Japan Festival provides a taste of Japanese culture to Utah

Apr 28, 2023, 8:00 PM

From left, Hiroshi Tanaka, Kenny Endo, world-renowned Taiko Drummer, Eien Hunter and Joy Tanaka per...

From left, Hiroshi Tanaka, Kenny Endo, world-renowned Taiko Drummer, Eien Hunter and Joy Tanaka perform and present a free public workshop on Taiko during a previous Japan Festival. The 18th annual Japan Festival will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown at 100 S. between 200 W. and 300 W. The festival is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The 18th annual Nihon Matsuri or Japan Festival is scheduled for Saturday in Salt Lake City. And it’s a perfect opportunity for those wanting to get outdoors and enjoy the warm weather.

The event will be held in downtown on 100 South between 200 and 300 West right near Vivint Arena. The location is significant, according to Floyd Mori, chairman of the festival.

“The area between, basically, almost Main Street and 300 West on 100 South was Japan Town,” he said. “The Salt Palace, today, covers the major part of what used to be Japan Town.”

Mori says Japan Town dates back to the early 1900s. 

“The Japanese Christian Church, for example, was established 100 years ago in 1922,” he said. “So before that, commercial establishments began, restaurants, and markets they were on 100 South and expanded. Barbershops, a lot of different commercial establishments came there, and it became known as Japan Town for Salt Lake City.”

Mori says the Japanese Christian Church along with a Buddhist Temple are the only two remaining buildings from the original Japan Town.  

The festival started in 2005 and has been held every year since, except for a brief interruption due to the pandemic.

Japan Festival provides Japanese cultural to Utahns

Mori says the festival brings a taste of Japan to the Beehive State.

“The festival is to give Utah a taste of Japanese culture,” he said. “And we do that through food booths, cultural booths. We have exhibits, particularly of the Japanese-American history of Utah, that will be in the Buddist church.”

Additionally, he says there will be two stages of entertainment. 

The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Mark Jones contributed to this article.

Read more:


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Salt Lake City

Highland High school students arrested...

Devin Oldroyd

Two high school students arrested after allegedly bringing firearms on Highland High campus

Salt Lake City Police Department's school resource officers arrested three high school students after recovering two loaded firearms Monday.

20 hours ago

Overnight alleged murder...

Lindsay Aerts

Salt Lake City police investigate after fatal overnight shooting outside of New Yorker night club

Police in Salt Lake City are trying to piece together an alleged murder Saturday night. The suspects, reportedly, fled the scene.

2 days ago

Infant near drowning...

Devin Oldroyd

Sandy police and fire respond to near drowning of infant

Sandy police officers responded to a near drowning of a 10-month-old Friday. The infant is at Primary Children's Hospital in stable condition.

4 days ago

salt lake bees fans come back to smiths ballpark...

Mark Jones

Ballpark Next competition ends, ‘She Plays Here’ design among the winners

One of the winners in the Ballpark Next competition joins Dave and Dujanovic to discuss what the future of Smith's Ballpark may look like.

4 days ago

Salt Lake City police say one person is in custody and one person was critically injured following ...

Mark Jones

SLCPD: One person in custody following fatal stabbing

The stabbing happened near the Glendale Golf Course. The victim died after they were transported to a hospital.

5 days ago

rabies bats...

Mark Jones

Bat found in SLC tests positive for rabies, health expert weighs in

A bat recently found in Salt Lake City has tested positive for rabies. Nicholas Rupp, of the Salt Lake City Health Department, joined KSL NewsRadio to explain why it was tested.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

Group of cheerful team members high fiving each other...

Visit Bear Lake

How To Plan a Business Retreat in Bear Lake This Spring

Are you wondering how to plan a business retreat this spring? Read our sample itinerary to plan a team getaway to Bear Lake.

Cheerful young woman writing an assignment while sitting at desk between two classmates during clas...

BYU EMBA at the Marriott School of Business

Hear it Firsthand: 6 Students Share Their Executive MBA Experience at BYU’s Marriott School of Business

The Executive MBA program at BYU offers great opportunities. Hear experiences straight from students enrolled in the program.

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and gates.

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...

Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer.

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy.

Japan Festival provides a taste of Japanese culture to Utah