Japanfest is an event in the suburbs around Arlington heights. This year it was held at the Forest View Educatonal Center at 2121 South Goebbert Road. They have different events, performances and exhibits. I attended with my family and looked around the exhibits then watched the Fuko Kyudojo or mediative archery demonstration. They explained in the gym not only about the bows being made of bamboo but of the meditation infused in their specific branch of archery. With this kind of archery the goal isn’t necessarily to hit the target but instead is the slow methodical and movements and meditation towards inner peace. Hitting the target is an added bonus.
Japan Fest had an outdoor ticketed food court, mostly of ramen. I got yakisoba from the Bennihanas booth and cold noodles from the slurping turtle. The yakisoba was small and the cold noodles wasn’t what I was expecting, looking more like a salad. There was also a shaved ice station that did eventually run out, I ordered green tea with red bean paste on top. It was hot out and busy, so outside there wasn’t a lot of seating space in the shade.
There was also tea ceremony that we attended a bit late. Traditional tea ceremonies can last hours, this one was abridged but they still spoke about the rules and about the culture affiliated. People were able to pay to also participate afterwards and receive tea and snacks. There was a exhibit on swords, violins, Ikebana flower arrangement, Shodo calligraphy, and bonsai. In a very busy section with a long line people could try on traditional samurai armor and kimonos. On Saturday evening there was also a j-pop concert.