Update, 1:30 p.m.: A spokesperson for the Tokyo Night Festival says the event will no longer take place at the Lucky Land theme park, which is now closed due to expired permits and construction issues. The festival will now be held at the Texas Festival Grounds.
Houston’s Tokyo Night Festival, one of the country’s largest celebrations of Japanese culture and community, will return to the city on November 11 and 12, showcasing more than 30 food and drink vendors that will serve up their interpretations of Japanese cuisine.
Featured restaurants and food and drink vendors include:
- Aqua S
- B&B Concessions
- Cao Bao
- Click Virtual Food Hall
- Crawfish and Noodles
- Dream Eaters Coffee
- Dumpling Haus
- Fattest Cow
- Hako Bento Box Company
- Hella Bubble
- Japanese Association of Greater Houston
- Kuramoto Ice
- Lincoln Bar
- Ramen Tatsuya
- Shun Japanese Kitchen
- Tatsunoya Ramen
- TeaGu Cafe
Residents Naoki Yoshida, Yusuke Motozawa, and Tam Lo launched the festival in 2021 as a culinary-focused event that invited multiple chefs to create their own interpretations of Japanese street food.
This year, the festival is working to expand and will host the festival at Texas Festival Grounds, a 20-acre lot, to welcome larger crowds with more parking. Tokyo Night was originally slated to be held at the Lucky Land Theme Park on Airline Drive, but a spokesperson for the festival said on October 27 in an email to Eater Houston that the festival would shift locations because Lucky Land has closed due to expired permits and construction issues.
“We were shocked and disappointed to hear the news about Lucky Land. This was a situation that was completely out of our control. Luckily, with the help of Harris County and festival sponsors, our new location at Texas Festival Grounds will allow us to continue the festival with full support,” festival co-founder Motozawa said in a written statement.
The festival has announced that it’s expanded it has programming beyond food, offering two days of performances by Japanese musicians, artists, and dancers, and showcases of anime, art, martial arts demonstrations, cars, and more.
Yoshida said he was inspired to create the festival after seeing Japanese culture in the city being “misrepresented.” The festival is a way to showcase it in the right manner, he says.
The Tokyo Night Festival will take place at Texas Festival Grounds, 6848 Almeda Genoa Road, 77075. 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. November 11 and 12. Tickets are available on Eventbrite for $20 to $52 through October 13.