Ottawa Welcomes the World:Japan Festival


On Sunday October 15th, as a part of Ottawa Welcomes the World Event, the Embassy held Japan Festival in the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park. Ottawa Welcomes the World is a City of Ottawa’s project for embassies and foreign missions to hold their countries’ festivals and celebrate Canada’s diversity for the 150th anniversary of Confederation. The Embassy of Japan organized Japan Festival in cooperation with more than 45 groups and companies, and more than 8600 people visited throughout the day. (Event flyer)

In his remarks, Ambassador Monji said that Japan and Canada have enjoyed excellent relations over the years and he is delighted to witness among Canadians a growing interest in Japan. He hopes that this festival will allow people to discover many aspects of Japan and Japanese culture. Mayor Jim Watson delivered his remarks and thanked the Embassy and the Japanese community, mentioning Japan and Canada are friends and hoped that this event will help increase exchanges between the two countries.


Ambassador Monji delivering his remarks

Mayor Watson delivering his remarks


(From left) Mr. Guy Laflamme, Executive Director of Ottawa 2017, Mayor Jim Watson, Ambassador Monji and Ms. Snookir Lomow, Consultant for Ottawa Welcomes the World


Some of the performances included Japanese Taiko drum, Cosplay, martial arts and traditional dance by local groups. There were also Japanese artists visiting from Japan, such as Mr. Imamaru Hayashiya’s traditional paper cutting and music and a dance performance by Classic Live for United Nations. The stage performances proved quite popular as the audience seating remained full all day, with standing room only available.


Classic Live for the United Nations

Tateyama Kendo & Iaido Dojo

Emi no Kai

Ms. Elisabeth Santos

Oto-Wa Taiko

Takahashi Dojo

Ms. Rebecca Cragg (Camellia Teas of Ottawa)

Ms. Ryoko Itabashi

Ms. Sasha Ayers-Itabashi

Mr. Imamaru Hayashiya

Ottawa Cosplay

Ottawa Woodwind Project

Ms. Jill Cooper Robinson


Ottawa Japan Karate Association

Melody of Japan Women’s Choir


The “Imagine Japan Art Contest” for children was also featured at the event, with the Ambassador’s Choice Awards and People’s Choice Awards presented by the Ambassador on the stage. Shortly after, excitement was palpable with the announcement of Air Canada’s Trip to Japan winner.


Visitors voting for children’s art contest

Award giving ceremony


Announcement of Air Canada Trip to Japan Winner


At the food stands, Japanese sake, snacks, sweets, sushi, tofu and other dishes were on offer. Ambassador’s chef, Mr. Fujii, prepared Japanese yellowtail sashimi for tasting and visitors formed a long line to get their plates.


Japanese yellowtail sashimi tasting by Chef Fujii

Ozawa Canada (sake)

Izumi Sake

Snack tasting corner

C’est Japon à Suisha(Japanese sweets)

La Soyarie(Tofu)

Ginza Restaurant/Uji cafe(Japanese food)


At the company booths, visitors had a chance to enjoy various products and services such as Shiatsu massage, cosmetics, yukata photo shooting, camera, knives and homeware, along with Japanese car displays and tourism information. 


Sho Healing(Shiatsu massage)


Corgi Mark Photography (Yukata photo shooting)

Fuji Film

Knife Wear(Japanese knives)

Tokyo Shop(Homeware)

JETprogramme/MEXT Scholarship Information

Japan National Tourism Organization



Air Canada


IACE Travel



Local cultural organizations provided content-rich activities, including a yoyo-tsuri game, origami, calligraphy and karuta card game for kids. There was also traditional culture on display, such as ikebana, bonsai and haiku.


University of Ottawa, JELLO (Karuta card game)

Ottawa Japanese Language School (origami/calligraphy)

JET(Japan Exchange Teaching) allumni (Yoyo-tsuri game)


Ottawa Japanese Community Association/Ottawa Japanese Cultural Centre

Children’s Art Contest display

Tenugui exhibit

Ikebana International

Kado Ottawa

Ottawa Bonsai Society

J. C. Robinson photos


Visitors commented that it was a great opportunity to learn about different aspects of Japan through culture, food, products and services and performance. Some people were so pleased with their experience, they hope there will be another Japan Festival like this in future.