The Greatest Show On Earth will venture across the Pacific for the first time as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus goes on tour in Japan, circus officials announced.
The 175 artists with the circus will be performing under a tent for the first time in three decades for practical reasons, said Kenneth Feldman, owner, president and producer of the circus."You could never fit an elephant in the doors" of most Japanese arenas built mainly for sumo wrestling, he said.
Since 1956, the circus has performed in indoor arenas on its U.S. tours.
"I would never go if I couldn't keep the same standards I have in this country," Feld said.
Those standards include the star attraction, an animal billed as a "living unicorn." Animal rights organizations say the circus animal is a goat with a bull horn surgically implanted.
The 16-week engagement will start July 3 in Sapporo and include a seven-week run in downtown Tokyo with performances in Osaka.
The show also features Jose Medina inside The Globe of Death on a supercharged motorcycle, The Carrillo Brothers high-wire artists and the Flying Espanas, who execute triple somersaults in midair.
Ninety-five trucks will carry the circus from city to city. Feld announced details of the tour in Washington, where the circus has its corporate headquarters. Winter headquarters are in Venice.
Feld said the Japanese people have more leisure time since switching from a six-day work week to a five-day work week.
"I expect receptions like we get in every city in the United States where children of all ages are thrilled," he said.