If you happened to see an abundance of ladies dressed in French maid outfits and men rocking furry headdresses in the East Village yesterday, you weren’t suffering from heat stroke-induced hallucinations. The costumed cosplayers were attending JapanTown’s Cool Japan street festival. Yesterday’s festival, the first of three scheduled around the city this summer and fall, focused on the cool aspects of Japanese culture. Vendors provided a variety of Japanese foods, from traditional curries to teriyaki pizza, as well as Japanese antiques, anime-related products, and even miniature battle bots duking it out sumo style. For the spiritually inclined, there was a portable shrine and a stall providing information about Japan’s major religion, Shintoism.
Read the rest of the story: Cool Japan In Hot New York.