The One Love Jamaica Festival is an annual summer event that will be held in Komazawa Olympic Park and is a good time for those looking to soak up some great food, drinks, dancing, and music.
Music seems to flow from every corner of the festival space. Vendors and performers are everywhere playing drums, singing, and creating a truly Caribbean flair. Reggae mostly, of course, and those who can't play or sing often have a stereo set up with the sounds of one of the most famous Jamaicans, Bob Marley. And that's not counting the main event stage, which has a full lineup of singers and dancers that enthusiastically rocks all weekend.
There are rows and rows of tents set up with crafts and vendors. Of course, there is a wide selection of clothes and beachwear, Jamaican style (which means lots of green, yellow and black designs, lots of tie-dye, and lots of earthy, bohemian styles). There are lots of Latin drums for sale. One tent was selling Usain Bolt merchandise, with clothing and bags featuring the iconic "Fastest Man Alive."
Of course, every festival brings a huge array of food and drink stalls with it. Good smells wafted everywhere, with the focus on the jerk chicken. There were plenty of jerk chicken stands set up, and though the crowds seemed eager to line up and wait for one or two, there was plenty of delicious food to be found elsewhere, so don't waste your time lining up with everyone else. The famous Jamaican Red Stripe beer was well represented, as were a number of smaller and lesser-known rum and alcohol makers.
And if you can't make it to the Tokyo event in August, head down to Nagoya's Hisaya Odori Park to experience the same fun tunes and atmosphere.
Find out more about Komazawa Olympic Park.
I am an avid backpacker, writer, marathon runner, hiker, eater of spicy foods, watcher of B-movies, and user of the Harvard comma. I'm originally from Buffalo, New York, and arrived in Japan in 2008.