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Japan Day

Sunday, February 9, 2020

10:00am – 5:00pm

In partnership with the Japan Information & Culture Center, the Embassy of Japan, and Table for Two, KID Museum presents Ume Matsuri, the plum blossom festival that marks the end of wintertime. Bring your family and enjoy hands-on, maker activities all day long. Build a communal zen garden, create a Kendama toy, take part in interactive performances, make your own Japanese rice balls, and much more!

ASL interpretation will be available from 11 am to 2pm as we celebrate Japan Day at KID Museum.

Purchase day-of at the front desk:
General Admission: $12 (includes 1 child and 2 adults)
KID Museum Members: FREE

All-Day Activities (included with admission)

Communal Zen Garden
Zen gardens (karensansui) are dry landscapes made of rocks, gravel, and sand. Help us build our communal zen garden by placing rocks on a bed of sand to symbolize islands and mountains, and rake the sand to suggest flowing water. To create different patterns of flowing water and to style the garden, make your own rakes and traditional Torii gates.

Discover Kendama, a Japanese game involving a wooden handle, shallow cups, a spike, and a ball. Swing the ball into the air and impale it on the spike or balance it on one of the wooden cups. Make your own Kendama while you learn how to use a power drill.

Ume Origami
Explore the ancient art of folding paper – origami! Literally meaning “to fold paper,” origami has been around for over a thousand years. Fold your own ume or plum flower origami as part of ume blossom festival to take home or decorate our tree

Sumi-e Ink
Sumi-e is the art of drawing beautiful scenes of nature using a brush and Sumi ink. Try your hand at this traditional art and see how these simple tools can be used to create a variety of pictures.

Nagashi Bina
Nagashi Bina or floating doll is made during Hina Matsuri, Girl’s Day, in Kyoto. The dolls that represent the emperor and empress are made of paper then they will be put in a reed basket. People float the dolls to wish good health and protection for a girl or a woman in the family. Create your own Nagashi Bina and learn how to weave a basket using an embroidery thread.

Inspired by Obon, a Japanese festival that honors departed spirits of one’s ancestors, create your own rectangular paper lantern and write a wish or greeting for loved ones. If you want to light up your lantern, there is a $1 materials fee to purchase an LED and a coin cell battery.

As part of welcoming the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, make your own Kamizumo, a paper sumo match, out of cardboard or code one in Scratch.

Traditional Clothing
Dress up in yukata, a cotton summer kimono, or colorful happi coats worn during festivals for a fun photo opportunity in front of our green screen!


Onigiri Making
1:00 PM & 3:00 PM: Learn to make onigiri, a Japanese rice ball wrapped in seaweed and filled with fish, plum, or other fillings. In Japan, this popular and healthy snack is stocked by practically every convenience store. Our onigiri making is provided by the Embassy of Japan and Table For Two USA, a non-profit organization that promotes healthy eating by providing healthy school meals and food education programs such as “Wa-Shokuiku – Learn. Cook. Eat Japanese!.” Workshops are available for the first 50 kids to register on the spot.

Fuji Japan Food Truck: Come hungry and taste an array selection of Japanese food sold by the popular Fuji Japan food truck!

Performance Schedule

Come join Dounen Daiko to experience an interactive Taiko, the Japanese drumming. Dounen Daiko was established by members of Nen Daiko, a taiko group that has performed in the Washington DC area for 25 years. Time: 11:30 AM.

Eisa Dance
Come and watch Okinawa Kai perform Eisa Dance, a folk dance that is originated from Okinawa which involves singing, chanting, and drumming by the dancers. Time: 2:30 & 4:00 PM.