San Jose! Mahalo to POW! WOW! founder Jasper Wong for bringing the event to San Jose J

While San Jose’s identity is defined by innovators developing life-changing technologies, what I find most endearing about San Jose is witnessing the city evolve and adapt. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an advocate of San Jose’s annual events, but we need more events and happenings like POW! WOW! because arts, entertainment and culture are great building blocks for a thriving and growing city. What excites me most about POW! WOW! San Jose’s iteration is that if reinforces San Jose’s commitment to shine light on the arts.

Thank you again to Jasper Wong and POW! WOW! San Jose’s event organizers for bringing this event to San Jose!

San Jose, let’s show them the way…

More deets on the event’s schedule can be found here: 

-Noe Sacoco Jr

Monday, March 20, 2017

Cellista presenting Finding San Jose in tribute to the 100th anniversary of Jean Cocteau's Parade

CELLISTA TO PRESENT: Finding San José  | A Multimedia Stage Poem
in tribute to the 100th anniversary of Jean Cocteau's Parade
May 18-20th, 2017 | 8PM
Akiyama Wellness Center in SJ Japantown
110 Jackson Street, SJ, 95112
Tickets: $12-15 at door of via

Cellista, the multidisciplinary artistic director of the performing arts company Juxtapositions has created a stage poem which places the eclectic communities of San José side by side. The production, first staged and workshopped in San Francisco to a sold-out, enthusiastic audiences makes its way home to San José.

This presentation of Finding San José marks the 100th year anniversary of the realist ballet Parade directed by French surrealist Jean Cocteau. The work, created for the Ballets Russe incorporated music from Eric Satie, artwork from Picasso, and choreography from Léonide Massine.

Finding San José is Cellista’s attempt to set the aura of her home of San José, to music, dance, film and stage, placing artists from across disciplines side-by-side.

The production, first staged and workshopped in San Francisco to a sold-out audience makes its way home. The production features video projections and short films by filmmaker Jennifer Gigantino (, daring dance choreography from Lilith Ransom of Ransom Dance (, Mojo DeVille (Haus Serpens Cabaret), and San Jose’s own Lauren Baines ( It includes a short experimental documentary entitled Cellista by filmmaker Brian Favorite.

Using her critically acclaimed debut full-length album of the same name as its soundtrack, Finding San José renders a lyrical truth to our present day and presents Cellista’s want to provide a mirror to the community she calls home. Finding San José, the stage poem is a complete work that juxtaposes disciplines in order to create a reaction to the reality of what it means to have a sense of place within a participatory and observational place.

Finding San José comes home for three performances on May 18-20, 2017 at 8PM at the Akiyama Wellness Center (110 Jackson St. SJ, CA 95112)
Tickets available via

Find out more about Cellista online:
Listen to the album:
Fb link:


“Freya (Cellista) is a classically trained, punk rock spirited girl with the charm and elegance to defy the stereotype that classical music isn’t cool.”
— Belle Foundation

“Beautifully weird.”
— Director Brian Allan Hobbs

“Cellista is an American cellist, artistic director, and arts advocate and may very well be part cello. When she was born maybe a little piece of cello squirmed inside her bassinet and burrowed its way into her very being making the otherworldly performances she produces come to life. That’s the only explanation that makes sense at least."
— Rushtix

Monday, September 26, 2016

Bay Area Bike Share expansion maps reveal new service areas

Bay Area BikeShare is responsible for those light blue bikes that you see throughout Downtown San Jose and parts of San Francisco. Thanks to a new sponsor--Ford--the program is going to dramatically expand starting in Spring of 2017. Bay Area BikeShare will also be renamed "Ford GoBike."

The program will go from 700 bikes to 7,000 bikes. Oakland and a couple other East Bay cities will also be added. If you are a subscriber, you will be able to access bikes in any available location in the Bay Area.

Below is the map of the area we care most about. The existing service area for San Jose is in orange, which includes most of Downtown San Jose and one station in Japantown. Phase 1 of the expansion will bring BikeShare to The Alameda. Phase 2 will push the service out beyond Japantown to the North and beyond Highway 280 to the South. Phase 3 will extend to the Airport area, the tech campuses on North First, and Naglee/Taylor. Finally, Phase 4 will go to Midtown, East San Jose, and towards Berryessa.

All phases should be complete by the end of 2018.

Expansion will start in Spring 2017 and roll out in phases, enlarging bike share in San Francisco, San Jose - and bringing bike share to the East Bay for the first time

Program to be renamed Ford GoBike as expansion begins

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Motivate and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) released maps Thursday showing the contours of the expansion of bike share in the Bay Area. The program will grow from 700 to 7,000 bikes with the first new stations being installed in spring 2017. The expansion will take place in phases, building outward from the existing service areas in San Francisco and San Jose and outward from more dense areas of the cities in the East Bay. Motivate and the MTC also released more specific maps with the proposed station locations for Phase 2 expansion stations. (Phase 1 locations were released earlier this year.) Expansion is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.

