This year (2017) was our family’s first year going to the Novi Japan Festival. If you missed it this year, it’s usually held on the first Sunday in October from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Admission to the event is free, but some of the food and attractions are a small fee. You can tell a lot of work goes into making this event possible and enjoyable, and the folks who put forth the effort do a wonderful job!
Some of the events this year included wagashi making (Japanese sweets), origami, chopstick rubberband shooters, two types of tea ceremonies, Taiko drums and other traditional Japanese musical performances, a ball toss game (with candy for a prize) and my children’s favorite: wanage, which is a ring toss game where you get 3-4 rings for $1.00 and try to hit candy with your rings to win it. My kids scored a TON of great Japanese candy. Just be warned: the lines can be quite long at times for this one-but it’s well worth.
There were also a few beautiful kimono on display, which my daughter insisted having her picture next to. So cute! 🙂
There was a large number of Japanese speaking people, so this event is also a great time to try some Japanese speaking practice. And most of the signs had both English and Japanese, so you can put your reading skills to the test as well.
Overall, our family had a great time. The event was just the right length to keep the family entertained, but not burnt out. I was even able to catch up with some of the new friends I made during my Michigan-Shiga Sister State Goodwill trip.
A side note for mamas with special needs or sensory sensitive little ones: The main area was crowded most of the time, which may difficult for some children. The cafeteria area was less quiet and noisy, and a good place for taking a short sensory break.
LOCATION: Novi High School -24062 Taft Road Novi, MI 48375. There was plenty of room for parking (which is free) when we went, and everything was handicap accessible as well. As I mentioned, the event is a bit crowded at times, but everyone was incredibly courteous in the lines and what-not, so I’m sure folks would be accommodating to individuals with wheelchairs, etc.
COST: Admission is free, some of the games and activities were around $1.00, food at food court was between $6 – $7 and the drinks were between $1-$2 (takoyaki, yakisoba, ramune, sushi, water, tea). If your kids don’t Japanese food, you might want to eat before or after the event to avoid meltdowns or food drama. (click HERE for restaurants near Novi High School)
Perhaps we’ll see you at the Novi Japan Festival next year! If so, stop by and say, “konnichiwa!” 😉