Sake tasting, fried food, and origami workshops – there's so matcha to love.
After a two-year hiatus for obvious reasons, Montreal’s day-long Japanese festival, Matsuri Japon, is back this August. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 13, and features a wide range of Japanese activities, workshops, and – of course – delicious food and drinks to try.
The volunteer-run festival welcomes approximately 18,000 visitors each year to the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre of Montreal (JCCCM) in the Villeray neighbourhood. This year promises to bring games and activities for all ages, including workshops on wagashi, a candy made of rice flour and often filled with bean paste or fruits and served with matcha.
For the adults, there will be a sake tasting workshop hosted by international sake sommelier, Kuniko Fujita, also known as Madame Sake au Quebec. If the drinks leave you feeling a bit peckish, you’ll have no shortage of options to choose from.
Matsuri Japon will host a wide range of food vendors serving Japanese classics like takoyaki (small fried balls of dough and octopus), yakisoba (sauteed noodles), okonomiyaki (fried pancake with sauces) and yakitori (skewers of grilled meat) – basically, it’s fried and grilled treats galore.
For dessert, get ready for a myriad of flavours of kakigori, a shaved ice-based dessert flavoured with fruity syrups like cherry, orange, and strawberry – or opt for matcha flavour with adzuki beans on top. You can also look forward to sharing non-alcoholic beverages including refreshing yuzu lemonade and the classic favourite soda Ramune.
Performances at the festival’s main stage this year will include local taiko drumming group Arashi Daiko – meaning storm drums – who have been playing in Montreal since 1983.
Matsuri Japon 2022 is still looking for volunteers. If you’re passionate about Japanese culture and have some time to spare, it’s worth considering!
To get to the festival on public transit, take the 193 East from Jarry station.
Matsuri Japon Festival
Cost: Free entry
When: Saturday, August 13, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: 8155 rue Rousselot, Montreal, QC
Accessibility: Wheelchair and stroller accessible.