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My trip to the 2009 Arizona Matsuri festival


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  • [Pictures] My trip to the 2009 Arizona Matsuri festival

    For those of you that dont know, I really love japanese culture and really enjoy anything japanese related, especially the food. So I figured I would share some pictures of what happens when you meet up randomly with many people I know in the local anime/hobbyist/convention community and it just so happens all of us have one thing in common; our love for Japanese culture.

    This brings us to going out for the 2009 Arizona Matsuri festival last weekend which like every year has amazing Taiko drummers, Awesome origami displays, plenty of Bonsai trees, people dressed up in traditional outfits, and most of all amazing food [you have to love the food]

    ***Now its time for me to rant and rave for a minute because I will say this and only say this once... COSPLAY AT MATSURI REALLY TICKS ME OFF... Now because I have cosplayed myself and like to cosplay when I go to conventions and everything I have to say that there is nothing wrong with cosplay or being a general otaku however the Matsuri Fetival is supposed to be a traditional festival celebrating traditional japanese culture... believe it or not, Anime/gaming fandom is only a small bit of that culture but with the amount of cosplayers there it overpowers the atmosphere... Now as I said modern japanese culture is cool too and there were plenty of Lolitas, J-rock fashion, and plenty of people in traditional wear like Kimonos which my friend even had an awesome Kimono that was plaid and had zippers sewn onto it to make it look very punk... Ok rant and rave over... LOL!***

    So I meet my friend Rocket at the light rail station and we then take the new light rail downtown to Heritage square to get to the festival

    Sadly dont have pictures of the new and snazzy light rail we have here in Phoenix but oh well. Here we are just arriving in the morning

    At the Planet Neo booth we found these awesome bags and omg, Rocket wound up getting a new one and I got this one because yes, Your Kung fu is weak... LOL!

    And for all of you Kingdom hearts fans out there, here is an awesome replica of the Keyblade.

    Rocket loves katanas, and I was like omg, freaking out since he got the blade kinda close to me.

    Since I had not eaten breakfast, it was time to get some food, now this is the first part of food which I had way too much during the day, but my day started off with a traditional Udon bowl with fried tofu. So yummy

    Sitting down the the Udon bowl, Rocket and I sit on the grassy area and watch some Taiko drummers

    Then we walked towards the other stage to find a kendo demonstration.

    Then I run into my friend Natasha and she has this awesome Sukiyaki beef skewer which I love Skewered beef and Sukiyaki... nothing is better! So I took a few bites of it to go along with the order of gyoza I just had!

    If all that food I had this morning wasnt enough, it was time to finish the breakfast with some Mochi... Mochi is amazing and so tasty, its pretty much a pounded rice cake with red bean filling in the middle... this was the green tea mochi.

    And back at the Planet Neo booth, just to be mean, Rocket had to buy this cute plush Chocobo that I so wanted but my budget wasnt to happy with buying it... but he still got me all jealous for having it

    Then we walked over to the ASU stage for some more Taiko drummers

    After some Taiko drumming Rocket was getting thirsty and wanted something to drink so we walked downtown to Marjerles for some adult beverages which is some famous bar that the Phoenix suns are famous for or something... they did have some good drinks on the menu but overall I am not much of a drinker so I just stuck with their house beer and left it at that. On the way to Marjerles I ran into Maia on the steps of the Arizona Science Center. Maia is awesome with Cosplay and Lolita and makes some amazing outfits on her own

    So while we are taking this break at the bar, we meet up with Courtney who was going to hang out with us at the festival for a little while. So heading back we all get sidetracked on these gold statue things on the way back.

    Courtney with his artsy gold statue pose

    I love Chocobo... LOL!

    Saboten con 2009, October 30th to November 1st... yes its on Halloween weekend but oh well... Conventions are fun and I will probably have an awesome Cosplay around that time! So yeah, this was my little advert for Sabo... if you couldnt tell... LOL!

    Making my way back to the main festival... more friends have arrived and more japanese fun awaits Rocket, Courtney and I

    Courtney gets stopped by Maia on the way back and I just had to snap a picture...

