Nihonmachi Run Returns to San Jose

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SAN JOSE — Yu-Ai Kai/Japanese American Community Senior Service will hold the 2013 Nihonmachi Run on Sunday, April 28, in San Jose Japantown.

Registration opens at 8 a.m. and the race starts promptly at 9 a.m. The start and finish are in front of the Yu-Ai Kai Senior Center, 588 N. 4th St. near Jackson Street.

This is a fun race for family and friends. It is NOT a sanctioned 5k race. The approximate distance is a little over 3 miles. There are cutoffs at approximately 1 and 2 miles for those who do not want to run/walk the entire distance.

Proceeds from this race support Yu-Ai Kai (www.yuaikai.org), which provides nutritious meals, senior day services, financial counseling, case management and family support, and many other health- and information-related services.

The Nihonmachi Run has been held annually for over 25 years, but in 2012 it was cancelled due to last-minute requirements for route changes, street closures, and increased police presence. The late revelation of these requirements left no time for adjustment, and would more than likely have caused an overall financial loss to Yu-Ai Kai. 

Planning for the 2013 event began well in advance and has resulted in many changes that, it is hoped, will translate to a positive outcome this year and for many years in the future.

Participants will receive a cool T-shirt with exclusive design by Steve Yamaguma of Design2Market. Pick up your T-shirt at the registration desk on the day of the event.

There will be prizes for the top three finishers in each of the 12 categories, as well as prizes for the best costume, for the most family members, and for the person who brings in the most donations. The awards ceremony will be held close to the finish line around 10:15 a.m., or as soon as the winners in each group have been determined. Results will be posted at Yu-Ai Kai and will be published in The San Jose Mercury News.

Age categories are as follows (separate categories for female and male): 0-12, 13-19, 20-39, 40-59, 60-69, 70 and over.

Registration is $35 general, $25 for seniors (60 and over) and children (12 and under). Online registration is available here until April 25. There will also be on-site registration at the event, but a T-shirt cannot be guaranteed.

The entry fee is waived if you gather and send to Yu-Ai Kai at least $75 in sponsor donations (provide the sponsor names, telephone numbers, and amounts). Contact Yu-Ai Kai at (408) 294-2505 and ask for a sponsor donation registration flyer.

Transportation options — Light Rail stops at First Street near Jackson Street. Paid parking is available at the Corporation Yard, bordered by 6th, 7th, Jackson and Taylor streets. Parking can be difficult in the Japantown area, so allow sufficient time. 

Also on April 28, the annual Yu-Ai Kai Health Fair will be held at Akiyama Wellness Center, 110 Jackson St., from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Nikkei Matsuri (www.nikkeimatsuri.org), with food, culture, crafts and entertainment, will be held in Japantown from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Suzume no Gakko (www.suzumenogakko.org) will offer arts and crafts for kids from 12 to 4 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall at Wesley United Methodist Church, 566 N. 5th St. Asian American Curriculum Project (www.asianamericanbooks.com) will have a wide selection of books for sale, with part of the proceeds going to Suzume no Gakko.

The Japanese American Museum of San Jose (www.jamsj.org), 535 N. 5th St., will celebrate Kodomo no Hi (Children’s Day) with various craft-making workshops and a special appearance by Hello Kitty.

The Japantown San Jose Certified Farmer’s Market, which takes place every Sunday, will be on Jackson Street between 6th and 7th from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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