Join NBC Bay Area, Telemundo 48, and the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (Center) at a community event celebrating the Opening Day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on Friday, July 23 at 1:30 p.m in San Francisco's Japantown. The event is free and open to the public.
- Can't make it? Bookmark this page and join us then to watch a livestream!
Despite the many challenges faced by both athletes and organizers, the Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to begin Friday, July 23, with live, local coverage starting at 4 a.m. on NBC Bay Area channel 11, cable 3 & 703. The Center and NBC Bay Area will commemorate this event in San Francisco's historic Japantown, one of only three remaining in the country, featuring traditional Japanese performances and activities for all.
The schedule of elected speakers include Assemblymember David Chiu of the 17th District and Supervisor Dean Preston representing District 5. NBC Bay Area Traffic Anchor, Mike Inouye will emcee the ceremony.
The community celebration will include cultural activities and performances by members of the Kokusai Karate Renmei led by Hanshi Craig Hamakawa, San Francisco Kendo Dojo featuring Miyun Kang Sensei and Koji Lau-Ozawa Sensei, Northern California Kyudo Federation Sensei Maria Peterson, and Jiten Daiko - a young Bay Area Japanese Taiko ensemble.
Scheduled activities will take place from 1:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
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Interactive activities will include Olympic paper torch making and Daruma Toss. To honor the tradition of the Japanese concept of mottainai - to stress the need and value to use something to its fullest capacity - our “kimo NO WASTE” - a reuse and recycle project will be featured to honor and promote a citizen’s movement in Japan. Over the past two years, citizens from all parts of Japan were encouraged to donate their small electronic devices including old, unused mobile phones. The effort resulted in the collection of over 78 tons of metals to produce 5,000 gold, silver and bronze medals that will be awarded at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The 2021 Cherry Blossom Queen Kelly Eshima and First Princess Akiko Bates will perform and lead a dance of two songs: Tokyo Ondo and the Tokyo Gorin Ondo - a song and dance created to celebrate the 1964 Olympics and then re-adapted to welcome this year’s games.
Japantown will also celebrate the Tokyo 2020 Closing Ceremony during the Nihonmachi Street Fair on August 7-8. On Sunday Aug 8th the Nihonmachi Street Fair will commemorate the Tokyo 2020 Closing Ceremony with two odori dance programs at 12 noon and 3 p.m. The ten participatory folk dances will be led by dance instructors and accompanied by Jiten Daiko and Ensohza Band.
WHEN: Friday, July 23 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: San Francisco Japantown, 1737 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94115 or watch the livestream on nbcbayarea.com
For more coverage, visit NBCBayArea.com/Olympics.