The Japanese Cultural Fair has showcased Japanese tradition in Santa Cruz for over thirty years!


Our History

Since its founding in 1986, the fair has provided an opportunity for members of the Santa Cruz County community to increase their awareness and understanding of Japanese culture, both traditional and contemporary. Through the arts, crafts, and culture of Japan, the fair has brought together thousands of people, improving their understanding of our Pacific Rim neighbors, as well as enriching community life.

Tandy Beale was among the first collaborators to bring the idea of a Japanese themed cultural fair to Santa Cruz. Since then, The JCF has increased the activities and events it provides to the community and continues to do so, transforming itself through the support of our community from a minor cultural gathering to the annual event we know today.

The JCF is currently working in collaboration with the Aptos Public Library in a monthly meeting of the Origami Club, the first Saturday of every month from 1-3 pm. All are invited to attend. All are encouraged to have fun. Whether you are a beginner or a master at the art of origami, you are invited.

By the continuing support of our community, both voluntary and financial, the Japanese Cultural Fair will continue! We strive to improve every year and will continue doing so.

Our volunteers are a major reason the festival has succeeded in becoming what it is today. Please consider being a part of that tradition. Volunteer today!


Here is a documentary of the fair from CTV produced in 2012


Thus a great annual event that provides a wonderful sampling of Japanese culture—food, music, merch, Aikido and more! Fun for everyone!
— Andrea of Santa Cruz
I love this festival and look forward to attending every year. Our city Park and Rec staff, the Sister Cities Commission, the Watsonville Taiko, the Japanese-American organizations and volunteers make this event well worth attending. The shopping, music and food are also outstanding!
— Richelle of Santa Cruz