The 5th annual Matsuri Festival happened last night, and it was a lovely evening indeed. I couldn’t walk ten feet in any direction without bumping into someone I knew — the C-U community was truly out in force. This was my third year attending, and this time I took note of the way Japan House maintains the familiar year to year while also bringing in new and interesting elements. The food offerings were even more varied and robust, which is a great thing, though I always get sucked in by those Sakanaya chicken wings. Every year.

This time around there were small tweaks to the layout of the festival, the best decision being the consolidation of all performances and demos to one main stage. Also, the grassy area surrounding the stage was home to the new kids’ area with all of the bubbles and hands-on activities. I no longer have tiny people, but this seemed like a brilliant move. The kids had space to run around and play, and it was easy enough for their adults to direct them to the stage to catch engaging performances, away from the congestion of the food and vendor area. Added bonus, “Libation Island” with sake and Triptych beer was nearby. 

Photo by Anna Longworth

I appreciated being able to grab my sake cocktail and wander the grounds.

Photos by Julie McClure

Matsuri is always a wonderful reminder of what a great community we have. 

If you were like me and couldn't stay late to close out the festival, here are a couple of fun videos from Japan House that capture the end of the evening:

Photos by Melinda Edwards except where noted