Japanese Summer Festival

Join in the fun at our two-day cultural event featuring exhibits, traditional demonstrations and unique performances that appeal to all age groups. The Festival will be held on Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31 during regular garden hours.

Most Festival activities are included with Garden Admission, with a small participation fee required for tea ceremony participation. Garden Members are always free to the Japanese Summer Festival.

The weekend begins with an Opening Ceremony at 10:00 Saturday morning and takes place on the lawn near the Pavilion in the Garden of Reflection.  It will be immediately followed by the first Taiko drum performance.

2015 Activities Include

  • Taiko Drum Performance– Japanese drum ensemble
  • Bonsai exhibit– Japanese art form of miniature trees grown in containers
  • Bujinkan performances– Traditional Japanese martial arts
  • Calligraphy instruction by Ms. Seiran Chiba
  • Candyman Performance– Japanese street performer
  • Ikebana display– Traditional Japanese art of flower arranging
  • Japanese Artifact Display
  • Classical Japanese Dancer
  • Koto performances– Japanese stringed instrument
  • Origami– Hands-on demonstrations of Japanese art of paper folding
  • Japanese Basket and Scroll Display
  • Raku Pottery– Demonstration and displays
  • Fukuwari Activity– Traditional Japanese holiday game
  • Sake Tasting- Click Here to Register  (only available to  guests 21 and over)
  • Interactive Koi Program

Tea Ceremonies

For those wishing to participate in a more intimate cultural experience, traditional tea ceremonies will be led by members of Urasenke Tankokai and students of Professor Kimiko Gunji.  Gunji is Professor Emeritus of Japanese Arts & Culture in the School of Art & Design, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the former Director of Japan House at the University of Illinois.  Reservations are required for all tea ceremonies. For more information please contact Katie Weston at kweston@andersongardens.org.

Check out photos and a video from last year’s Festival below: