Asahikawa holds it's Kaimono Koen Matsuri (festival) every June to commemorate the opening of the first pedestrian-only street in Japan. Heiwa Dori, or Kaimono Koen (Shopping Park) as it is commonly known, was first closed to non-pedestrian traffic on June 1st, 1966.
The festival, held each year in June, combines dozens of street performances, market-style shopping huts, and a host of kids activities to guarantee a fun day for all involved. The festival commences at 10am and continues throughout the day, with the majority of the length of Kaimono Koen utilized in some way for entertainment.
Street performances include your popular favourites like, juggling, mime, and balloon art, as well as plenty of others less familiar to foreign visitors.
The Kaimono Koen Matsuri of 2008 incorporated “The Hokkaido Curry Summit”, a curry cooking event that used only Hokkaido ingredients to highlight the diversity of Hokkaido produce. This event was also used to help generate publicity for the Lake Toya G8 Summit.