Kimonos for sale at this booth

The Orlando Japan Festival is an annual event put on by the Japan Association of Orlando, the local Orlando Japanese community, and is one of my favorite events of the year – where you can have a taste of the street food from Japan like takoyaki octopus balls to gyu don beef rice bowls, and of course sushi, all while enjoying traditional Japanese cultural entertainment. It’s a wonderful event to take the whole family.

The event, which was once hosted at the Rangetsu building on International Drive, is now put on at the Hunter’s Creek plaza just south of SR 417 on John Young Parkway for the past few years.

There are amazing traditional performances like the 100 Drummers taiko performance performed by Matsuriza of the Disney Epcot Japan Pavilion, Koto (Japanese harp player), traditional Japanese Dance, Tsugaru-Shamisen, the age-old iconic Tea Ceremony (symbolic of Japan’s oldest traditions), Japanese Calligraphy (shodo), Martial Arts demonstrations, as well as a chance to try-out real Japanese Kimonos.

My favorite aspect of the festival is the many Japanese Food Stalls staffed by the local Japanese restaurant community including Rangetsu, Sushi Tomi, Japan Food Aki, the Disney Epcot Japan Pavilion’s Mitsukoshi, and more.

For more information, visit: http://www.jorlando.org/14-japan-fest.html

Below are a few photos from the event:

Japanese Books on sale at the Festival
Japanese Books on sale at the Festival
Visitors purview the selection of books
Visitors purview the selection of books
A young samurai in training with his friend
A young samurai in training with his friend
JTB Travel Agency here in Orlando for all your Japan travel needs http://online.jtbusa.com/
JTB Travel Agency here in Orlando for all your Japan travel needs http://online.jtbusa.com/
JTB Travel Agency http://online.jtbusa.com/
JTB Travel Agency http://online.jtbusa.com/
Mr. Harris Rosen of Rosen Hotels welcomes guests to the Orlando Japan Festival
Mr. Harris Rosen of Rosen Hotels welcomes guests to the Orlando Japan Festival
Mr. Rosen donated $100,000 to Japan in 2011 after the Tsunami
Mr. Rosen, a huge supporter of the local community, including the Japanese, donated $100,000 to Japan in 2011 after the Tsunami
Mr. Rosen donated $100,000 to Japan in 2011 after the Tsunami
Mr. Harris Rosen of Rosen Hotels
A young samurai getting geared up
A young samurai getting geared up
Samurai gear in show
Samurai gear in show
Japanese street food - includes a fish shaped mung bean dessert, squid, octopus balls
Japanese street food – includes a fish shaped mung bean dessert, squid, octopus balls
Japanese street food - includes a fish shaped mung bean dessert, squid, octopus balls
Japanese street food – includes a fish shaped mung bean dessert, squid, octopus balls
Grilled squid
Grilled squid
Kimonos for sale at this booth with Izumi and Yuni Sakurada and friends
Kimonos for sale at this booth with Izumi and Yuni Sakurada and friends
Wild Jack Horse Mackerel Nigiri Sushi from Mitsukoshi of Epcot's Japan Pavilion
Wild Jack Horse Mackerel Nigiri Sushi from Mitsukoshi of Epcot’s Japan Pavilion
Mitsukoshi team of Epcot's Japan Pavilion
Mitsukoshi team of Epcot’s Japan Pavilion
Palm reading at the Orlando Japan Festival
Palm reading at the Orlando Japan Festival

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Matsuriza Taiko Drum Team
Matsuriza Taiko Drum Team
Rangetsu of Maitland team
Rangetsu of Maitland team
Foods from Rangetsu!
Foods from Rangetsu!
Aki of Japan on International Drive - Selling their Curry Rice!
Aki of Japan on International Drive – Selling their Curry Rice!
Chika - Aki of Japan on International Drive - Selling their Curry Rice!
Chika – Aki of Japan on International Drive – Selling their Curry Rice!
Aki of Japan on International Drive - Selling their Curry Rice!
Aki of Japan on International Drive – Selling their Curry Rice!
Kiko Japanese of Melbourne
Kiko Japanese of Melbourne
Mochi rice balls
Mochi rice balls
Okonomiyaki
Okonomiyaki
Chef Hidehiko of Sushi Tomi on John Young and Sand Lake selling onigiri, futomaki sushi
Chef Hidehiko of Sushi Tomi on John Young and Sand Lake selling onigiri, futomaki sushi
Chef Hidehiko with his wife Reiko of Sushi Tomi!
Chef Hidehiko with his wife Reiko of Sushi Tomi!
Chef Hidehiko with his wife Reiko of Sushi Tomi!
Chef Hidehiko with his wife Reiko of Sushi Tomi!
Mikado Sushi of Hunter's Creek
Mikado Sushi of Hunter’s Creek
No-Face (???? kaonashi, lit. "faceless"), a spirit in the Japanese animated film Spirited Away
No-Face (???? kaonashi, lit. “faceless”), a spirit in the Japanese animated film Spirited Away
No-Face (???? kaonashi, lit. "faceless"), a spirit in the Japanese animated film Spirited Away
No-Face (???? kaonashi, lit. “faceless”), a spirit in the Japanese animated film Spirited Away

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Green Tea Ceremony with Mr. Harris Rosen
Green Tea Ceremony with Mr. Harris Rosen
Green Tea Ceremony with Mr. Harris Rosen
Green Tea Ceremony with Mr. Harris Rosen
Asia Trend Magazine booth
Asia Trend Magazine booth
The Food Court is packed
The Food Court is packed

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Cosplay, a popular form of expression through costume at the Japan Festival
Cosplay, a popular form of expression through costume at the Japan Festival
Junichi and Mimi
Junichi and Mimi
Kid's games at the festival
Kid’s games at the festival
Cosplay, a popular form of expression through costume at the Japan Festival
Cosplay, a popular form of expression through costume at the Japan Festival
Cosplay, a popular form of expression through costume at the Japan Festival
Cosplay, a popular form of expression through costume at the Japan Festival
Cosplay, a popular form of expression through costume at the Japan Festival
Cosplay, a popular form of expression through costume at the Japan Festival
Young Japanese girls in Kimono
Young Japanese girls in Kimono
Matsuriza Taiko drumming team
Matsuriza Taiko drumming team

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