    On the way back into the festival here is a picture of the traditional altar that is taken on the way in.

    I know i mentione dhow I hated cosplay... but this was just a little original

    Then we ran into Juli in her Lolita dress

    Juli loves melon soda

    And Stoic loves Ramune... for those that dont know... Ramune is a japanese soda thats sealed with a marble and you have to pop the marble to open the soda

    More Juli Lolita goodness... Lolita fashion is awesome!

    Green Tea... theres some awesoe Engrish on the can... Green Tea "we present mild body and aroma to you"

    You can tell by my face that I have eaten too much, This is just after a Sukiyaki beef bowl by the Kirin Wok Booth.

    Then my friends give me some shaved ice from the Kilueaha Ice booth

    A nice Matsuri banner

    Juli and her Lolita friends at a table

    Walking around a bit more, we saw this booth which had some traditional masks

    And more Taiko drummers

    Then from Taiko drummers we move to a prettty flower arrangement

    And from there to a Martial Arts demonstration... I miss martial arts... its was one thing I could say I really used to enjoy doing.

    And to close off the day at the festival... its time for the epic battle... Chocobo versus Torrell... who will win... LOL!

    Chocobo wins... Flawless victory

    and one more pic of Rockets awesome chocobo plushie that makes me so jealous... LOL!

    And then on the way out we ran into Genni and her doll

    and one last pic of the house in Heritage square

    Overall the Matsuri Festival this year was amazing, enjoyed the traditional culture and always enjoy every festival they hold at Heritage square... I tend to prefer the Matsuri fest over the rainbows fest because everyone is here to have a good time, unlike the local gay community who like myself has more drama than VH1 or E!... but whether its an Asian festival, Chinese Festival, Hawaiian festival, Rainbows festival, or any type of cultured festival... Heritage square is like the perfect place for it to be held!

    But yeah... Matsuri was fun... LOL! Hope everyone enjoyed my sharing of pics!

    Comments, questions, and everything... I will do what I can to answer...
    Add me... I dont bite LOL!

    Commence Dragulation... Dragulation complete!!

  • #2
    Re: My trip to the 2009 Arizona Matsuri festival

    Great report. I think it may stun some people that in Phoenix we do have some amazing weekend events. Looks like you had a lot of fun and sukiyaki beef rules.


    • #3
      Re: My trip to the 2009 Arizona Matsuri festival

      Originally posted by pratt55 View Post
      Great report. I think it may stun some people that in Phoenix we do have some amazing weekend events. Looks like you had a lot of fun and sukiyaki beef rules.
      Yes and I am sorry I couldnt make the meetup today but oh well... next time we should have everything in order... right now we are waiting on the moving truck and packing the old apartment.

      We just picked up our new keys and I am so happy... we have an apartment that is about the size of a house... seriously 3 bedrooms and 1200 sq ft. for only 870 a month. But I hope you had a good time last weekend and with your AZ celebration this weekend

      And yes, Phoenix does have some good festivals every now and then... its February/March and that means we are in prime season for renaissance fest... But Sukiyaki beef is my favorite!
      Add me... I dont bite LOL!

      Commence Dragulation... Dragulation complete!!


      • #4
        Re: My trip to the 2009 Arizona Matsuri festival

        I had totally forgotten about this festival - I went to that a few years ago when we lived in Mesa. My son and I were always looking for something fun to do.

        Thanks for the report.
        Will trade husband for Disneyland and DCA Pins!


        • #5
          Re: My trip to the 2009 Arizona Matsuri festival

          Out here in LA, we have the annual Nissei Week Festival in Little Tokyo in August. It's not as big as it used to be, but it's still fun to visit and be a part of the atmosphere. They do have the all important Taiko drummers, though. Glad to see some Japanese culture in a different part of the country!
          Does anyone even bother with signatures anymore?


          • #6
            Re: My trip to the 2009 Arizona Matsuri festival

            Nice report!
            Check out my page at

            Check out my pin collection at User name is WheresMickey


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