Japanese culture is simultaneously strange and awesome. Sushi and sake are delicious, while the bizarro blog WTF Japan, Seriously? speaks for itself. Fortunately, most of the country's inherent strangeness is pretty entertaining. It’s difficult not to love it when folks take their Hello Kitty, samurai, and Hello Kitty-samurai costumes a little too seriously -- kind of like the guy that became Internet famous for shouting “lightning bolt!” while LARPing.

Cosplay is a small part of the annual Matsuri Festival, but the event celebrates Japanese culture through food, music, and art, too. This year’s theme is mochi, the tasty rice cake snack which is often consumed in soup and ice cream.

Sat., Feb. 23, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 24, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 2013
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Melissa Fossum
Contact: Melissa Fossum