When is St. Patricks Day in Tokyo? We’re sure you’ve experienced it before! It’s usually that day in March when people in your neighborhood pinch each other for not wearing green while on parade! What if we told you that traveling to Japan didn’t have to mean missing those age-old celebrations?
Saint Patrick’s Day began as a religious celebration surrounding, you guessed it, an Irish man named Saint Patrick. The celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day can be traced back to times as early as the 17h century.
While it began as a religious feast day of the Saint of Ireland, the day and its celebrations have become much more than that. It’s expanded its reach across different communities and cultures worldwide!
Today March 17th, is acknowledged as an official government holiday in Ireland, the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Montserrat. Because it’s associated with the Irish diaspora, the day has become globally recognized to celebrate Irish culture.
So, despite only being recognized as a national holiday in three different countries and provinces, celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day is a global phenomenon. The day and its festivities take place in more countries than other festivals.
Saint Patrick’s Day is most prevalent in countries such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina. However, this does not, in any way, mean that the festivities are limited to just those countries! As we said, Saint Patrick’s Day has become a widely celebrated festival, including in Japan!
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So, how does Japan celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day – and how can you get in on it? Lucky for you, Saint Patrick’s day is an increasingly popular holiday in Japan. Festivals and Parades occur countrywide, most of which occur in Tokyo! You might be interested in celebrations like the “I love Ireland” festival in Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park.
This festival began back in 1992 and included a parade down Omotesando avenue. Participating in this parade costs around ¥500 ($4), and if you’re in the city, it’s not something you should miss!
This year the festival is taking place on March 12th, giving you plenty of time to experience all the other Saint Patrick’s Day-themed wonders the city has to offer leading up to the actual Saint Patrick’s Day.
If you’re not satisfied with just experiencing just one Saint Patrick’s Day parade during your stay in Tokyo, don’t fret! You can do it again with the parade in Tokyo’s neighborhood of Harajuku on March 17th!
Are you looking for a different way to wade your way through crowds of green? We understand. For those looking for a more formal celebration of Irish culture in Tokyo, look no further than The Emerald Ball.
This ball was established in 1996 and has long represented the cultural ties between Japan and Ireland. It’s a perfect chance to celebrate Irish culture in Japan while attending a charity event.
This year (2023), the ball will take place the evening of March 11th, and while this ball does run its attendees ¥28,000 ($208), the proceeds of the event will be donated to charities such as the Peter McVerry Trust in Ireland and CCE and Support Our Kids in Japan.
Even if you’re not looking to venture into the crowds and parades popularly associated with Saint Patrick’s Day, there are still plenty of (more low-key) ways to celebrate during your visit.
Tokyo restaurants such as Cafe & Dining Zelkova create unique items and menus centered and themed around the holiday, and if you’re adventurous, Restaurant 1899 Ochanomizu crafts a (green!) Matcha Green Tea Beer.
Want a more traditional Irish pint of beer? The city hosts plenty of different Irish pubs! Shibuya hosts traditional Irish pubs Failte and An Solas. At the same time, Toshima City holds The Dubliners Irish Pub- whenever you are, there’s no doubt you’ll be able to find a place to duck into for a traditional Irish-themed night.
If you’re visiting Tokyo in March, pack something green! The city has no shortage of Saint Patrick’s Day festivities to discover, and if you happen to be here, you won’t want to miss out. When is St. Patricks Day in your country? Were you surprised to hear about Tokyo’s love for the holiday? Let us know!
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