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Wasabi ice cream at Japan Festival

Press Release – Wellington City Council
Whether it’s the thrilling beat of taiko drums or the gracious tea ceremony, there’s something for everyone at the sixth biennial Japan Festival Wellington to be held this Saturday.

Thousands of Wellingtonians are expected to come to the TSB Arena on Queens Wharf to sample the flavours, sights and sounds of Japan at the Festival. Doors open from 11am to 6.30pm.

The free family-friendly festival is the first to be organised by the newly formed Wellington Japan Festival Trust, with support from the Wellington City Council, the Embassy of Japan and the Kansai Osaka 21st Century Association Expo ’70 Fund.

“We’ve got a great stage programme featuring shamisen sensation Noriko Tadano and the fabulous taiko trio YuNiOn, both from Sydney,” says Jennifer King, Chair of the Trust. “They’ll be supported by Wellington’s talented local community, including martial arts performances, song and dance.”

King says the festival will include stalls offering information for people keen to travel to Japan for the Rugby World Cup next year and the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

“There’ll also be opportunities to learn about Japanese culture including taiko workshops and craft demonstrations,” she said. “And you’ll find all your favourite Japanese snacks – even wasabi icecream!”

Mayor Justin Lester says the new Trust had been set up to ensure the growth of the popular event, which in 2016 attracted more than 30,000 people.

“We’ve had a sister city relationship with Sakai, near Osaka, since 1994 and the first festival was held to celebrate the relationship’s 15th anniversary,” the Mayor says. “Thousands turned up then and it has gone from strength to strength. It is quickly becoming a big part of the cultural calendar. The success of the Japan Festival shows Wellington has an insatiable appetite for culture and very strong ties with Japan.”

The Wellington Chamber of Commerce, the Wellington City Council and Asia New Zealand Foundation will hold a Japan Festival Business Breakfast this Friday, focusing on innovation and technology opportunities between New Zealand and Japan.

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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