Hakone’s 18th Annual Matsuri Festival (Spring Festival)
– Hakone Estate and Gardens – one of the oldest Japanese gardens in the Western Hemisphere – invites the community to celebrate spring and Japanese culture at the 18th Annual Matsuri (Festival) on Sunday, May 21, 2016 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hakone, an oasis of Zen high above Silicon Valley and commemorating its centennial this year, will offer authentic Japanese Tsugaru Shamisen music and Satsuki-kai chorus, esoteric Shorinji Kenpo and Aikido martial art demonstrations, an Urasenke Tea Class (taught by Tsuji sensei), Urasenke and Omotesenke tea ceremony, auction, bazaar and a modern Japanese rock band! Kids can learn about Japanese culture while having fun with everything from crafts and origami to Shuji (calligraphy), Soroban (abacus). New this year: Brides can purchase their dream wedding kimono (uchikake gown) at a discount. The starting price for one of the spectacular, one-of-a-kind luxury uchikake gowns is $1,500 ($2,000+ market value). Of course all of these experiences will be paired with delicious Japanese food and drinks! The event also offers the opportunity to see the recently launched finale exhibit for Hakone’s 2015-17 centennial celebrations, which commemorate the three-year process of creating Hakone 100 years ago from inspiration to completion. “Hakone, From Private Estate to Public Garden” features the story of the last owners of Hakone, a partnership of six couples who operated Hakone from 1961-1966 as a private retreat while stewarding its preservation. The event is just $5 in advance (kids 4 and under are free) and $5 that day (at West Valley College Parking Lot #5). Although Hakone members are free, they must still register for a comp ticket. Free event shuttle buses will depart West Valley College from Parking Lot #5 – where this is free parking – every 15 minutes. The first shuttle departs West Valley College at 10 a.m. The last shuttle departs Hakone at 5 p.m. There will be no parking available for non-permitted cars.