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Japanese Summer Festival – Celebrate at Hana Japan Newburyport

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
Japanese Summer Festival, Newburyport MA

You only need to travel down to Story Ave. to jet set to another country and celebrate at this Japanese Summer Festival on Sunday, August 26th from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm at Hana Japan in the Port Plaza. From games to food to entertainment, this annual festival, known as Natsu Matsuri, is a fun way for the whole family to learn about Japanese culture. The festival is free for all ages with games, gifts and food available for a small cost.

Spend the afternoon enjoying traditional Japanese entertainment right here in Newburyport. Dance to Taiko (Japanese Drums) or relax to the soothing sounds of a Japanese harp called the Koto. Toast each other at a traditional Japanese tea, learn the art of Shodo, Japanese calligraphy, or bend and fold artistic creations with origami. 

The Japanese Summer Festival will also have fun for your little world explorers. They can try their hands at games young Japanese children play like yo-yo balloons, toy rifle shooting and goldfishing. If your kids enjoy dancing, partake in the kids dance lessons to add some new moves to their repertoire.

And of course, there is no better way to learn about another culture than to try out the local cuisine. The Japanese Summer Festival will have sushi, fried chicken called Kara Age, pan fried noodles known as Yaksoba and more. Expand your palate and challenge your little ones to try something new or indulge in favorite dishes you already know and love.

If your family really want to immerse yourselves into the Japanese culture, Hana Japan is even offering a Kimono rental for the day. Don’t forget to bring your own flip flops to complete the look.

The Hana Japan, run by mother and son team Miyano Takahashi and Kosuke, is a local favorite offering a traditional Japanese experience from the decor to the food. While the festival is only one day, you and your family can transport yourselves back to Japan anytime by visiting the restaurant, especially when you find yourself craving some more Yaksoba.

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