Let’s face it. There’s lots of places to go and things to do if you live in the SoCal area. But, attending food and culture events are the best teaching tools when traveling with youngsters. Such events provide exceptional opportunities to learn about cultures in fascinating environments. My daughter, Teagan, and I were thoroughly entertained, learning about the Tōhoku region and its ability to bounce back since the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Along with other press and Torrance Councilmember Geoff Rizzo, we were invited to attend the press presentation for the Rising Tōhoku Fair.
Since its devastating March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, the Tōhoku region is beginning to robustly recover from unprecedented severe damage. The earthquake measured a 9.0 magnitude, which contributed to 15,891 casualties, and resulted in a 133-ft tsunami in Miyako. In the past, Los Angeles experienced its own devastating manifestation: the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, measuring a 6.7 magnitude, causing 57 deaths and $20 billion in damages. Because Los Angeles continues to be a wondrous “melting pot,” Japan’s Tōhoku region re-introduces its diverse culture and food products to global audiences through this second annual event. The Rising Tōhoku Fair encourages participants to experience, first-hand, Tōhoku’s exotic region through food and culture in this entertaining, four-day festival. This event combines live presentations from entertainers who’ve flown in from Japan, along with videos and photos of Tōhoku’s cultural region.
The Rising Tōhoku Food Fair, hosted by Mitsuwa Marketplace in Torrance, presents four full days of food and cultural festivities to celebrate the charms of the Tōhoku region of Northeast Japan. Although a seemingly small country, major metropolitans like Aomori, Morioka, Sendai, Akita, Yamagata, and Fukushima will highlight their vast history and culture. Look for foods from various cities such as the delicious Kuroge Wagyu Bento (Sendai); Japanese Crispy Bean Cake is a favorite; make sure to quench your thirst with Seiken Apple Juice (Aomori), which was my daughter’s chosen. She said it tasted like you were eating an apple; Maguro Bowl (Kesennuma) – yummy; Yamagata Foods Juice (Yamagata) – more thirst-quenching juices; and Okasyo Semidry Fruit Le Rêve (Fukushima). In addition to presenting diverse and flavorful food products originating from the 6 prefectures of Tōhoku, explore a variety of paper craft activities, such as origami and writing wishes on tanzaku paper. Plus, enjoy photo opportunities with charming and endearing city-specific mascots.
Numerous energetic, entertaining presentations help introduce Tōhoku’s region. You’ll have opportunities to behold brilliant costumes and mesmerizing performances. These dynamic exhibitions help re-introduce the people of the Tōhoku region: a Da-te Busho-tai (samurai) performance; Aomori City’s Nebuta orchestra; dances from Sendai City (Suzume), Yamagata City (Hanagasa), and Morioka City (Sansa); and appearances by various festival pageant queens. View numerous brightly, decorative items, referencing city-specific festivals on display throughout the venue. Find pictures of other Tōhoku mascots, and a photo panel exhibition of the region’s famous local festivals (Aomori Nebuta Festival, Akita Kanto Festival, Morioka Sansa-odori; Yamagata Hanagasa Festival; Sendai Tanabata Matsui; and Fukushima Waraji Festival).
Yuruchara – a Japanese term for mascot characters from different cities. Check out these charming mascots and learn a little history along the way. Plenty of photo opportunities will be available for the little ones: Miyagi City’s iconic Musubi-maru who wears a samurai costume and resembles onigiri (rice ball); Fukushima City’s adorable Momorin rabbit who represents Fukushima momo (peaches) and ringo (apples); the girl mascot Hanagata Beni-Chan who dons a cherry-patterned kimono and hanagata flower hat and her hair resembles safflower; and Nebutan, an adorable pig dressed in the haneto costume worn at Aomori prefecture’s world-renowned Nebuta festival. My daughter adores these mascots!!
Visit the fair now through Sunday, 2015, 11 am – 6 pm. This free family-friendly event is in its second year. I can’t to see what’s in store next year! Sayonara.
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