Smile Politely

Matsuri is back on May 6th

Close up of a white swan made with origami paper. There are leafy green trees in the background.
Addison McClure

For the first time since 2019, Japan House’s Matsuri is coming back. The Japanese festival began in 2015, and has been on hiatus during the pandemic. This beloved community and campus event will take place May 6th from 12 to 9 p.m., and will honor the 25th anniversary of Japan House making its home in the University of Illinois Arboretum. A few highlights:

  • Ho Etsu Taiko drum group
  • The Candyman, who brings the art of amezaiku, a method of sculpting hot taffy-like candy into fantastic shapes of animals and other creatures, to the festival every year
  • Traditional Japanese tea ceremonies
  • A variety of restaurants serving Asian-inspired food (Suzu’s Bakery, Watson’s, Pandemonium Donuts, ISHI Sushi and Kaori’s Oven, and more!)
  • The 5. 6. 7. 8’s will be performing
  • A libations tent with a sake seltzer and beer from Triptych
  • An activities tent where you can participate in ikebana flower arranging, yukata dressing, calligraphy drawing

And there will be so much more! I love this event. It’s one of those that makes you just love this community we live in, and I’m so glad it’s back. The festival itself is free, but if you’d like entrance to the activities tent or to participate in a tea ceremony, you’ll need to purchase tickets. And of course, bring money for delicious food and drinks.

Head to the Japan House website for the full festival schedule, and all other important details like which retail and food vendors you can expect, and the numerous sponsors that make an event like this possible.

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