September 20th, 2010
On Saturday 18th September I went to the Japanese festival ‘Japan Matsuri’ at Spitalfields marketin London. A couple of months back I went to the okinawa day at Spitalfields, saying I had went to The event last year, and was disappointed with it this year. Well it seems I had made a mistake; last year I had attended the Japan Matsui event, and had mistaken it for the Okinawa event this year!
This year’s Japan Matsuri was bigger and better! It’s a celebration of Japanese culture, with a large selection of stalls with a variety of Japanese products and clothes, food and drinks to arts and crafts. The whole market was used this year, decorated with hanging lanterns and ribbons around the place.
There was food stalls everywhere; I tried the large tempura prawns and had a large bowl of rice and chicken katsu. I also tried out some wonderful custard-filled cakes. If I had a bigger stomach and wallet, I would have continued trying out all the food!
There were stalls where you could try your hand at some arts and crafts; with origami and calligraphy stalls packed with eager learners. A large, temporary white wall was put up to allow people to doodle, sketch and sign their names on which I thought was pretty cool. Other areas around the market, you could try on a kimono or samurai armour, or watch martial arts displays throughout the day. I caught the Kendo demonstration by a group of kids, and on the large main stage you had singers and performers throughout the day.
I was surprised that there was no anime/manga merchandise at the festival, but overall I enjoyed the day. It weather was nice and the atmosphere was great, with so many people coming together to celebrate the Japanese culture.
You can view more of my photos of Japan Matsuri at my Flickr page