Akimatsuri, the Japan Autumn Festival in Guam

Japan Autumn Fest

Akimatsuri or the Japan Autumn Festival, is annually enjoyed by more than 30,000 people, and is the largest Japanese cultural event on the island. With more than 30 stalls of Food and drinks, goods, and games that audience can enjoy, with typical Japanese Festa treats such as Yakisoba, Takoyaki, and Okonomiyaki, or local BBQ ribs or Kelaguens, this festival is one of the most cross cultural feats on the island.

There are also traditional games at the festival such as gold fish catcher, Yoyo catcher, ring throw, bon dancing and so on, which is the same as the ones in Japan. In the evening, there are variety of shows by performers from Japan. More than 80 volunteer Mikoshi Crews gather for this festival from all over Japan and carry Mikoshi around Ypao park with more than a hundred people, which is the climax of the event.

The Japan Autumn Festival started from the parking lot of one of the Japanese owned hotel in 1977 by some Japanese living on Guam then. They wanted to provide an opportunity for Japanese children on Guam to experience Japanese traditional Festival. As the event became more recognized, they moved the location from the parking lot to the current site, Ypao Park in 1983.

This year, Guam celebrates the 39th edition of the festival, and shall be held on Nov 17th at the normal venue, the Ypao Park. Wyndham Gardens, a great place to stay during the festival, offers great rooms and service, to help you enjoy the carnival.

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