Sep 9th 2018

The 4th annual Japan House Matsuri Festival will be held on Sunday, September 9th from 2:00 – 9:00 pm, in and around Japan House and the Arboretum at the University of Illinois.

Admission to the Matsuri Festival and all performances are FREE, and tickets for food and activities are budget-friendly.

A family-friendly event, matsuri will feature a variety of entertainment including martial arts demonstrations and musical performances, local craft vendors, Asian-inspired food and drink, children’s activities, as well as the crowd favorite Masaji Terasawa, “Candy Man”, a Japanese street performer whose amezaiku creations are truly ephemeral art pieces.

Matsuri originated as a traditional solemn temple festival in Japan, but now brings people together to celebrate the end of summer with Asian-inspired food, performances, art, crafting, dance and more.

In celebration of the Japan House 20th anniversary, the festival this year will be an expanded version of years past. New highlights include tours of the Arboretum by Master Gardeners, live art demonstrations, tea ceremonies by International Urasenke Associations, specialty beers brewed by Triptych Brewing, sake tastings from Maverick Wines, and FREE performances by internationally known Japanese all-female rock bands the 5, 6, 7, 8’s and Shonen Knife! No tickets needed for any of the performances. Tickets are only needed for food and drink, and some activities. The weekend’s events will culminate with fireworks.

For the first time, pre-sale packages will be available for pre-event pick up or WILL CALL on the day of the festival. Tickets are also available at ticket tents on the day of Matsuri. 1 Ticket = $1. Cash and credit card accepted. No refunds for unused tickets. Unused tickets may be donated back to Japan House.

Pre-sale packages will be available for pick-up at Japan House on Tuesday, Sept. 4th 9am-5pm, Wednesday, Sept. 5th 9am-6pm, Thursday, and Sept 6th 9am-6pm. Pre-sale packages may also be picked up on the day of the festival, Sunday, September 9th in the WILL CALL tent starting at 1pm.

Additonal t-shirts and tickets may be added to your order in the cart during check out.

For pre-sale packages see Our Eventbrite page:

For more information on Matsuri or other 20th ANNIVERSARY special events, please click here:

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

This is a free, all-age, family-friendly event. However, there is an area that will be serving alcohol so an ID will be required to enter and purchase beverages. No one under the age of 21 will be allowed to enter.

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

Parking is available first come, first serve at University lots in the area such as south of Japan House, Vet Med and F23 on Florida Avenue. There are also spaces along Lincoln Avenue. Check the campus parking map for more info.

If you’re looking to catch a bus, visit the MTD website for routes and schedules. The Raven bus comes to Japan House but other bus routes can bring you close by as well. For those needing assistance, golf carts will be transporting people from the above parking lots to the festival site in the University Arboretum.

What can I bring into the event?

We ask that you do not bring outside food and drink, but instead enjoy what our vendors are providing. We also ask that you leave your pets at home. Chairs and blankets are encouraged!

Official Website

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