Atlanta – Experience Japan like never before at this year’s sensory loaded JapanFest! Enjoy the sights and sounds of live performances, touch Japanese silk kimonos and taiko drums, taste and smell authentic foods, and feel the spirit of Japan by listening to a Japanese ghost story. JapanFest Weekend will be held on September 16-17, 2017, from 10 am to 6 pm (Saturday) and 10am to 5pm (Sunday) at the Infinite Energy Center (located at 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth, GA 30097).
Japan is internationally renowned for its performing arts, visual arts, and martial arts. Many people may have heard a Japanese drum or eaten sushi, but at this year’s JapanFest, you can “Experience Japan” in a new, multisensory way by banging a drum, learning how to make sushi, and practicing martial arts. Fashionistas can enjoy a pop culture fashion show, or they can experience the traditional kimono themselves, with the help of the Konnichiwa Club. For those who are fans of Japanese anime, Anime Village will be returning, with a special appearance by a Sailor Moon voice actor!
Music has always been well represented at the festival, and this year is no exception. JapanFest will feature a variety of musical performances, including the always popular Matsuriza taiko drumming, J-Rock and J-Pop, a shamisen duo, and classical music. There will also be traditional dance performances, and all are invited to join in the spirited Obon dance!
New this year will be performances by the Bunraku Bay Puppet Theater, showcasing an ancient Japanese puppetry art known as bunraku, which features puppets with complex movements usually in traditional costume.
Many of the approximately 550 Japanese companies based in Georgia will display their products in the Japanese Businesses in Georgia exhibition (JBiG). Interactive exhibits include the latest in Japanese technology, such as automobiles, tractors, and electronics.
For the younger set, there is a Children’s Area which has a variety of crafts and activities. There will be plenty of Japanese cuisine, so bring the family for a day of fun!
Separately, there will be a special performance held in conjunction with the festival, Saturday, September 16, 7pm-8pm, in the Infinite Energy Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. For more information, go to http://www.japanfest/ org/specialperformance
JapanFest, now in its 31st year, typically draws crowds exceeding 20,000. 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. Purchase tickets in advance from the website and skip the lines! Tickets are $10. Children age 6 or younger are free. Teachers can bring their students to JapanFest for free by applying online at www.japanfest.org. Larger organizations can save money by purchasing advanced ticket packages online.
JapanFest is organized by the Japan Chamber of Commerce and the Japan America Society of Georgia and is supported by the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta.
JapanFest would not be possible without the help of over 150 volunteers. To fill out an application, please visit http://www.japanfest.org/getinvolved. No pets other than guide dogs are allowed inside the convention center. For more information, call 404-842- 0736 or visit www.japanfest.org.