Japan in Toronto summer 2016

Well, looks like this summer we probably  won’t be fortunate enough to have the 4th Natsu matsuri held at Dundas Square. However, all is not lost. If you still want to ‘experience’ Japanese culture, save the date for these the following:

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The poster says it all. I never heard about this before, so this definitely looks like something to check out

2) JCCC Natsu matsuri

If you’ve followed my blogs for a while, you’ve probably already  know about this. It’s free to attend! It does get hot so dress properly. The JCCC is a bit ‘cut-off’ from the hustle and bustle of the city so it gives off a nice feel like you entered a new world. Just be prepared to eat Japanese food there, because when you get hungry that’s you’re only option. A nice time to experiment with Japanese snacks.

3) Japan Festival Mississauga

I don’t think this is annual, but it really does look interesting. Apparently it’s a celebration of sister Cities, Mississauga and Kariya (Aichi, Japan) .  The 35th Anniversary. I didn’t realize that sister cities was a thing. This is the biggest Japanese festival ever in Mississauga. For more information follow this link.

4)  Toronto Geek and Otaku Cosplay Day

This is a free event happening on July 9th at the JCCC, Toronto from 12-9PM.  I know you’ve been meaning to try cosplay for the longest while, so here’s the your  chance. Check out the Facebook for the group.

5) Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration

Calling all Sailor moon Fanatics, this is for you! An event  happening in the city, bringing together sailor moon fans! There’ll be special guests, activities,  vendors to stock up on your fan-girl material and what’s that? Did someone say masquerade costume contest, because that’s exactly what’s going down.  This is also happening on July 9th 11-8am at the Ontario Science Center…near the JCCC!  Click here for the website and here for the facebook.

 

This is all I know of as of yet. A lot of things go on the summer, so be sure to pick and choose what you want to do. If you want to write a guest post here and share pictures, be my guest!

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make it to any due to work. I’m a bit hesitant of booking days off when I really need to save up. Anyway, If I do go I’ll be sure to share pictures and videos!

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JCCC Haru Matsuri 2016

Last week I nearly forgot about the JCCC’s Haru matsuri. The same thing with last year so I almost ended up missing out on it again, but fortunately I was able to go.

 

The event was held in doors. I think you can imagine why, with the season still being winter and what not. A whole bunch of interesting things was going on all at once. The first is most obviously the entrance. When you come in, you not only have a waft of yummy smelling food greeting you, but also a huge display of dolls.

 

These are dolls you display  for Hina matsuri, a festival for girls. Unfortunately some of the pictures I took disappeared-hence the delayed posting. However we’ll try to make do with whatever I could salvage. Trust me when I say that this display was on the large scale, magnificent.

 

If you travel down to the right, you see lots of great vendors selling books, little cute stuff, buddhism luck charm things, massage and such. If there’s ever a perfect time to stock up Japanese goods, it during these kinds of events.

This festival is a two day event at the JCCC. I went on a Sunday, so I can’t say for sure what it was like on Saturday or comment on anything to do with it. I suspect it was the same, but what do I know.

Unlike the summer where the performanded were outside, everything was held in the event hall. It was my first time seeing it, I don’t think we have ccess to it during the summer Matsuri. I got to say, they started off great by playing the Koto to Songs from Studio Ghibli.

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Tonari no Totoro, totoro….

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They had a free Koto lesson session too!  I think I’ll be posting up a link to the video here soon and you’ll see hear what I mean!

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It was cool watching traditional Japanese dances as usual. For some reason they look easy to do but when I try it out in my head I stumble. I can honestly say that I don’t have that much of an appreciation to traditional dances. Just like how I don’t enjoy watching a sports game, but would love playing instead . I guess if I was part of the dance then I’d have more fun.

However if it’s more modern like, then that’s a different story. I think you know what exactly I’m talking about.

So, remember that yummy smell I mentioned, well at some point it was really getting to me because I was really hungry. So I had to get over my hesitation and got myself a fried Onigiri. It wasn’t actually as bad as I thought it would be! Little hard, but it was actually nice, thanks to the sweat sauce on it. I don’t know what it was. I also got Japanese style cake which was real good, but expensive. I’m pretty sure there was red bean in there, but it was alright with the cake.

