The 14 of march 2010 is the date set for the nineteenth annual Saint Patrick's Day parade in Tokyo, Japan. So if you're out and about in the hipster filled Harajuku area of the city that Sunday you can expect to see an Irish parade unlike any other in the world.
The bagpipes and drums and traditional Irish set dancing are just as likely to be performed (and performed well at that) by the local Japanese people are they are by Irish who live and work there. If you want to get a sense of the astonishing scale and impact the Irish actually have had on the world visit one of the may parades held thought the country in Ise, Kumamoto, Kyoto, Matsue, Okinawa, Yokohama, Nagoya and Tsukuba.
If you're feeling homesick so far from the old sod you'll be amazed by the numbers of Irish people (and the many more who honor their culture) that gather at these parades. Rickshaws pulled by Japanese men in green traditional robes mingle happily with Irish lads in their county hurling shirts. Elsewhere some Japanese singers can sing a version of the Fields of Athenry to bring a tear to your eye. But don't just take my word for it, view the craic as it happens in the following Youtube clip.
To plan your own Tokyo Saint Patrick's Day visit www.inj.or.jp/stpatrick_e.html and tell them Irish Central sent you. And do remember to make as many video clips as you can.
To see Saint Patrick's Day in Tokyo CLICK HERE
Moving to Ireland
After living in Ireland for almost one year, this is what I’ve learned