The Magic of Matsuri (祭)

At Atisuto, we love Matsuri—just as much as our families and friends living in local communities across Japan. 

These Japanese festivals celebrate everything, from snow sculptures to seasonal harvesting. And while July celebrates several famous Japanese festivals, during most months of the year, you will find Matsuri’s for cultural or historical events being celebrated in multiple cities and villages across Japan. 

In Japan, preparations for grand Matsuri events start the week before, with streets being cordoned off for the stalls to begin setting up to sell their wares. 

Some of the best Japanese food stalls can be found at Matsuri, with food hawkers selling crowd favorites such as yakisoba (soba noodles) and yakitori (BBQ chicken skewers)—just like the popular dishes found at Atisuto.

Prepared with ramen-styled noodles, meat and vegetables, yakisoba is the Japanese version of stir fried noodles and usually sold as street food. Yakitori is also a popular street food, made with bite-sized pieces of chicken, skewered and grilled over a charcoal fire.

But it’s not just about the food. Matsuri is also known for the eclectic mix of traditional and modern arts and crafts, such as Origami and calligraphy.  

Synonymous with Japanese culture, Origami is the art of paper folding which is taught from parent to child through the generations. The origami pieces, which normally take the form of an animal, geometric shape or toy, were made famous by the paper crane—the international sign of peace. 

Atisuto’s Chef Aijiro, an origami specialist believes that through origami, you can reshape the meaning of creativity and the way you look at the world. “Origami requires attention to detail and Tamashi that reflects on our food” he said.

Japanese calligraphy is also well-regarded as one of the most popular forms of arts in Japan—translating to harmony and beauty, as the master creates a work of art using a bamboo brush to apply the ink on rice paper.

Many Matsuri also features sumo demonstrations, so visitors can enjoy watching the sumo wrestlers participate in the traditional Japanese sport.

But perhaps the best part of any Matsuri is the parade, which is full of color and vitality, with floats draped in wonderful tapestries and starring prominent people from the local neighborhood.

Japanese Matsuri experiences are like to other as they bring the community together to celebrate and share the festival food, music, dancing and incredibly lit floats.