Saturday, November 4, 2006

JapanFest 2006

The Irasshai booth at the 2006 JapanFest held at Stone Mountain on Sept. 23 and 24 was a big hit with an estimated 15,000+ attendees at the event. This year marked the 20th anniversary of JapanFest. Irasshai has enjoyed a presence there since the event was moved to the park in 1996.

JapanFest attendees were treated to demonstrations and performances ranging from martial arts to renowned jazz artists to traditional Japanese dance to street performers and taiko drummers. More than 350 Japanese businesses located in Georgia were also there with their product displays.

At the Irasshai booth, participants enjoyed having their name written with brush and ink in traditional calligraphic style. The trivia bowl, where participants challenged three rounds of Japanese language and culture related questions, also drew large crowds, and more than 40 winners took away highly sought after Irasshai T-shirts.

The event was also an opportunity for Irasshai students to meet their A.I. (telephone) teachers, and to practice face to face their self introductions and other phrases in Japanese. Program facilitators from Georgia high schools got the chance to chat with the Irasshai staff.

JapanFest, voted a Top 20 Event in the region by the Southeast Tourism Society in previous years, was once again clearly an excellent opportunity for people to experience first-hand the many wonderful aspects of Japanese culture without traveling further east than Stone Mountain Park in Atlanta, Ga.