Experience Japan at the 10th Anniversary of Japan Matsuri 2018!
Just as we hit the One Year To Go mark and applications go live for Japan Rugby World Cup 2019 tickets, Japan Matsuri festival will take over Trafalgar Square on Sunday 30th September. Complete with Japanese food stalls, traditional dance, martial arts and ninja performances, interactive calligraphy and origami activities for children and adults alike, plus a festival procession featuring the centrepiece of any Japanese festival - an authentic Japanese 'mikoshi' portable shrine - it's sure to be one of the best yet.
Trafalgar Square will see the return of the festival as it celebrates its 10th year as the biggest Japanese 'matsuri' festival in the UK. To mark the occasion, a bumper number of attractions will be on offer, sure to cater to all tastes and all ages. Whether it's a feast of local Japanese cuisine or a taste of Japanese folk culture and dance that you're looking for, what better way to spend your Sunday than to let yourself be transported for a day to the vibrant sights and sounds of a Japanese 'matsuri' - the Japanese word for 'festival'.
Japan Matsuri will, as ever, be free and will feature unmissable performances from London Taiko Drummers led by Joji Hirota with their mighty thunder drum sound, a J-fashion catwalk showcasing reinterpretations of Japanese traditional clothing by Kyoko Higa, jazz and street dance, the bright and colourful London Yosakoi dance group 'Temuzu', and the London Okinawa Sanshinkai introducing the distinct and infectious music and dance culture of the people of the subtropical Ryukyu islands, Japan’s top beach holiday spot.
Hunker down for a full day of festivities with an incredible array of Japanese festival food from a host of diverse food stalls brimming with local Japanese flavour. Chow down on classic Japanese street snacks such as takoyaki octopus balls, gyoza dumplings, kara-age fried chicken, yakisoba noodles, or okonomiyaki pancakes, or opt for something bigger with wagyu burgers, katsu curry, ramen, bento boxes, donburi rice bowls and sushi. Hang about for dessert, if your sweet tooth can take it, with a selection of red-bean jam dorayaki pancakes, kakigori (shaved ice with syrup), mochi rice cakes and matcha-flavoured mochi ice cream on offer.
As ever, the festival will be brought to you by a number of Japan ambassadors such as the two national airlines flying direct from London to Tokyo, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways. Also on hand to offer travel advice to people keen to find out more about Japan travel will be the Japan National Tourism Organisation, the Japan Local Government Centre and Japan Experience, with a special focus on off-the-beaten-track destinations, the best spots for summer, autumn and winter itineraries as well as logistical information around plane, train and automobile travel. In the run up to the Rugby World Cup 2019, Yokohama tourism will be on site to introduce guests to all that the city will have to offer when it hosts part of the games next year, whilst Japan Nakama App will also have a presence with prizes on offer for visitors to their stand.
As in previous years, the action at Japan Matsuri will kick off bright and early at 10am and run non-stop all the way through until 8pm. With two stages, there will be plenty to see all day with an exciting programme on the main stage and amazing displays of martial arts on the second stage.
Enjoy demonstrations of Kendo, Karate (from the home of Karate itself, Okinawa), and Aikido as well as Kyudo archery, appearing at the festival for the second time. Sway to the rhythmic beat of taiko drumming or make like a Japanese office worker and stretch out those limbs with a retro Radio Taiso callisthenics workout.
Drop by the activity tent to play traditional matsuri games, learn Japanese crafts from origami and calligraphy to manga cartoon drawing... and much more!
Address: Trafalgar Square, Westminster, London WC2N 5DN