Children’s Day Festival

Japanese parents so cherish their sons and daughters that in 1948 they set aside the fifth day of every May as a national holiday to celebrate the health and happiness of their youngsters. We invite you to follow suit with us on Saturday, May 6, at our fourth annual Children’s Day Festival, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. This is our last event before we close for the summer on May 20.

Our most beloved festival of the year features includes goldfish netting, yukata (summer-weight kimonos) for youngsters to wear, and lessons in origami (paper folding) and decorating Japanese lanterns. A new activity this year is a workshop to show children how to make obento : box-shaped containers that are universal in Japan for carrying home-packed meals to school or work. Obento kits, assembly lessons, chopsticks, and rice and other food for the boxes will be for sale for $15.

Also this year, children can watch a dexterous artiste magically fashion dragons and comic characters from Japanese manga (cartoons) out of ordinary tin foil. And a flamboyantly dressed role-player – personified by Lani Chan – will perform as the singing and dancing Miku Hatsune, an anime character and virtual pop star famous in Japan as a “vocaloid,” or humanoid persona voiced by a singing synthesizer application.

Admission to the Festival is $10 for adults and $3 for children fifteen and under. Entry is free for members of Yume Japanese Gardens.

To fight early summer temperatures, you can purchase refreshing traditional Japanese foods, such as cold noodles (somen) and kakigōri , a shaved ice dessert flavored with syrup and a sweetener that is savored by children of all ages. Also available will be Japanese curry and rice in both chicken and vegetarian versions, Japanese flavored cold drinks, snacks, and coffee and tea.

Activities (and fees, where applicable):


Tin foil manga cartoon character and dragon construction demonstration ($2)

11:00 – 3:00

Goldfish netting ($2 per fish);

Yukatas for children (free)

Japanese lantern decorating ($2)

Kakigōri shaved ice refreshment ($2)

11:30 – 2:00

Obento box assembly ($15, includes obento kit)


Lani Chan (“Miku Hatsune”) dance party (free)

1:00 – 3:00

Origami paper-folding (free)