Twenty members of the UCLA Bruin Marching Band appeared as the featured performers at the 35th annual Ekitopia Festival Parade in Nagoya, Japan on May 4 and 5, 2018.
The Ekitopia Festival is held in Nagoya each year during Japan’s “Golden Week,” which occurs in late April and early May and includes a series of national holidays including The Emperor’s Birthday, Constitution Memorial Day, Greenery Day and Children’s Day. Other performers in the parade included several local high school bands and traditional Japanese dance troupes. The governor of Aichi Prefecture, Hideaki Omura, was present to welcome the band to Nagoya, a Los Angeles Sister City.
The band arrived in Nagoya on May 2, and rehearsed on May 3 in preparation for the performance. On May 6, the band traveled to Kyoto to visit several historical sites including Kinkaku-ji (The Golden Temple), the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, the monkeys at Kameyama-koen Park, and ancient gates and shrines at Fushimi Inari-taisha. The band flew back to Los Angeles on May 7, and most of the students headed directly to classes.
In 2010, fourteen members of the UCLA Drumline performed at this same event. Other recent trips to Asia by the band include the Chinese New Year Night Parade in Hong Kong in 2006 and 2008, and the Taoyuan International Band Festival in Taiwan in 2016.