Today I went to a festival of Japanese culture which took place in the picturesque grounds of Farmleigh house in Dublin's Phoenix Park. Experience Japan is a celebration of all things Japanese, food, music, crafts, fashion and of course martial arts! It coincides with the Hanami or Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan.
There were a number of workshops and displays of Japanese crafts. Here we see the calligraphy exhibition where we got our names translated into Japanese characters.
Next on the agenda was an origami kite making workshop. This was supposed to be only for the kids but I decided that I had to give it a try to embrace my inner child and make a kick ass kite which I did!
After the kite making we took a stroll down to check out the beautiful sunken gardens.
On to the other side of the gardens we stopped to listen to a poetry recital which took place in under the gently falling petals of a cherry blossom tree.
Then it was time to sample some Japanese cuisine. We dined on some Yakisoba and Yakitora which were basically vegetable noodles and teriyaki chicken on a stick. It was pretty tasty too although the poor chef was run off his feet trying to feed the large queue of hungry people.
There were plenty of costumes on display both traditional and otherwise some inspired by Manga and other possibly by hello kitty!
In the martial arts there was lots of stick fighting, some plastic swords and bamboo poles. There was also a lot of screaming, samurai warriors and of course Karate.
It was really good fun. If you are in the Dublin area you should check out Farmleigh house. They run tours of the house there every day, farmers markets at the weekends and there are free cultural events on there every couple of weekends. Get down there and check it out and don't forget your camera!