Japan Fest is an annual event here in Atlanta that is meant to bring an understanding among and build a friendship between Japanese and Americans. It is held at the end of September every year in the Gwinnett Civic Center located in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
Beginning in 2007, I visited Japan Fest for the first time. This was a full two years before I visited Japan itself. It was such a fun event that I would like to document the experience here in hopes that others might choose to attend Japan Fest as well.
This year, the festival is on Saturday, September 21st (10am-6pm), and Sunday, September 22nd (10am-5pm) and is located at 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway | Duluth GA 30097 as usual.
Many different performances/acts are available for enjoyment at Japan Fest, and they change every year. In order to get the most up-to-date information, you must visit their website, linked to above.
In 2007, I attended for the first time with a friend and my little sister.
I had a great time watching all of the performances, including: concerts inside the convention center, ikebana (the art of flower arranging), witnessing my first tea ceremony and all of its strict rules, and seeing ninjutsu performed in front of my eyes for the first time.
I enjoyed it enough to return in 2008.
And this time, enjoyed a real rock concert, rather than only the traditional side of things!
Once again, in 2009, before visiting Japan itself in December, I decided to visit Japan Fest once more in September and enjoyed even more activities, including trying on a kimono for the first time, and witnessing the crazy invention known as the Japanese toilet. (If you have not seen these toilets, I recommend viewing them. They’re some of the most sophisticated toilets in the world!)
Here is a youtube video demonstrating the Japanese toilet, by Ken Cannon:
If you have a chance to visit Japan Fest, you can even buy your own Japanese-style toilet and have it installed in your home! However, it is still very expensive in America.
Tickets are only $8, and kids six years and under get in free. It’s a great chance to get a taste of Japan before going to the real thing!