Clean and Soba

Sister cities use their noodles at 25th-anniversary celebration

Valley of the Sun, Land of the Rising Sun -- what’s the difference? Not much this weekend, as Matsuri: A Festival of Japan returns to Heritage & Science Park.

The theme for this year’s edition of the annual fest, a collaboration between Phoenix Parks & Recreation and various area Japanese-American and other groups, is Ni Jyu Go Shu Nen Sai (“Celebrating 25 Years”). It opens with a Mikoshi parade at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, and continues through 4:30 p.m. (same hours Sunday) with several stages offering taiko -- cool Japanese group drumming -- folk dancing, fashion shows, martial arts demonstrations, an anime costume contest, even karaoke.

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But let’s face it, for many of us, the biggest attraction at Matsuri will be the food. For the quarter-century anniversary, the fest will showcase a Japanese staple: Noodle-makers from Phoenix’s sister city Himeji will demonstrate the crafting of soba, those yummy noodles made from buckwheat or wheat flour.


Sat., Feb. 21, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 22, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., 2009
 
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