Whether you're fascinated with Japanese culture or just like an excuse to crack open a bottle of sake, say konnichiwa to three days (Saturday through Monday, September 3 through 5) of Japanese music, food and activities at the 35th annual Japanese Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard; 314- 577-5100 or www.mobot.org). The celebration officially begins at 11 a.m. Saturday with kagamiwari ("breaking into the sake barrel"), and there's something for everyone from that point on. Do you have some unresolved anger? Try Zen meditation. Have samurai/ninja obsessed kids? Bring 'em to martial arts demonstrations ranging from aikido to kendo to sumo. Hungry? Feast on traditional Japanese cuisine at the food tents. Drink too much sake? Volunteer for karaoke. There are plenty of hands-on arts and entertainment options for the kids, and a wide range of Japanese merchandise is available in the merchants section. Admission is $5 to $15, but bring extra money for food and souvenirs.
Sept. 3-5, 2011