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There were other neat things going on like the electronic Band thing where you wave your hand over something and the corresponding sound plays. I guess you could say it’s like being musically talented and inept at the same time.

There was also the Sakura voice thing, where you say anything you want passionately into a mic, and it measures that and translates it to the blooming of sakura onto a screen. If you say it passionately enough, you get a full bloom.

 

Well I guess this concludes this post. Maybe if you check back here later you’ll find the missing pictures and videos!

 

 

Toronto Natsu Matsuri 2015

Finally this time of the year has come again. I specifically asked to take time off from work this day since I was waiting for this one day for a whole year.

As someone who’s been to all three of the matsuri’s I find it interesting to see how each year stands out from each other. This is purely subjective, but I believe that on the first year, the highlights were on the geisha/ maiko.

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Next up for the Second matsuri, I choose the interactive group dance as my favourite pick for the day. I really enjoyed it and wished they did it this year.

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Finally, for this year I was stuck between two options. In the end I would say the biggest thing that happened was the appearance of the idol groups: 5ynchroniz3 and LinQ

They posed for me!

They posed for me!

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I didn’t know any of these idol groups before this day. It was exciting meeting live idols for the first time ever.  I even got my picture taken with LinQ!

For my runner-up choice, I would give that to the huge Jank-Ken-Poi or Rock- Paper-Scissors tournament held at Dundas square for two great prizes. This game requires honesty since you have to stay out if you get out. There was a huge crowed participating to win against the huge hand at the front. The ones running the game thought it would take a long time till it came down to the last 10, but the game went surprisingly quick. This goes to show Canadian honesty!

Unfortunately I don’t have pictures because I was busy playing.

Aside from this ultimate showdown, I enjoyed seeing the Omikoshi being carried arround. I don’t remember them doing this last year.

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Before I wrap-up, I still have one other thing to say. This year, I focused on collecting pictures of cosplayers/ interestingly dressed people. Here are my pictures.

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Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre Matsuri -JCCC- 2015

I attended the natsu matsuri at the JCCC  this year (2015) and I realized that it’s been an entire year since my first visit. This years matsuri was just as I expected, but better.

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Sakura Mai performed for this matsuri for the first time

There was a lot of interesting performers as always. This year I got to see the omikoshi being carried around. I don’t know if that happened last year because I can’t really remember seeing it well. As much as I would love to show you the picture I just recorded it. Down below is a quick video summary I made.

Compared to last year, I realized that this year I was able to better appreciate the Japanese dances. I think with anything, the first look is usually not very observant as the second.As I watched them dance, I wondered how hard it would be for me to try the same thing.

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Now let me show you the one thing I really loved seeing at the JCCC, aside from the lively crowd of people.

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When I get the chance I’ll get the name of the person who did this wonderful work and write it here

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I found this wonderful art piece of a miniature old Japanese village. It was so beautiful I just wanted to stay there for the rest of the matsuri but of course I couldn’t because there was just one thing I was eagerly anticipating and that’s the huge audience participation dance.

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To my satisfaction I got to see a lot more new dances, perhaps some were the same from last year. I wish there were more audience participation ones. I enjoyed the ones from last year and really wanted to join in more.  Unfortunately I was tired and hungry so I left just before the end. I wonder if there were fireworks or anything special that happened.

To see more of what happened watch my short video summary I made below.

Stay tuned for the blog on the Matsuri at Dundas square 2015 coming soon! Sorry for the delayed post.

For more pictures check out my flickr.

OBON Matsuri at the JCCC

Just like how it was for me to see the Japan Foundation for the first time, was how I felt about the JCCC. What can I say, it was cool! I’m not even talking about the  Festival yet.

So the festival was outside in the parking lot where a stage was set up. There was dancing, singing and drumming.  Compared to Toronto’s first ever Matsuri, this one was mostly all traditional ,the way I saw it.  At the JCCC there were dancers that danced to songs that were like fusions of the new and old. Anyways, they were really nice.

I especially enjoyed the taiko drummers, and of course, my personal favourite part of the day was the dance everyone was invited to do. I think that Toronto’s second matsuri will also be having one too.

So anyways here are some shots I took.

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