Japanese Festival Returns To St. Louis Labor Day Weekend, September 4 & 5

Experience the reverberating boom of Taiko drums and the mighty clash of a Sumo wrestling match. Delight in the delicacy of bon Odori dance and theatrics of Bunraku puppetry. Savor the smell of grilled shish kabobs and yakisoba noodles, the thrill of martial arts, perfection of bonsai and ikebana displays, serenity of candlelit walks through the Japanese Garden and more, Saturday, Sept. 4 and Sunday, Sept. 5 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Monday, Sept. 6 (Labor Day) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors (ages 65 and over) and $5 for children ages 3 to 12. Visit www.mobot.org/events/japanesefestival for details.


Sumo wrestling with Kamikiiwa Seiwa-en, the “garden of pure, clear harmony and peace” and one of the largest authentic Japanese strolling gardens in North America, takes center stage for the weekend’s festivities. A boisterous opening ceremony kicks off the celebration Saturday morning at the Japanese Garden entrance with an elaborate omikoshi Shinto shrine parade, bon odori festival dancing, Taiko drumming and remarks by local and visiting dignitaries.


Watch martial artists demonstrate the ancient techniques of Aikido, Judo, Karate, Kendo and Koryu Bugei. Learn about the disciplined art of Ikebana flower arranging and the proper pruning of a delicate Bonsai tree. Take in a colorful kimono fashion show and marvel at the quick work of ice sculptor Naomi Hamamura. Join your young one to perfect origami paper folding skills, play traditional Japanese games and be entertained by the Koma-Mawashi (top spinning) skills of Dr. Hiroshi Tada. And much, much more!

For general information, visit www.mobot.org or call (314) 577?5100 (toll-free, 1-800-642-8842).