This weekend, Atlanta locals will have a unique opportunity to learn how to be a Samurai, make their own Bonsais, taste Matcha green tea, break tiles like a Karate master, play the Koto and much more. It’s all happening Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 16 and Sept. 17, at JapanFest Atlanta 2023 — Georgia’s greatest celebration of Japanese culture.
Here’s everything you need to know about one of the most interesting things to do this weekend in Atlanta:
What is JapanFest Atlanta?
JapanFest Atlanta is an annual festival that celebrates Japanese culture. The festival features performance arts, vendors, authentic Japanese cuisine, workshops, martial arts, fashion shows and much more.
“JapanFest, now in its 36th year, typically draws 25,000 visitors,” according a late-July press release from JapanFest. “Organized by the Japan Chamber of Commerce and the Japan America Society of Georgia and supported by the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta, the festival is designed to promote understanding between Japanese and Americans in the Southeast.”
JapanFest Atlanta 2023 will feature a number of musical performances. The star of the setlist is Matsuriza taiko drumming, a performance that’s equal parts Japanese folk music, modern jazz and classical music. Fans can also expect traditional dance performances and the opportunity to learn how to dance themselves from the Hanagasa Ondo Group. Guests are invited to join the Obon dance to show off the moves they learn.
From tractors to electronics, many of the hundreds of Georgia-based Japanese companies will be displaying their products in the Japanese Businesses in Georgia exhibition (JBiG). Children can enjoy crafts and other activities in the Children’s Area. Ginza Street will feature authentic games, toy shops, and festival snacks to enjoy.
“The Japanese cultural immersion extends to your stomach as well,” according to the press release. “There will be plenty of cuisines, from street food such as Yakisoba, Takoyaki, and Ramen to desserts from Matcha Swiss Roll to Hokkaido Vanilla and Chocolate Cupcakes which you can show off on your social media page.”
The entire list of events taking place at JapanFest Atlanta is extensive, however.
You can find maps of the rooms, booths, exhibit hall, ballroom hall and taiken-experience area — where all of the event’s activities will be taking place — here. You can also download a schedule of when every single JapanFest Atlanta 2023 event is taking place here.
When and where does JapanFest Atlanta take place?
JapanFest Atlanta 2023 takes place Saturday, Sept. 16, and Sunday, Sept. 17, The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The festival will be hosted at the Gas South Convention Center — with events taking place within the exhibit hall, ballroom hall and taiken-experience Area — in Duluth. For directions to the festival, located at 6400 Sugarloaf Pkwy, Duluth, GA 30097.
Hunter Boyce is a writer, digital producer and journalist home grown from a Burke County, Georgia farm. Throughout his career, Hunter has gone on to write sports, entertainment, political and local breaking news for a variety of outlets.