ABOUT The Japan Festival Wellington

Buying sushi as a healthy lunch choice and Friday night karaoke come to mind for many of us when we think of Japan. But now you can enjoy all of Japan on your doorstep at the biennial Japan Festival Wellington. Experience and interact with Japan's traditional martial and cultural art such as judo and tea ceremony, embrace pop and tech culture, and last but not least, enjoy delicious Japanese food!

Our mission is to connect and acknowledge Japan-New Zealand relationships through food, performances, culture and more. We celebrate Japanese communities and talented Wellingtonians who are spreading Japanese culture here in the capital.

The first Japan Festival Wellington was held by Wellington City Council in 2009 to celebrate the ties between New Zealand and Japan and our sister city relationship with Sakai.

Since 2018, the Wellington Japan Festival Trust, made up of seven volunteer Trustees, has been the driving force behind the Festival, with support from Wellington City Council and the Embassy of Japan in Wellington. Not to mention all of our wonderful volunteers in the run up to the Festival and on the day!

Team Members

Jennifer King

Trust Chair / Sponsorship & Marketing Lead
Former director of Asia New Zealand Foundation's culture programme, Jennifer initiated the well known Lantern Festivals, Diwali Festivals and Wellington's SE Asian Night Market.

Mayu Suzuki

Trust Vice-Chair / Chief of Community & Innovation
As a Japanese-Kiwi, Mayu has been involved since the 2009 festival. Mayu is a passionate advocate for Japanese culture and business.

Johaniek Sulzberger

Performers Lead / Trustee
Johaniek worked on Wellington's diplomatic ties with sister city Sakai. She practises her kick-ass Martial Art skills which she picked up when living in Chiba, Japan.

Ayumi Sakakibara

Stalls Lead / Trustee
Ayumi is a master of event organising. She coordinates many Japanese related community events while looking after her baby boy.

Brigid Connor

Experience Lead / Trustee
Brigid is an experienced event designer who brings creativity and the spark to the festival through her 10 years of living in Japan.

Jerry Jewett (JJ)

Chief Administrator / Trustee
JJ has long experience working with the Japanese community in Wellington. He is your point of contact for any queries -- email him at japan.festival.wellington@gmail.com

Monica Turner

Accounting / Trustee
Trust treasurer Monica has worked extensively on cultural exchange projects with Japan during her time at the Asia New Zealand Foundation. .