Japan Week 2013: The Photos

Japan Week 2013 ran from March 19 through 21 at Grand Central Terminal in New York City.

Vendors selling goods from Ito En green tea to Minamoto Kitchoan sweets to Hello Kitty nori chips occupied one half of Vanderbilt Hall while the other held a stage for several incredible performances. The three-day event introduced passersby to the little known traditions of makeup and hairstyles for geisha and storytelling, while the kimono was given new twists.

The main focus of Japan Week 2013, however, was the train and travel culture of Japan. To mark the 100th birthday of Grand Central Terminal this year and Tokyo Stations upcoming centennial next year, the two stations signed a formal agreement as Sister Stations. To celebrate Japan’s vibrant system of train travel, Japan Week 2013 featured ekiben, bento boxed lunches that thousands of travelers purchase at train stations in Japan each day. Nine local restaurants created special ekiben specifically for Japan Week 2013, and crowds were more than happy to wait in line – some for an hour or more – to sample the unique flavors of this Japanese tradition.