Japan/America Society of Kentucky

Since 1987

Log in

JAPAN! Summer Festival 日本祭り

  • 21 Aug 2010
  • 3:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Jacobson Park, Shelter 6, Lexington


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:
  • Please consider a donation of $5 or more per family member when you register. Help us keep the event free. REGISTRATION IS NOT REQUIRED TO ATTEND THE FESTIVAL (but appreciated).

Registration is closed


Summer Festival  

FREE Admission!
August 21, 2010
3:00pm - 9:00pm (dusk)
Jacobson Park, Shelter 6

Download the Poster
Download the Brochure*

JASK has supported cultural exchange between Japanese and Americans in Kentucky since Toyota’s arrival in 1987.  This August 21, join us for our 3rd Annual JAPAN! Summer Festival, a large-scale outdoor event for Kentuckians and their families. 

Come explore Japan - enjoy Japanese cuisine and cultureSee more pictures.

So much goes on at the Festival - we encourage you to read thoroughly about activities so you don't miss out.  There is truly something for everyone. 

Want to volunteer?  We need reliable folks to take volunteer shifts for some of our programs.  Register here

The Stage
Big, loud, Taiko drums.  Soft, engrossing, ancient melody from the Japanese stringed koto.  Down-home, good ol' Bluegrass banjo.  It's all on our stage. 

3:30pm - Japanese Idol Contest - Watch twelve finalists belt Japanese songs in front of three judges and thousands of people.  One will win $1,000. 

4:30pm - Taiko Drum Performance - Big drums, intricate rhythms, and musical chants - this is one of the Festival's biggest attractions. 

5:15pm - Japanese Idol Award - Find out who won this year's $1,000 contest prize. 

5:30pm - Chorus - Japanese ladies' chorus charms with traditional and modern Japanese music. 

6:00pm - Martial Arts - Judo, kendo, karate.  Watch these pros live, in-action. 

6:30pm - Noh Theatre - Impeccable concentration and deliberate, emotion-laden movements characterize this traditional art form that you might only otherwise watch in Tokyo. 

7:00pm - Koto and Tim Lake (banjo) - Master koto performer, Tomoko Yonenaga, glides her fingers across the elegant koto, evoking images of ancient Japan.  Then, delight in a duet with the koto and banjo when she is joined by Tim Lake, a Kentucky treasure and bluegrass musician who has toured Japan.  Tim will wrap-up with a performance of his own.  Don't miss these musicians - a headline concert for any venue. 

8:00pm - Taiko Drum Reprise - The drum troupe returns to echo the thunder and sea with their intricate rhythms.

8:30pm - Japanese Folk Dance Audience Dance - Wrap-up the evening by joining the crowd for the Minyo dance, a staple at any Japanese Summer Festival.

The Food

Save room for dinner and dessert.  Lexington's finest Japanese cuisine comes to you! 

yakisoba (noodle-dish)

Seki yakiniku-don (beef with rice), teriyaki-don (chicken with rice)

School curry rice, California roll sushi

Dong Yang Asian Market Japanese snacks, drinks, and ice cream


Grilled Corn

The Mini-Classes

Special thanks to sponsorship by the Japanese Consulate in Nashville, Consul General Hiroshi Sato.

3:15pm - Cooking in a Japanese Kitchen  Hiroko Naito, trained in Tokyo's top chef-schools, specializes in baking cakes.  She will teach about making California rolls, along with other unique Japanese foods.

4:40pm - Japanese Games (日本の遊び)  Michael Hardy spent three years in Japan and will talk about games kids play for fun in Japan. 

5:40pm - Japanese Ikebana Flower Art 
Elena Masterson studied with the famous Ikenobou Group in Japan for two years and will explain the philosophy and skill of this fine art. 

6:20pm - Basic Japanese Phrases
Eriko Moore has been a translator and runs the EM Japanese School in Lexington.  Learn enough to get lost in Tokyo!

7:00pm - The Art of Bonsai John Calloway of the Louisville Bonsai Society will explain the art of aesthetic miniaturization of trees by growing them in containers. 

7:30pm - Appreciating Noh Theatre
Atsuyoshi Asano, born and raised in the distinguished Asano Family of Noh performers, has trained Kentuckians in the ancient theatre art of Noh.  Asano is a Kanze Group performer and will teach at the University of Kentucky this Fall. 

The Activity Booths

Tent 1
Origami - learn to fold the paper crane, pikachu, and other fun shapes
Chopstick Game - race your friends to move small items with chopsticks
Calligraphy - have your name painted on a fan
Tea - sample Japanese tea
Nintendo Wii - play all you want

Tent 2

Kimono Dress-up Studio - try one on and take pictures
Water-balloon Yo-yo Game - fish for balloons in this common Japanese festival-game
Bonsai Display - examine miniaturized trees on display by the Louisville Bonsai Society
Sister Cities of Lexington - Learn how you can be part of Lexington Sister-City relationship with Shinhidaka, Japan
Consulate General of Nashville - Learn more about how Japan's presence is felt throughout the South through its regional Consulate

The Japanese Flea Market
Shop like you're in Ginza (kind-of).  Japanese families will set up their own local "flea market." You will find an array of Japanese goods that you cannot find in American stores.

Other Vendors

Kimono Store
- Los Angeles kimono boutique: JPNK Corp., brings their precious garments, including yukata and happi coats for kids.

Happy Japan - Nashville-based knick-knacks store brings many Japanese gift and kids items (stationary, lunchboxes, toys)

Joseph-Beth Booksellers - Lexington's iconic bookstore will sell Japanese manga comics for all ages. 

Berea Bonsai Studio

The Japan Idol Contest
Come on: you know you want to try...

Memorize a Japanese karaoke song and sing your heart out!  Just a $10 entry fee - we can even help you find a song - and you get a shot at the $1,000 first prize.  Don't speak Japanese?  Even better.  More details here

Get Up and Go!

Some details to know before you GO!
  • Admission is FREE.
  • Food, drinks, some games, and shopping will cost money.  Cash-only.
  • Summer is hot.  We have water on site but consider bringing your own.  This year we start later in the day to take advantage of the cooler evening, especially for guests to enjoy a dinner of fine Japanese food. 
  • Many guests bring their own chairs to relax in while they enjoy the diverse stage performances.
  • There will be portable restrooms on-site and Jacobson has handicap-access restrooms within a short walk. 
  • Shelter 6 is in the back of Jacobson Park, near camp Kearney, past the creative playground.  It is where "Friday Night Flicks" takes place.
  • If there is rain - the show will go on.  Some stage events will be affected but we will adjust and enjoy Japan... in the rain.                                                  


View Larger Map

*New activities may be added before the Festival so check back and click the link for possible brochure updates. 
Japan/America Society of Kentucky
464 Chenault Rd.
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 209-9630

Payment Processing

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software