The 27th Annual Matsuri Festival takes over Heritage & Science Park in downtown Phoenix on Saturday and Sunday, February 26 & 27, 2011.
This two-day celebration features colorful displays of authentic Japanese art, crafts, and entertainment.
Traditional Japanese food and merchandise will be on sale.
This year, the festival recognizes and celebrates Phoenix’ Sister City Himeji in Japan, making it the 2011 theme for Matsuri.
The second city to be formally recognized as a Phoenix Sister City, Himeji became a partner in 1976. The city is located along the Seto Inland Sea some 40 miles west of Kobe, which is the capital of Hyogo Prefecture.
While Phoenix is named for the mythological Phoenix bird, Himeji Castle, which is considered the best-preserved castle in Japan, is called Oshiro or “White Heron” and is designated as a United Nations World Treasure.
The Japanese Friendship Garden, Ro Ho En, located in Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix, is the product and shared vision of the Sister Cities of Phoenix and Himeji and features 1,500 tons of handpicked rock, more than 50 varieties of plants, flowing streams, an authentic tea house, and a 12-foot waterfall and Koi pond.
New This Year!
- A beer garden with extended hours on Saturday only from 12 noon to 9pm each day.
- Karaoke contest and some dancing from 5pm-9pm each day.
2011 Taiko Entertainment
The following Japanese Taiko drumming groups and entertainers will be performing on the ASU Stage at Heritage Square and Science Center from 10:30 am – 5:00 pm:
- Fushicho Daiko*Phoenix Drummers
- All Arizona Taiko Team
- Phoenix Taiko Kai
- Saboten Taiko
- Ken Koshio, a native Japanese singer & song writer, Taiko player and Japanese folk artist.
- Washington Elementray Taka Taiko Drummers
- Faith North Montessori Taiko
- Senators Taiko
- SGI Taiko
- Awa Odori Dancers from Los Angeles, CA
- Hands On Taiko ~ you know you want to try it!
Monroe Street Stage Performers:
- Araki Ryu Iaido, Kenshin Dojo http://www.kenshindojo.net/
- Arizona Aikido http://www.azaikido.com/index.html
- Arizona Karate Association http://web.mac.com/azkarate/Arizona_Karate/Home.html
- Arizona Kyudo Kai and University of Arizona Kyudo Club http://www.mindspring.com/~bsavary/kyudokai.html
- Arizona Shotokan Association http://www.azshotokan.com/azshotokan/Home.html
- Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu http://www.arizonabujinkan.org/links.html
- Kitsune Robot http://www.kitsunerobot.com/
- Phoenix Kendo Kai http://www.phoenixkendo.org/
- Southwest Dojo http://www.southwestshinkendo.com/
- Toybox http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/uponsun/2010/08/toybox_stay_alive.php
Stay posted to AZMatsuri.org for entertainment updates.
Admission to attend the festival is free. For more details, please call Heritage Square Office at 602.262.5071. Recorded information is available at 602.262.5029. Or at the website:www.azmatsuri.org
What: 27th Annual Matsuri: A Festival of Japan! Phoenix Sister City-Himeji Celebrating 35 Years
Who: Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department, Phoenix Sister Cities Commission / Himeji Committee, Japanese American Citizens League, ArizonaBuddhist Temple Desert Cross Community Church, and the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix, along with many other individual benefactors and supporters.
Where: Heritage and Science Park, 115 North 6th Street Phoenix, AZ 85004-2328 (7th Street and Monroe, downtown Phoenix)
When: Saturday and Sunday, February 26 & 27, 2011 from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Highlights: Japanese Exhibits, Demonstrations, Arts and Crafts, Children’s Activities,Bonsai Displays, Japanese Food and Entertainment.
[Source: Howard Seftel, AZCentral.com]
Attention, downtown Phoenix: Are you ready for a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant?
Ready or not, here it comes, in the form of Sushi Revolution, which will be occupying the spot next to Fair Trade Café on First Avenue at Roosevelt Street around Thanksgiving.
Faster, more casual and less expensive than traditional sushi restaurants, conveyor-belt sushi is very popular in Japan. You sit at the counter and watch the never-ending offerings glide past. Nab whatever you like. Plates are color-coded, to indicate price. At the end of the meal, a staffer adds up your plates and totals your bill. (The Valley’s first conveyor-belt sushi restaurant, Sushi Eye, opened in Chandler in 2007.)
Chef/owner Antonio Chavira, 28, thinks downtown’s business folks and students will appreciate the format at lunch, while everyone will go for it at dinner or after a downtown event. He plans to stay open until 1 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Although he will offer traditional sushi, Chavira, who calls himself an Anglo-Hispanic, promises “lots of fusion influences.” You’ll see a chile relleno roll, a duck confit and fig roll and a Maine lobster roll.
Prices, he says, will range from $1.50 to $4.
Sushi Revolution is downtown Phoenix’s second sushi restaurant. Moira Sushi, at 215 E. McKinley St., opened about 18 months ago.
1024 N. First Ave., Phoenix.
sushirevolutionphx.com (under construction).