Autumn Festival draws hundreds to Sugar King


Despite the predicted bad weather, an intermittently sunny Saturday still managed to draw hundreds to the Sugar King Park in Garapan for the annual Japanese Autumn Festival and Katori Shrine ceremony.

Saturday’s festival, which highlights the traditional aspects of the Japanese culture, was also the 32nd anniversary of the Katori Shrine at Sugar King Park, attracting visitors from Japan called the Katori Shrine group.

According to Japanese Consul Kenji Shinoda who attended the ceremony for the first time, the festival showcased how important the shrine is, honoring not only the shrine that was built after World War II, but also honors the development accomplished by both the indigenous people and Japanese people before the war.

“This ceremony is not only important to the Japanese people but also to the Chamorro and Carolinians,” said Shinoda.

According to Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, the Katori Shrine ceremony and the Autumn Festival go hand in hand.

This is the one time each year that we celebrate the Japanese culture,” he said.

Apatang said the festival is always exciting to attend because of the cultural dances, the Japanese visitors, and all the Japanese-themed games and dishes.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at

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