For two days the sun rises in the west.

Although there’s a lot of great culture like music and food to enjoy in Japan, the biggest problem is that the country is relatively hard to get to. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just hop in the car and take a drive out to Japan for the weekend?

In Los Angeles, that fantasy will be a reality for two days only with the return of the Rising Japan MusicFest, an outdoor music festival celebrating Japanese culture and bringing some of its best parts to the US.

This is the second time an eclectic mix of musicians, dancers, and entertainers of all stripes will come together on the West Coast like this. This time the venue has moved oceanside to the Marina Green park in Long Beach and an almost entirely new lineup is scheduled to perform.

Headlining this year is Shanice, an American singer whose song “I Love Your Smile” was a huge hit back in the day.

She’s known for her vocal range and singing ability that rivals that greatest of all time. But I always like to remember her from her time on Kids Incorporated back in the ’80s.

▼ Here she is singing for Mr. T. Even at that age she had some deadly pipes

Also on the bill is the pop duo Def Tech. Last year, Micro was able to make it to Rising Japan, but now Shen has come along to complete the pair.

There’s also the borderless music of Iakopo, the American-born, Samoan-raised resident of Japan with a fanbase that spans the globe.

But those are only a few of the performers scheduled for this two-day event on 22 and 23 July. A very diverse array of genres will be represented such as rock, reggae, pop, and rap.

▼ Other scheduled performers include (clockwise from top left): Rihwa, WST, Pepper Osaka, and Koz

And this is all only half or what’s in store for visitors! The food alone, sold by 14 vendors at the venue, is worth the price of admission with signature Japanese dishes like yakisoba fried noodles.

Or, if you prefer your noodles in burger form, that can be done too with the help of Rated R Burger. These ramen burgers use noodles as the bun and are also topped with mayo and made with a wagyu beef patty.

And let’s not forget the skewered chicken yakitori from Shin-Sen-Gumi which was previously deemed “among the best yakitori in the world” by my editor Casey. I reached out to him for confirmation if it was the absolute best in the world, but he could neither confirm not deny this, possibly out of concern of hurting the feelings of other yakitori vendors.

▼ I think we can all read between the lines though

Maids from Arcane Maid Cafe will also be at your service, offering various Japanese snacks and drinks with a touch of kawaii class.

And in true Japanese fashion, there will also be plenty of Asahi beer available to wash it all down with.

Or if you’re looking for a more refined beverage, it just wouldn’t be a Japanese festival without some sake nearby. Visitors can take part in a tasting by selecting three cups from over 30 brands for $10.

And speaking of drinks, those who purchase a VIP ticket will also get a bottle of Japan’s favorite sports drink: the unfortunately named but great tasting Pocari Sweat! The VIP tickets also include a T-shirt, food ticket, cup of sake, and dibs on great parking.

Anyone in the L.A. area would be wise to take advantage of this rare opportunity and have a little fun in the setting sun of Rising Japan.

Event information
Rising Japan MusicFest
Address: Marina Green Park 400 E Shoreline Drive, Long Beach, CA
Dates: 22 & 23 July, 2023
Admission: 1 Day $60 (VIP $180), 2 Days $110 (VIP $330)

Images ©Rising Japan MusicFest
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