Station locations are being selected through an extensive community engagement process. Locations for the first two phases of expansion are the product of over 120 meetings with local officials, community leaders, business owners and residents, 19 public workshops, and door-to-door outreach – with more still to come. There is also an online station-suggestion portal that has generated over 5,000 unique station location suggestions submitted by the public so far. Motivate will continue this outreach as it plans additional phases of expansion, with Phase 3 public workshops beginning next week in Oakland and Berkeley (workshop schedule).

At full build-out, the system will have stations every few blocks in San Francisco from the Bay to the Beach; it will connect Oakland, Berkeley, and Emeryville; and it will extend the San Jose service area from the downtown core. It will link people to MUNI and BART, to jobs and schools, to businesses and parks. San Francisco will have more bike share bikes per capita than any other system in North America and will have one of the highest ratios of bike share bikes per capita than anywhere else in the world.

The program’s expansion is enabled by a public-private partnership, and Motivate recently announced that Ford Motor Company has signed on as the program’s title sponsor. The program will be renamed Ford GoBike as expansion begins in the spring.

“Since the launch of Bay Area Bike Share in 2013, we’ve heard a strong desire from the community to bring bike share to the East Bay,” said Emily Stapleton, General Manager of Bay Area Bike Share. “In the first year of our expansion, we’re planning to connect the key commercial corridors in Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville to provide residents, workers and visitors in these thriving cities with a new and accessible option to travel in and between them.”

This week, Motivate and the MTC also released the proposed locations for Phase 2 stations for additional public feedback. Phase 2 will bring over 100 new stations that will expand the San Francisco service area into new neighborhoods including the Haight-Ashbury, Hayes Valley, and Dogpatch, make new connections across Berkeley, Oakland, and Emeryville, and expand service throughout downtown San Jose. Maps will be posted on the Bay Area Bike Share website, see below for details.

The best bike share station locations are highly visible, close to bicycle facilities, co-located with other transportation connections, and/or close to local destinations like parks, commercial districts, or other major destinations that attract large numbers of Bay Area residents. Bike share systems thrive when stations are placed close to one another, typically no more than a quarter mile or a five-minute walk. Specific locations are chosen through a process that couples feedback from the station suggestion portal with extensive public consultation in neighborhoods where the expansion is expected to take place, along with a technical assessment of site suitability.

See specific proposed station locations and learn more about how to get involved:

About Bay Area Bike Share, operated by Motivate
Bay Area Bike Share is a quick, convenient and affordable way to travel around the Bay Area. The system is growing from 700 to 7,000 bikes by the end of 2018, and expanding into the East Bay. Bay Area Bike Share is operated by Motivate, a global leader in bike share. Motivate manages all of the largest bike share systems in the United States and many of the largest systems in the world, including Citi Bike (New York and Jersey City), Divvy (Chicago), CoGo Bike Share (Columbus, OH), Capital Bike Share (Washington, D.C., Arlington and Alexandria, VA, and Montgomery County, MD) Hubway (Boston, Somerville, Cambridge and Brookline, MA), Pronto (Seattle), BIKETOWN (Portland, OR), Bike Chattanooga (TN), Bike Share Toronto, and Melbourne Bike Share in Australia. Learn more about Bay Area Bike Share at

About the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)
MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, go to

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Save Empire Seven Studios

The Empire Seven gallery in Japantown has hosted hundreds of art shows over its 10 year run. Unfortunately, the building will soon be torn down to make room for luxury apartments. Officially, they will be kicked out on January 1st, 2017.

Empire Seven's proprietors are now looking to build a new gallery in the heart of Japantown. The project would create a new four-story building with the gallery on the main floor, a recording studio in the basement, and artist residences on the upper floors. The residences would help keep local artists in San Jose.

They are asking for donations through a GoFundMe campaign over here. Every little bit helps, including getting the word out to as many people as possible. Check out their 8-minute video below and learn more about the project here.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Take 50% off Japantown Sake Walk Tickets through Labor Day

There's a flash discount of 50% off tickets good through the end of today for the upcoming Sake Walk in Japantown on Thursday, Sep. 15 from 6pm to 9pm.

The folks from The Beerwalk are helping to continue Sake San Jose and proceeds will benefit Yu-Ai Kai and the Japantown Business Association.

Tickets can be purchased until the end of the day today for 50% off the currently priced $35 tickets at

For some more information, please check out my recent post on my local beer site at


Monday, September 7, 2015

New Mural called "Little Moment" in Japantown

Japantown is building quite a collection of impressive murals. The latest one is called "Little Moment" and is located at 140 Jackson Street (on the side of Nichi Bei Bussan). The giant mural was done by Nosego, a Philadelphia based artist known for colorful and emotive public art. What do you guys think?

Source: Hi-Fructose

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Japantown 125th Anniversary Concerts

San Jose has one of only three remaining Japantowns in the United States. On August 15th and September 12th, Japantown San Jose is celebrating their 125th anniversary with a duo of concerts. Featured musicians are Chidori Band, San Jose Taiko (love these guys), Shirley Muramoto, Wesley Jazz Band, Wesley Ukulele Band, and Halau Na Wai Ola.

Get your tickets right over here.

Oh and check out the latest Japantown Art Boxes below.