Dallas is the third largest city in Texas and is a popular place to visit in the fall. The weather is normally pleasant between late September and early December and major storms are rare. During September and October there are Japanese fall festivals in Dallas and in nearby Fort Worth that provide a fun day out for people of all ages and are an interesting look at Japanese culture.
Japanese Fall Festival on Alpha Road
Each year, the Dallas Japanese Association (godja.org) holds an annual fall festival, or Akimatsuri, on a Sunday in late September. It is held at 4100 Alpha Road, just west of Midway Road, and at the time of publication, no entrance fee has been charged. There are a wide variety of Japanese cultural stage events, Japanese food booths, martial arts demonstrations and live music, including traditional taiko drumming. There are also demonstrations, games and a raffle.
Japanese Moon Viewing Ceremony at Dallas Arboretum
The Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth has an annual moon viewing, or Otsukimi, at the Dallas Arboretum (directory.leadmaverick.com) to celebrate the year's full autumn moon. For more than 1,000 years the Japanese have celebrated the harvest moon with moon-viewing parties where they enjoy music and write poetry inspired by the full moon. The ceremony includes musical performances and cultural demonstrations. Visitors can try their hand at calligraphy and writing haiku poetry. Gates open at 6 p.m. and you can take a picnic supper or advance purchase a Japanese boxed supper through JASDFW.
Fall Festival at the Japanese Garden
During a weekend in mid-October to late October, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden (fwbg.org) holds a fall festival in its Japanese Gardens. It also holds a spring festival there once a year. The 7.5 acre garden includes a meditation garden, pagoda, moon-viewing deck and ponds full of koi. The festival features demonstrations of Japanese art and culture, like traditional Japanese dance, music, martial arts demonstrations, paper-making and tea ceremonies. There is a nominal admission charge.
Dallas Links to Japan
Dallas has a sizable Japanese population, and there are several Japanese grocery stores and a range of Japanese restaurants. Dallas has maintained a friendship city relationship with Sendai in the Miyagi prefecture of Japan since 1997. Sendai was the city closest to the epicenter of the massive earthquake on March 11, 2011, and residents of Dallas held many fund-raising events to help the people of Sendai.
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