Here’s a breakdown of recent news with the neighborhood and JBA.
Japantown Farmer’s Market
The Japantown Farmer’s Market is back in full swing, every Sunday from 8am to noon. The new location and return of the market has been well received by its clients, and we have a rotating schedule of vendors. If you know of any food and/or craft/art vendors who may want to participate on an occasional basis, please let us know. JBA businesses do not have to pay the $100 annual JFM membership fee, only the weekly booth fee.
Food vendors have to be permitted through the Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health and we can direct you on the paperwork. The turnaround time for food vendors to participate in the JFM is about two weeks, dependent on SCCDEH timelines. Any non-food vendors can participate any time dependent on space – we know by Wednesday/Thursday of the week prior to the market how much space is available for occasional vendors.
Also, we need volunteers to keep the market running smoothly. The requirements of the JFM are 3x greater than the prior location, due to stationing of pedestrian safety volunteers at the Gordon Biersch driveway (for jaywalkers), and the 6th/Taylor Street intersection. Without volunteers, we may need to give up helping seniors and pedestrians at those locations. Please contact us if you would like to help.
Japantown Business Association & Japantown Prepared!
We’d like to give a warm welcome to Mark Santo of Santo Market to the JBA Board! Mark was part of the JBA Board for many years in the past, and we’re excited that he’s returned. Mark is the first recipient of the Japantown Prepared! Business Certification, presented at the July 2019 JBA meeting.
Japantown Prepared! has a disaster preparedness program that helps businesses create their own disaster plan, including training of employees and encourages keeping an annual training record in case of earthquake or environmental disaster. If you would like to be part of the program, email Rich Saito at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tsugaru Restaurant is closing this month after decades in business. The building was purchased several years ago with the new owners’ intention to renovate the space and open their own business. It is being reported that Tsugaru’s owners will focus their efforts on their other restaurant in East San Jose.
Repainting of Miraido Village: Miraido Village is being repainted and it will necessitate pedestrian and parking stall closures around parts of the building while a boom and equipment is present. The affected areas are: 540 N. 6th Street from July 29-August 6; 6th Street side of 560 N. 6th Street from August 7-15, and Jackson Street side of 560 N. 6th Street from August 16-28.
Donation: We’d like to thank Japantown neighbor, Karen McKeown, for her contribution to the JBA for upcoming tree maintenance and care. The JBA is still in the process of having dying trees in the business district replaced; it is being coordinated by the City Arborist Russell Hansen, local neighbor and Stanford Arborist Michael Gladden, Our City Forest and the JBA. Local property owners have been extremely helpful in finalizing permit paperwork for the frontage of their properties to make this happen.
Our City Forest currently has a program for free and subsidized trees in Santa Clara County; half of Japantown qualifies for subsidized street trees, and half of Japantown qualifies for free trees on private and public property. To learn more, visit OCF’s webpage and email: email@example.com. Please take advantage of this special program while it’s available!
Crime in Japantown
UPDATE to Minato/Kubota thefts in May: the man responsible for breaking into Minato and Kubota Restaurants, as well as Flames Restaurant in downtown San Jose, was arrested on an unrelated charge. The three thefts were added to his charges.
July 14: A couple passed counterfeit $100 bills at two Japantown businesses during the Obon Festival; one business reported that the counterfeit pen marker worked on one side of the bill, but not the other. It is recommended that large bills are checked on both sides. However, as counterfeiting becomes more advanced, if a business finds more counterfeit bills, it is recommended that a more advanced bill checker is utilized.
July 16: A homeless transient man became irate after being unable to use the bathroom and threatened to urinate in public; when told to leave Roy’s Station property, he violently assaulted owner Frank Rast with a metal curtain rod. The transient was caught within minutes at 1st and Mission Streets after ditching the weapon and his clothing in a residential backyard on 4th/Mission. He is being charged with assault with a deadly weapon, since he struck Frank in the face. Frank suffered a concussion but is otherwise doing alright.
As mentioned in May, there are regular incidents with people who appear to be under the influence of drugs or suffering from mental illness in Japantown. Please be aware of your surroundings and contact 911 and your neighbors if you feel unsafe or are concerned about unstable patrons.
Events & NOTICES
The Jtown Artwalk: the monthly summer event continues on third Fridays in August and September in Japantown. From 6-9pm, artists, vendors, and musicians will be stationed around Japantown. If there are any artists that may want to participate, please follow @jtownartwalk on Instagram and direct message the event coordinators.
Japantown Neighborhood Association National Night Out is being held the evening of Tuesday, August 6th at 5th-6th/Mission Streets. Hosted by the JNA, this is a great opportunity to meet your neighbors, eat, and have fun!
Viva Calle: The Parks to Roses Viva Calle SJ ride will be occurring on Sunday, September 22, 2019. Japantown will not be a “stop” on the Viva Calle route, but there will be street closures on Jackson Street and 3rd Streets (8am to 3pm), through Jtown between the Municipal Rose Garden and Backesto Park end-points. For more information, visit their website.
Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon San Jose: The Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon occurs on October 5-6, 2019, with Jackson Street closures on Sunday, October 6. Visit the official site to register, and the course map is published here. The event generally clears out by noon, but will affect parking for Sunday church services, so please plan accordingly.
Shukai: Immediately following the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon will be the Japantown Shukai on Sunday, October 6, 2019. Hosted by Japantown business Headliners and Wheels N Meals, this immensely popular car event returns for its seventh year. Expect street closures between 4th and 7th Streets along Jackson Street.
The JBA Official Instagram, @japantownsj, has gained almost 1K followers this year, currently at over 2.2K followers, through only non-paid means. We try to repost business promotions, events, and photos every day, so please be sure to tag your photos @japantownsj or #japantownsj so that we can reshare them.
Cupertino High School Japan Bowl: a project supported in part by the Silicon Valley JACL is raising funds to compete in the National Japan Bowl in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit their GoFundMe page.
Please contact me if you have any questions about recent news. Thank you!