JapanFest at the Gwinnett Convention Center is still set for this weekend -- September 17 and 18. In addition to the great line up of exhibits and food vendors, they have added tsunami education sessions, and all proceeds from the event will be donated toward the Japanese relief effort.
JapanFest, albeit a very busy event with a gathering of almost 17,000 people, is very well planned and executed in the Center. All rooms are used for various exhibits so you can spend as long as you want in each experience.
Arrive early for the Koi fish display outside. Then if you start in the Performing Arts Center, you may experience a musical dance performance with detailed costumes and expressive theatre-like storytelling. Then you may cruise down the hall to watch precise martial artists and rousing Taiko drummers.
Once you pass through the open market of toys, crafts and pottery, you may wander into the very quiet and serene flower arranging display or happen upon an almost personal calligraphy lesson.
Beyond the visual experience, your appetite will appreciate the range of dumplings, noodles, sushi and Japanese sodas. Desserts await, as well.
The numerous vendors and sponsors have all come together to raise awareness for the recent events in Japan. New workshops include earthquake education (Georgia Tech) and relief effort idea exchange.
Tickets are $8 per adult, children are free. Older children who can appreciate exploring this culture with you, from loud martial artists with weapons to sitting quietly in a kite making workshop, will have a great time.
See the JapanFest website for a full schedule, menus and vendors.