AZ Matsuri's Night Festival Keeps the Karaoke Flowing After Dusk

More than giant monsters invading Tokyo or capturing whales for "scientific testing," there is one time-honored tradition that must be observed if you're looking for an authentic, Japanese experience: Karaoke.

And if you're going to sing karaoke, you might as well go whole-hog and make it drunken karaoke. And if you're going to do that ... well, let's just say retching your alcohol-soaked lungs out to Journey ought to be done under cover of darkness.

Luckily, AZ Matsuri has us all covered. The annual downtown festival celebrating everything Japanese, makes its mark this weekend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at the Heritage & Science Park. Special this year are the extended hours,"Yo matsuri," or "night festival" that will keep things lively from from 5 to 8 p.m. with a beer garden, awa odori dancing, and, of course, karaoke.

According to, proceeds from the beer garden will benefit the Japanese Friendship Garden and Matsuri itself.

So do us all a favor and suck down a few more Kirin before you kill us all with your glass-shattering rendition "Earth Angel." Sure, you'll blow out our eardrums, but at least the Friendship Garden will benefit.

Want to hear about Matsuri's culinary delights? Check out all the delicious details on Chow Bella.

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Jonathan McNamara